Paramedic Lauren D’Arcy celebrated for her dedication to Auslan training

Press Release
  • St John WA paramedic Lauren D’Arcy pioneers Auslan training sessions for staff and volunteers.
  • The program began in 2020 and has since expanded to benefit frontline workers.
  • 125 St John WA personnel trained so far.

St John WA is proud to celebrate a ground-breaking initiative led by paramedic Lauren D’Arcy, aimed at enhancing inclusivity and communication in prehospital care.

Lauren’s passion for Australian Sign Language (Auslan) and her dedication to improving patient care has led to the successful integration of Auslan training sessions, which include a Deafness Awareness component, for St John WA staff and volunteers.

Since its inception in 2020, Lauren, alongside Auslan trainer Patti Levitzke-Gray, has overseen the growth of the program from its initial cohort of 20 students.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the program continued, adapting to remote learning environments and evolving to cater to frontline workers.

125 trainees have so far completed the course.

Lauren’s personal connection to Auslan, through her experiences with family and friends, has highlighted the critical role it plays in effective communication in prehospital situations.

“It’s important because it’s safer for the patient, it builds community confidence and trust, and it allows us to provide better care as well.” She said.

“So this is why we really need to have an avenue to communicate effectively in Auslan.

 “Just having the basics of how to communicate with someone, especially when they’re primary visual communicators, was something that people generally struggled with, especially when people are in distress.

“So just to say everything’s okay, and to explain what is happening, is something that really makes a difference for the Deaf community.” Mrs D’Arcy said.

In a gesture of appreciation, St John WA staff organised a celebration for Lauren, attended by colleagues and leaders.

The event served as testament to the profound impact of her initiative on both the organisation and the community it serves.

Metro Operations Manager Southwest, Alan Wright, highlighted the benefits of the training.

“The training means that the Deaf community will have more inclusivity when our crews go out to see them,” he said.

“It will give patients a chance to be a bit more involved in their treatment and their care plans because we can converse with them.”

Chief Emergency Officer, Brendon Brodie-Hall, commended Lauren’s initiative as symbolic of St John WA’s culture of innovation and collaboration.

“Apart from the incredible benefits that brings to a vulnerable section of our community, Lauren’s initiative is symbolic of our culture.” he said.

“If someone has a great idea, the organisation will find a way to work with people who want to go above and beyond to make something important happen.”

St John WA continues to lead the way in revolutionising prehospital care, setting a standard of excellence for healthcare providers around the world. To keep up with the latest news and initiatives go to

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