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Speech given by the Lieutenant-Governor, representing the Governor, at the St John Annual Parade.


I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the unceded lands that we meet on today – the Wurundjeri and Bunurong people – and pay my respects to their Elders, past and present.

It’s a pleasure to represent Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Margaret Gardner AC, Governor of Victoria, this morning for the Order of St John Annual Parade.

Unfortunately, Her Excellency is unwell this morning, but she did ask me to pass on her congratulations to all of today’s award recipients.  

This event has a long history here at Government House.

Since the establishment of the St John Ambulance in Victoria 140 years ago, Victorian Governors have provided Vice-Regal patronage.

Across that time, this house has witnessed many St John Ambulance Parade and Awards Ceremonies, honouring the enduring commitment of St John Members to the Service of Humanity.

Each award recipient being celebrated today, represents the very best of the work being done by the Order of St John.

I note that Barbara Davis and Stewart Granger are being recognised for their long service to the cause, with an impressive 130 years of service between them!

This enduring commitment requires a strong belief in the mission and values of the Order of St John.

Of course, when we consider all that has been achieved by your organisation this year alone, it is easy to understand how that commitment develops.

So far, in 2023, almost 140,000 hours have been volunteered by St John members.

And, volunteers have treated more than 5,500 patients.

I’m conscious that much of your work extends beyond first aid services.

Community transport services improve the accessibility of healthcare in our community.

And, your education and training programs ensure everyday Victorians are armed with lifesaving skills in CPR, First Aid and Defibrillation.

The St John CPR Lab on display at the 2023 Government House Open Day, provided the opportunity for visitors to the House to learn the essentials of CPR. This year the lab has trained 9002 people with these lifesaving skills.

These are just some of the ways this Order has positively impacted the Victorian community.

They are significant achievements that would not have been possible without the altruism and generosity of St John members.

Whether you’re receiving an award today, participating in the parade, or simply representing the membership of St John Ambulance, each of you helps create a safer Victoria.

On behalf of the Governor, congratulations to today’s recipients and thank you to all members for their unwavering commitment to the Service of Humanity.