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Launch of St John Ambulance Australia Automated External Defibrillator, Government House


I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Ngunnawal People, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present, emerging leaders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.

Good morning, all. Linda and I are delighted to welcome you to Government House for the launch of the St John-branded Public Access Defibrillator, Automated External Defibrillator (or AED). The AED is a joint venture between St John Ambulance Australia and Zoll Medical Australia.

As we have just heard from Jay [James 'Jay' Johnstone, Survivor] and Thomas [Thomas Cressy, Volunteer], defibrillators save lives. This audience doesn’t need reminding, but Jay’s story of survival is a powerful one – a reminder to all Australians of the benefit of knowing basic First Aid and how to operate a defibrillator, and to organisations to ensure they have one on the premises.

Linda and I are pleased to be able to help shine a light on this life-saving initiative of St John Ambulance Australia and its partners, and look forward to presenting an AED to 10 not-for-profit organisations shortly.

The St John brand is one of the most trusted brands in Australia. Ask anyone who knows of the work of St John and you’ll hear adjectives such as caring, inclusive, dependable and compassionate. This is why I am confident that a St John AED will help build community trust and confidence in using this technology to save lives.

Death by Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the single largest cause of death in Australia. About 30,000 Australians die from SCA each year. We can reduce the fatal impact of Sudden Cardiac Arrest by increasing the circulation of AEDs in the community, and educating people on how to provide First Aid and how to use defibrillators.

Linda and I received a briefing and a pre-launch AED demonstration yesterday. There are a few simple steps to master, but it’s pretty straightforward as you’ll see shortly. I encourage everyone to make First Aid a part of their life.

We are delighted to be associated with such an important community initiative. Thanks must go to St John Ambulance Australia, Zoll Medical Australia and Aon Insurance for partnering together to develop this life-saving product.

It is now my great pleasure to launch the St John-branded AED.

Thank you.