Onslow named St John 2022 Sub Centre of the Year

Press Release
  • St John Onslow has been named the 2022 Sub Centre of the Year at the annual St John Experience recognition ceremony,
  • The award follows a big year for the sub centre and its people which were also recognised by the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry and as part of Australia Day celebrations,
  • The award recognised the high regard the team is held in community, and dedication of its volunteers.

St John WA has recognised Onslow as its Sub Centre of the Year at the annual St John Experience recognition ceremony. The awards recognise sub centres and individuals across the state who go above and beyond to support the services St John delivers.

The small volunteer-led sub centre in the Pilbara, which holds unique challenges due to its remoteness and FIFO-based community, has worked hard to build a loyal team of volunteers team over three years and achieved many prestigious community commendations.

Each year St John Onslow carries out about 150 jobs with 26 volunteers dedicating their time and skill to the local community, and the service was bolsted in April last year with the opening of a new $2 million facility funded by Chevron. Onslow takes over the mantle from 2021 Sub Centre of the year Boyup Brook.

In 2021, St John’s Onslow Sub Centre won Onslow Chamber of Commerce and Industry awards for Best Community Organisation and People’s Choice. 

On Australia Day this year, Emergency Medical Technician/Volunteer Development Officer Renae Coates was recognised as Citizen of the Year due to her contribution and commitment to Onslow. The sub centre was also recognised with the Active Citizenship Award. 

Throughout 2022, several Onslow Sub Centre volunteers were acknowledged in the Shire of Ashburton’s Volunteer of the Month awards, commending them on their dedication to the Onslow community.

The Onslow sub centre also successfully obtained several local grants to pay for training equipment used in training scenarios with Volunteer Marine Rescue, Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services, WA Police and Onslow Hospital, as well as upgrading one of its specialist ambulances by the end of 2022.

While the next nearest sub centre is a three-hour drive away, the Onslow Sub Centre works with Karratha to provide transfer services and to share training so that minimum numbers are met for courses to be run in the North West. 

St John Acting Chief Executive Officer Antony Smithson congratulated the Onslow team for the important life-saving service they deliver to its community.

“We proudly recognises the state-of-the-art emergency medical assistance the Onslow Sub Centre provides its vast community from Yannarie to Fortescue, and Wyloo in the east,” Mr Smithson said.

“It has built up a strong, supportive, and resilient community from newborn to the elderly, and provided relief when those residents are most in need.”

St John WA Head of Country Ambulance Justin Fonte said volunteer centres like Onslow were the lifeblood of remote regional towns.

“The fact that Onslow sub centre’s dedicated team of volunteers have served for more than three years in a transient Pilbara town is truly a testament to their operational success and collaborative team achievement,” Mr Fonte said.

“We thank their active and engaged presence in the community which builds trust and recognition for St John.”

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