Supporting Wheatbelt volunteers a focus of Bringing Dowerin Downtown panel discussion
St John WA Chief Emergency Officer Brendon Brodie-Hall on a panel discussing Wheatbelt volunteerism at a Dowerin Field Days event. Credit photographer Matt Jelonek.
- New Chief Emergency Officer, Brendon Brodie-Hall, spoke on a panel of four about empowering regional volunteers to a room full of Wheatbelt agribusiness leaders.
- More than 900 volunteers service the Wheatbelt across 59 volunteer sub centres and smaller branches, with three career centres in Narrogin, Northam, Merredin.
- Northam was this year’s Sub Centre of the Year due to its strong leadership and recruitment program.
Ten weeks into the role of St John WA (SJWA) Chief Emergency Officer, Brendon Brodie-Hall outlined his support for empowering Wheatbelt sub centres and integrating volunteer voices into SJWA decision-making to a room full of Wheatbelt agribusiness leaders.
Mr Brodie-Hall was one of four on a panel at the 2023 Bringing Dowerin Downtown Lunch held in Perth on Tuesday, 29 August, as part of the annual Dowering Field Days event.
The panel also included:
- Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management Chief Executive, Karl O’Callaghan,
- Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia Chief Executive, Rebecca Tomkinson,
- nbn Local General Manager Chris Cusack.
More than 600 corporate leaders, government representatives, and farmers came together for the second annual event, which included Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry and Emergency, the honourable Murray Watt, as well as Deputy Premier Rita Saffioti.
SJWA has more than 900 volunteers servicing the Wheatbelt across 59 volunteer sub centres and smaller branches and working alongside career paramedics at three career centres in Narrogin, Northam, Merredin.
Volunteers are essential to covering the biggest footprint of any single ambulance service in the world — 2.5 million square kilometres — and for every $1 spent on ambulance services, St John returns $1.80 to community, resulting in a net benefit of $209m to the WA economy.
Mr Brodie-Hall spoke of volunteers’ pride in serving their communities and his excitement about working with the State Government to create opportunities for greater health resources in the regions.
“We just had a state conference and Northam was awarded St John’s Sub Centre of the Year for its really strong leadership and recruitment program, the station manager Dale really gets people involved,” Mr Brodie-Hall said.
“We’re a big organisation and we want to make sure our sub centres in the regions are empowered and able to be just as successful.”