McCusker Foundation donates $100,000 to support St John WA’s First Aid Focus program with new virtual reality headsets

Press Release
  • The McCusker Foundation has donated $100,000 to St John Giving to fund the purchase of 32 Virtual Reality (VR) headsets for the First Aid Focus program,
  • The donation also supports the delivery of the immersive VR First Aid Focus training to 10,000 Western Australian students,
  • First Aid Focus is a free in-school program that allows WA students to learn basic first aid skills. The program developed by St John WA offers fun, engaging, age appropriate classes for all students ranging from kindergarten to year 12.

St John WA’s fundraising arm, St John Giving has received a $100,000 donation from the McCusker Foundation to deliver 32 new Virtual Reality (VR) headsets to support its youth First Aid Focus program.

First Aid Focus is a free in-school program that allows WA students to learn basic first aid skills, ensuring they’re empowered to take the right steps to save a life in the event of a healthcare emergency. The program, which is now digitally enhanced through the VR headsets, has been developed by St John WA to offer engaging, age-appropriate classes for all students ranging from kindergarten to year 12.

In addition to the VR headsets, the donation supports the ongoing delivery of the training by experienced community education officers to Western Australian students through St John’s First Aid Focus program. This bolsters the delivery of the existing training program by providing skill-based sessions to support students learning how to enhance their own and others’ health, safety and wellbeing in varied and changing contexts.

The new VR headsets further expand St John WA’s digital first aid training capabilities through an innovative delivery platform. Demand for the VR delivered First Aid Focus program has already begun, with Meadow Springs Primary School and Kalamunda Primary School confirmed to run the program in late 2021.

Director of McCusker Foundation, Tonya McCusker AM said this donation aims to deliver on the Foundation’s core objectives through educating young people with lifesaving first aid skills.

“Equipping our youth with first aid skills ensures they’re empowered to navigate a healthcare emergency. Through the purchase of these innovative VR headsets, paired with St John WA’s age-appropriate first aid training courses, we’re supporting the delivery of the First Aid Focus program in a way that’s both incredibly immersive and engaging to youth. We’re proud to be supporting St John WA in this initiative,” said Ms McCusker.

St John CEO, Michelle Fyfe welcomed the McCusker Foundation’s donation to support the growing First Aid Focus program as the organisation aims to achieve its goal to train every child in Western Australia, every year, by 2025.

“St John WA has proudly trained over 1 million children in Western Australia through our free in-school First Aid Focus program. But we still want to do more for our community and have set an ambitious goal to train each and every Western Australian student in first aid, each year, by 2025. We cannot do this without the support of organisations such as the McCusker Foundation. Through this generous donation, we’re able expand our program into a greater number of schools, and reach a larger number of students with an innovative new delivery platform,” Ms Fyfe said.

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