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.

Increased first aid knowledge in the

Over 46,000 First Aid certificates were issued by St John NSW during 2022, increasing the number of people in our community who have been given the skills to help save a life. Importantly, having trained with St John NSW also means students leave feeling confident to use those skills.

96% of students say they feel confident after completing training with St John stating they could apply lifesaving first aid if needed.

St John NSW youth member smiles for a photoSt John NSW volunteers demonstrate first aid

Immersive technology
revolutionising first
aid training

Innovation has continued to play an important part in ensuring St John NSW better meets the needs of our community. In 2022, St John launched SJx - Australia’s first immersive technology first aid certification.  It’s a new style of training that aims to immerse the student in a simulated real-life situation.

SJx leverages technology to deliver content in a multimedia format that addresses the diverse learning styles of our students.

For students, SJx deliver a superior training experience with a range of benefits.

Improved student outcomes and confidence

A course delivered in a faster time frame

Video enhanced training

Improved ability to recall training in a real-life emergency situation

Full accreditation to Nationally Recognised standards

"Course was well organised. Presenters were knowledgeable and well prepared. Having the course online with visual demonstrations was good."

"The course and learning provided was of high quality and was easy to understand. The physical aspects paired with the digital videos allowed for an informative experience allowing me to learn more about first aid despite having done the course previously. I further enjoyed seeing the developments in first aid."

"The trainer was very knowledgeable, and it was far more comprehensive than any first aid course I’ve previously done."

Find out more about our first aid training

A trusted voice
focused on community
health outcomes

St John NSW has been working closely with the state government. We have advocated for, and helped deliver on, initiatives and programs that will lead to better health outcomes for the NSW community.

We have supported increased access to defibrillators in communities

We know that early CPR and defibrillation are crucial when it comes to someone experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest. Survival can reach as high as 70% when CPR is started and a defibrillator is used before paramedics arrives.1

  • New AED (defibrillator) registry for NSW to help the public easily find their nearest AED. St John NSW provided advice to the Department of Customer Service (through a group convened by the Hon Victor Dominello – former Minister for Customer Service) based on our experience with similar registries. We were part of the launch of the Registry in December 2022 and continue to promote it.

  • Local Sport Defibrillator Grant Program. We consulted with the NSW Office of Sport on its grant program, aimed at increasing the number of sports clubs with AEDs available at playing fields and other facilities where the community train and compete. St John is now a preferred provider of AEDs to sport clubs across NSW.

  • Defibrillator access on public transport. St John NSW provided advice to Transport for NSW on mobile defibrillators for their fleet with the aim of having defibrillators accessible on buses and trains.

1. Source: American Heart Association Research

We have worked to improve volunteering

St John NSW was a member of the NSW Volunteering Taskforce, convened by the Hon Natasha Maclaren-Jones MLC (in her capacity as Minister responsible for Volunteering). The Taskforce considered priorities for action based on the needs, challenges and opportunities across the NSW Volunteering Sector. Priority recommendations from the Taskforce are already being implemented by the government. These will ultimately drive increased volunteering for St John NSW (and hence our ability to improve the health and safety of our communities).

We have advocated for mandatory first aid training for learner drivers

Along with St John Ambulance Australia, we have raised the importance of having more drivers skilled in first aid and confident to help in the event of an accident. We know that bystander first aid is proven to prevent deaths and disability in the vital 3-5 minutes following a car accident and before an ambulance arrives.

St John Ambulance Australia has launched a free 30 minute online first aid awareness training program that teaches the critical skills to use before a paramedic arrives.

    We will continue to work alongside government with a strong focus on community access to healthcare.

    E-Learning — First aid training for every child

    St John NSW youth member smiles for a photoSt John NSW volunteers demonstrate first aid

    St John NSW launched The Little First Aiders eLearning platform in 2022 – a completely free online platform which allows primary school students to learn basic first aid skills from a range of videos and interactive activities. The platform was developed with remote and regional schools in mind. We believe every student should have access to core first aid skills.

    The course is offered in three stages:

    Stage 1: Kindergarten, Years 1 & 2

    Stage 2: Years 3 & 4

    Stage 3: Years 4 & 5

    Since its launch, more than 20,000 primary school students have participated in the program through 169 schools. Independent, Catholic, and State schools have participated with overwhelmingly positive feedback.

    Teaching children first aid can be lifesaving. Through the development of Little First Aiders, this course can now be offered on a wider scale, so no matter where the school is located, students can still access quality first aid training.

    First Aid Training for First Nation’s peoples

    We were proud to have launched a specialised Indigenous First Aid Program in 2022. This program was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic and first piloted in 2022.

    The course was created in partnership with Marathon Health, a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. The First Aid Program is part of Marathon Health’s Preventative Health Culturally Safe First Aid Training and has been designed to be culturally sensitive to meet the unique needs of the community.

