An Act of Generosity: The Grand Master Donates $50,000 for SJA's New Response Vehicle
18 September 23
At the September Communication and Re-Installation banquet, the Grand Master MW Bro Lesley Hicks presented a cheque to St Johns Ambulance NSW (SJA) representative Andrew North, Sydney Greater West Hub Leader, to assist with the purchase of a new response vehicle, that will be based at the Hawkesbury City Division.
Mr North said in a statement, “The support the Grand Lodge of NSW & ACT has shown St John Ambulance NSW (SJA) is outstanding. The donation will help pay for a response vehicle that will be based at the Hawkesbury City Division. This vehicle will be used to transport volunteers and equipment to the many duties the division covers every year. Hawkesbury City Division as will all the divisions in SJA are in a constant state of readiness to respond in times of need.
Firstly I'd like to take a moment to express my deepest appreciation to the volunteers who selflessly dedicate their time and energy to our communities. Their unwavering commitment is the foundation of the progress we witness today, with SJA ever growing capability in the disaster health arena.
A couple of examples of this capability are:
Bro. Dr. William McDonald Helsham, who is recognized as the founding father of the Hawkesbury City Division, taught first aid in the Hawkesbury district from 1892. During WWI, Bro. Helsham trained and led medics from the Hawkesbury district at Gallipoli.
Moving forward, in recent times we have seen COVID-19, bushfires and floods. SJA has been heavily involved in providing health services in partnership with NSW Health, Ambulance NSW, Rural Fire Service and the State Emergency Service.
Some notable examples include our contributions to the Batemans Bay bushfire evacuation centres, COVID-19 screening across the CBD and Southwestern Sydney, rapid antigen testing for government agencies, community transport services during the 2021 floods in the Hawkesbury, Lismore floods, Murray River flooding and supporting multi-agency responses in the Wisemans Ferry area, collaborating seamlessly with SES teams and other organizations.
One particularly impactful instance was our involvement in disaster risk reduction with the Minderoo Foundation and Habitat for Humanity where we provided health services to their operation in making the community safer.
These experiences highlight our ability to adapt to challenges, grasping opportunities for growth and service to the community.
The Eugowra floods stand out as a testament to SJA's commitment to community well-being. When disaster struck, our swift response (first team on the ground in 24 hours) ensured that the affected town received essential healthcare services promptly. We opened a clinic which provides 24hrs service providing, prolonged field care, primary health services, and emergency response, we provided vital support to the community, collaborating seamlessly with other emergency services, government agencies and most importantly the community.
Thank you again for your support which will ensure SJA can continue to support our communities"
Photo's thanks to RW Bro Romy Neito