St John Ambulance NSW

2021 Digital Impact Report

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Welcome to the St John Ambulance NSW inaugural digital Impact Report.

This report aims to bring together and acknowledge our achievements during the first year of our five-year 2025 Strategic Plan focusing on the key areas of Capability, Knowledge, Safety and Access.

Message from our Chair & CEO

For over 135 years we have been proud to serve our communities and improve the lives of those around us. Through COVID-19, floods and other crises, the need for our services – both in 2021 and beyond - remains greater than it has ever been. This Impact Report shows in detail what we have achieved together.

Some of the key highlights for 2021 include:  

COVID-19 Community Support - We continued to expand our capacity in response to the emerging demands and challenges faced by the community, including the emergence of the new Omicron variant. St John NSW was at the forefront of the pandemic, swabbing passengers at Sydney International Airport, screening at quarantine hotels, testing patients at clinics and vaccinating our community at mass vaccination hubs. Our health services support grew significantly from 1,000 shifts a month in January, to 6,500 shifts in March and to over 11,500 shifts per month by September 2021.

Vaccination Support – Through our newly formed partnership with Sonic Health, St John NSW members were trained and deployed as vaccinators, marshals, and administrators. By the end of 2021, we had played a critical role in enabling more than 13,648,500 NSW residents to be vaccinated.

Rapid Antigen Testing – St John NSW became earlier adopters in the provision of rapid antigen testing products and services, helping employers reduce organisational risks. As part of this new offering we provided screening programs to help enable emergency services including the Rural Fire Service and the State Emergency Service (SES) deploy with confidence, infection-free.

Support in a Crisis - Our teams worked through the 2021 floods, supporting displaced communities at evacuation centres – helping with triaging, transport, outreach programs, first aid support and mental health services.

We learnt that by embracing our strengths we could accelerate innovation and rapid change when we needed it most. Online and blended learning was introduced to help overcome gaps in the provision of first aid training.

We prioritised several focus areas including:

  • Recruitment, induction, and engagement processes so we could rapidly onboard over 1,200 new members to meet community needs.

  • Member engagement continued with online training and divisional meetings, providing motivation to our members through constant lockdowns.

  • Adapting our Health & Safety policies and procedures to ensure our members safety remained the top priority through the constant changes COVID-19 brought with it.

Overall, our growth in recent years has enabled us to be a more resilient organisation with the ability to further respond to the crises that have impacted our communities over the past two years, while continuing to deliver our critical lifesaving core services.

Of course, none of this would be possible without our Board, Executive Team, staff, and volunteers. Thank you for your steadfast commitment and ongoing support. We are incredibly proud of the work that you do and your service to the communities of NSW.

To our donors and supporters, we are honoured by your generosity. Your donations, grants and bequests directly support our community programs and volunteers, saving lives in communities across the state.

To our corporate partners, your support enables us to fulfil our goal of saving lives and building community resilience. Thank you.

Sean McGuinness
Sarah Lance
Sean McGuiness, Chair of the Board at St John NSWSarah Lance, CEO at St John NSW
A St John NSW volunteer provides treatment to a patient

Our Purpose

Every day, Australians are at risk of vulnerability, illness, injuries and potentially life-threatening situations at home, in the workplace and the community.

We believe that every Australian should have access to responsive healthcare and wellbeing support when and where they need it.

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Our Year in Review

Each year we measure our achievements against four key impact areas – Capability, Knowledge, Safety and Access. Read more about the progress we made in 2021.

In Numbers

In 2021, we saw a shift in how and why St John NSW was needed. We stepped forward to support our communities through the challenge of COVID-19.  

Events & emergencies


First aid certificates


COVID-19 support




Youth volunteers


Divisions across NSW


"Now more than ever, it is critical we empower and serve our communities. In 2021, our focus remained on delivering positive outcomes, providing sustainable solutions, and continuing to invest in our future."

Sean McGuinness,

We can’t do it without your support.

We rely on your support to continue to make an impact in communities. Find out more about how you can get involved as a volunteer or through making a donation.  

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