Taking care of an ‘awesome community’ is a win for Kimberley volunteer Jacqui Turnbull  

Press Release

At 2.5 million square kilometres St John WA covers the biggest geographical footprint of any single ambulance service in the world. 

In the northernmost town of WA, there is a small but mighty team of SJWA volunteers who give their all to ensure an ambulance is available to their remote community around the clock. 

The SJWA Wyndham Sub Centre, more than 3000km north of Perth, covers a huge expanse of the spectacular Kimberley outback.  

One of the dedicated volunteers keeping the region safe is hardworking sub centre chairperson Jacqui Turnbull.  

Jacqui joined SJWA eleven years ago to help her husband Simon, who until recently, was the area’s only community paramedic.  

Jacqui and Simon Turnbull on the job in the Kimberley.

“It’s quite funny, the community often said for the longest time, it’s the Simon and Jacqui team,” she said. 

“Wyndham is full of amazing people, it is an awesome community, and you want it to thrive so I think that is why we try to help out as much as we can. 

“Joining as a volunteer has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.” 

In the early days, the power couple often hit the road together, called to attend emergencies in some of WA’s most rugged locations including the famed Gibb River Road.  

This could sometimes take them away from home and their two children for up to six hours at a time.

Jacqui said another unique challenge of volunteering in such a small town was the high possibility of it being someone they know in need of help.  

Working as an education assistant, Jacqui also provides a comforting face to local children in sometimes very frightening situations.  

“Being such a close-knit community, you know everyone and there have been a couple of jobs that have been quite tough because you know the people very well,” she said. 

“It can be a bad scene, but the kids are always happy to see me and have a chat and like it when you take a minute to say hi to them.” 

With a population of fewer than 1000 people, there is a constant challenge to recruit enough volunteers to service Wyndham.  

But after discovering the huge rewards of volunteering herself, Jacqui is passionate about growing the sub centre’s green team. 

She goes over and above in support of her fellow volunteers, even bringing a different homemade meal for them to enjoy at each weekly training session.  

“They’re all absolutely amazing people and so enthusiastic for training and to put their name down on the roster to help out,” she said.  

 “It’s just a great team to be part of.” 

Volunteers like Jacqui are the lifeblood of country ambulance services who selflessly give their time every day and night to help others.  

A recent survey released for National Volunteer Week found nine in 10 Western Australians think favourably about people who volunteer, click here to learn more.   

More than 5000 volunteers contribute their time across a range of roles with SJWA from on-road emergency ambulance response in country WA, to logistics, volunteer support, community transport and Event Health Services.   

To become a volunteer visit, 

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