Anzac Day: Meet the paramedics balancing service to humanity with service to country

Press Release

Service to the community is at the heart of what St John WA paramedics do every day.

But there is a special cohort within the St John WA ranks who don another uniform when out of their greens, serving their country in the Australian Defence Force.

Royal Australian Air Force reservist Lauren D’Arcy joined St John WA as a paramedic in 2012.

This Anzac Day, there will be many in the St John WA team marching in honour of the servicemen and women who came before them.  

One of them will be St John WA’s Lauren D’Arcy, who joined the Royal Australian Air Force as a reservist in 2009.

Mrs D’Arcy said it was her time in the RAAF that gave her the confidence to pursue her dreams of becoming a paramedic.

She has been balancing both since 2012.

“Serving the community and serving my country has been a really important part of who I am,” she said. 

“It gives me a lot of purpose and it certainly gives me so much reward.  

“It’s humbling to be part of something that is bigger than myself.” 

St John WA Paramedic Rob Curtis enlisted in the Australian Army Reserve as a combat paramedic in 2021, driven by a desire to help during large scale emergencies and natural disasters. 

Mr Curtis said he has found the same strong sense of camaraderie in both worlds.  

St John WA Paramedic Rob Curtis enlisted in the Australian Army Reserve as a combat paramedic in 2021.

“One of the most interesting things between paramedics and people in the military is shared experiences,” he said. 

“If you go through an arduous experience together, you bond over that.

“At the end of it you come out even stronger.” 

Nathan Griffiths joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2010 and served for 11 years as a medic before switching to active reserves and joining St John WA as a paramedic.  

“It is definitely a privilege to be able to put on either uniform and gain immediate trust from the public,” he said.  

Ms D’Arcy said Anzac Day was an opportunity to pay respect to the service people before her and the selfless sacrifices they made to protect their country.

“Anzac Day to me is a time to remember, reflect and commemorate,” she said. 

“We often forget the people that went to war were young, they had friends and families, hopes and dreams. 

Royal Australian Navy medics Andrew Wishart and Nathan Griffiths are also paramedics at St John WA.

“A lot of them put all of that on the line for a cause much bigger than themselves. 

“And some of them really paved the way for women like me to be able to serve.” 

Mr Curtis said on Anzac Day he reflected on what it meant to be a part of the military community.

“It is a day where I can think about the fact that people that were almost half my age went to war and didn’t come home,” he said. 

Mr Griffiths said Anzac Day was an opportunity to commemorate alongside his stepfather, a veteran who was a Navy clearance diver in the 70s. 

“I think Anzac Day is an important time for everybody to get together and show appreciation, not only previous serving members and all the sacrifices that they made, but the current serving members as well,” he said.  

St John WA’s support for its Australian Defence Force reservist employees was recognised in 2023 with the National Employer Support Award following nominations from staff. 

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