Standing ovations for St John 2022 Experience speakers and a tear-filled reunion
A Royal Peth Hospital patient being reunited for the first time with the RAC Rescue Critical Care Paramedic who helped save her life, at St John WA 2022 Experience.
- More than 3500 St John WA personnel engaged in the 2022 St John Experience, which returned to face-to-face after COVID-19 risks and restrictions prevented previous years.
- A teary reunion between a Collie crash trauma patient and her RAC Rescue Critical Care paramedic got a standing ovation.
- Senior Australian of the Year Val Demspey and Minister for Health Amber-Jade Sanderson spoke at the two-day conference.
St John WA has thousands of stories of heroic efforts to save and better people’s lives, and a handful of which brought tears and standing ovations at this year’s St John Experience conference.
More than 3500 St John staff and volunteers from across WA attended the Experience at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. It was a long-overdue opportunity to reconnect with peers, hear from speakers at the two-day conference, and recognise long-serving volunteers at the awards sundowner.
It was the first time in two years Experience was able to be held face-to-face after previous years were either cancelled or went digital-only due to the risks posed by COVID-19.
The August 17 to 20 event kicked off with the always popular Show and Share event for children of St John staff and volunteers, where mascot Kura Bear made quite a celebrity appearance, with book readings and games.
St John Volunteer of the Year for Country Operations Michael Napier was recognised at the sundowner for his 19 years of selfless service and invaluable knowledge when welcoming paramedics to the Tom Price-Paraburdoo sub station in the Pilbara.
While the two-day conference heard from more than a dozen speakers, among the five guest speakers were:
World Health Organisation Specialist Emergency Physician, Dr Ian Norton, on Disaster Management;
- World Health Organisation Specialist Emergency Physician, Dr Ian Norton, on Disaster Management;
- Senior Australian of the Year Val Demspey, whose inspiring work as an ACT St John volunteer got her an audience with the Queen before she died and a standing ovation from Experience attendees;
- And celebrities Osher Gunsberg and Justin Langer on their life experiences from a health and leadership perspective, respectively.
But the tears and rousing applause were saved for a Collie crash trauma patient whose life was saved by the quick actions of the local St John volunteer service, her mother as an ED nurse, RAC Rescue helicopter team and Royal Perth Hospital trauma surgeon, Dr Martin Jarmin.
There was not a dry eye in Riverside Theatre when the patient, who St John will not name, embraced for the first time the RAC Rescue Critical Care paramedic assigned that fateful night, who admitted even she didn’t believe the young woman standing before her would have made it since the injuries were so extensive.
St John WA CEO Antony Smithson thanked Minister for Health Amber-Jade Sanderson for being part of the experience, which was again hosted by Tim Gossage.