To empower our community

Our programs and courses empower communities to take action when needed in a crisis. Individuals feel empowered by, and confident, in the skills they have learnt. Their growing knowledge builds community resilience.

Key initiatives:
Achieve public policy change through trusted Government and Community relationships
Provide innovative, customer centric first aid and industry health and safety training
Expand our freely available health, wellbeing and first aid resources for community education
Enhance our dynamic youth programs to contribute to, and engage with, the local community

Community Education

Empowering communities with first aid knowledge is a core strategic goal of St John NSW. Whether it’s a bystander having the skills and confidence to perform CPR, a child calling an ambulance for a parent, or someone at home knowing how to manage their own health conditions – community first aid empowers Australians to take charge of their own health and alleviate distress in others.

We will do this through avenues that include:
  • Public activations
  • Free online sessions
  • Community seminars
  • Public education campaigns
A young child talks to a St John Ambulance responder
“First aid training gives people the confidence and capability to step forward and assist when needed. If an emergency strikes, knowing how to deal with it can truly save someone’s life.”
Scott McDonald, Board Deputy Chair


We commit to use advocacy as a tool to further our mission of saving lives through first aid. We will create positive social change through building positive and trusted relationships and partnerships. St John will work to persuade decision-makers and opinion leaders at all levels to gain public policy change and better health outcomes for NSW.



ShockingAUS was launched by St John NSW in 2017. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness that learning CPR and using a defibrillator can save thousands of lives every year. Given that nearly one quarter of cardiac arrest incidents occur out-of-hospital, and the current survival rate is 10%, St John NSW believes that ensuring public access to Automated External Defibrillators (AED) is a key step in maximising the potential for survival.

First on Scene

There are currently a number of road safety initiatives that focus on crash prevention. None have focussed on preventing loss of life and serious injury between when an accident occurs and the arrival of emergency services.

  • In NSW alone, a staggering 354 lives were lost on our roads in 2018 (Transport for NSW)
  • An estimated 57% of deaths in motor vehicle accidents happen within the first 5-7 minutes
  • It can take up to 14 minutes for an ambulance to arrive at the scene of a motor vehicle accident.

Would you know what to do if you were first on scene?

Research has shown that if the first person on the scene of an accident has first aid training and provides support to injured persons within 5-7 minutes of the accident, they can mitigate the primary causes of death and overall fatalities could be reduced by up to 13%.

No other single measure has the potential to reduce the NSW annual road toll by such a significant amount. Our First on Scene campaign highlights the importance of being able to perform some basic yet vital first aid that could save a life when first on scene. In those critical minutes before an ambulance arrives, knowing how to keep airways clear, stop bleeding and perform CPR can mean the difference between life and death.

Woman responding to a man at a motor vehicle accident

Future Leaders

Through to 2025, St John NSW will continue to further develop an engaging and consistent youth program where our young members are actively contributing to the community.

Our Youth Members play a significant role within our organisation.  

Qualifications gained during the program are recognised nationally, which no other organisations offer. We have one of the only emergency service youth programs that encourages practical experience and peer-to-peer education.

We will do this through avenues that include:
  • Improving communication skills
  • Developing leadership potential
  • Fostering individual and teamwork capabilities
  • Building resilience
  • Determining volunteer pathways
St John Ambulance Youth Members smile at a training session

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