    St John NSW worked collaboratively with Marathon Health on this year’s training.  Based on initial feedback, the program evolved to have a more interactive and practical delivery with a ‘yarning circle’ approach, which resonated well with the Indigenous community members.

    Courses were delivered to key groups including Year 10 and Year 11 high school groups and family members with children. The program was highly successful – and St John NSW was engaged to again deliver the training in 2023.

    "I absolutely loved it and I enjoyed myself. I am so proud of myself. I always wanted to do a first aid course."


    "It was a lot more enjoyable than the last first aid course I did, and I learnt more."


    A St John NSW trainer shows a woman how to apply a bandage

    Partnering to upskill and support other first responders

    During emergencies and disasters Rural Fire Service first responders see community members who are traumatised by the catastrophic situations they find themselves in.  These volunteer first responders are often also personally impacted - as they live, work or have businesses in the same areas.  To help, St John NSW has partnered with the RFS Association to deliver Mental Health Training to its members.  

    The training was specifically designed to help first responders and team managers deal with the traumas of supporting our communities through the many and various natural disasters faced in the past few years, including the recent major flooding. The training was so well received it will be run again in 2023.

    RFSA members attending the course said:

    "The course was well set out, and it’s a great idea for the pre-course work. I found that after I did that, I was really interested in learning more about mental health. I am in a job where we get people calling pretty much weekly about suicide and mental health issues, and we’re given zero training through work for it, and I’m glad the RFSA and St John could facilitate this."

    "The team were very patient and low pressure. The trainer explained his background and we went through why we wanted to do the session. The Zoom part of it was very easy to follow along and has given me ideas and motivation for training opportunities. I think the key was that there was only about 8-10 in the group – any larger and I think it would have been hard to stay focused. We did the “practical” during the segments with the breakout rooms and group discussion and the trainer popped in and out to listen to our discussion. I really enjoyed it and feel better equipped for the inevitable phone call from a member in distress."

    A St John NSW trainer shows a woman how to apply a bandage

    Community education
    through media and

    Improving community awareness and first aid knowledge remained a key priority in 2022 - from active participation in events, to a variety of media opportunities.

    Reached over 2.5 million people through media and PR

    We were recognised on many platforms during National Volunteer Week. From segments on TODAY Extra, to the Drum, SBS News and many other outlets - our volunteers spent their week sharing each of their incredible and unique stories, and the different ways volunteering has improved their lives.

    Restart a Heart Day

    As part of Restart a Heart Day on 16 October, we collaborated with the Council of Ambulance Authorities – Australasia and NSW Ambulance through a community event at Bondi Beach, teaching the public how to administer CPR and use a defibrillator in the event of an emergency.

    Start from the Heart Day

    St John NSW was instrumental in hosting a CPR and Sudden Cardiac Arrest awareness event in October. The initiative was run by Victoria Stanham, a young woman who survived a sudden cardiac arrest at 29 years of age because her husband knew how to provide quick, and effective CPR. Alongside Victoria, we spent the day at Camden Park House and Garden teaching attendees how to administer best-practice first aid, perform CPR, and how to use a defibrillator in an emergency.

    Optus Safety Day

    In September, we had the opportunity to be involved with Optus’ Safety Event. We educated Optus staff on the value of first aid and defibrillators, through short training sessions and a live demonstration. Over the course of the day, we saw hundreds of staff members join the event.  We thank Optus for letting us be part of such an important day and welcomed the opportunity to equip their staff with potentially lifesaving skills.

    State-wide NSW Defibrillator Registry

    We were proud to have played a part in the development and launch of the Service NSW Defibrillator Registry.
    As an organisation that both teaches people how to deal confidently with a cardiac arrest and whose volunteers have seen first-hand the benefit of using a defibrillator quickly in an emergency, we know this will help to improve community access and overall safety in NSW.

    If you are an owner of a defibrillator, or see a defibrillator not registered on the interactive map, please take a few minutes to register its location via your Service NSW app. Alternatively, you can register defibrillators by going directly to register at

    We are grateful to the NSW Government and the Hon Victor Dominello (former Minister for Customer Service) for leading the charge with this initiative.

    Rapid Antigen Testing

    In April we partnered with Salesforce to provide rapid antigen testing services for the “Salesforce World Tour”, held in the International Convention Centre Sydney – ICC Sydney. St John NSW volunteers supported the event through providing rapid antigen testing and administration to ensure that all visitors felt safe and secure.

    Sydney Royal Easter Show — Meeting with Princess Anne

    Our volunteers were honoured to meet with HRH, The Princess Royal, as she officially opened the Sydney Royal Easter Show on 9 April 2022.

    As Commandant-in-Chief (Youth) for St John Ambulance internationally, HRH Princess Anne gracefully shared her passion for the organisation, toured medical facilities including St John NSW treatment rooms and met with youth volunteers.

    We can’t do it without your support.

    We rely on your support to continue to make an impact in our communities. Would you like to make a difference?  Find out more here: