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Cadets travel down under to show first aid skills

australia cadet camp 2014

Eighteen Cadets from across the country made up the St John Ambulance English contingent at the International Cadet Camp in Australia last month.

The team spent a week doing first aid-related competitions and team building activities from 2-11 January at the Tops Outdoor Education Centre just south of Sydney.

The camp hosted almost 500 St John Ambulance volunteers from 11 countries, organised by SJA Australia. The event was hosted live online for the world to watch.

Rebecca Cruxton, who is the current national Cadet of the Year, was one of the young people selected by her regional youth manager to attend the event.

‘It was such a fantastic opportunity to make friends from all over the world, who share the same interest and passion for first aid and helping others! The experience really opened my eyes to what a brilliant organisation and family we are part of.’

For the competition, Cadets put their first aid skills to use in scenarios applicable to Australia’s climate and geography. Cadets had to provide clinical care cover and health care services at a bushfire recovery centre as one of the main elements of the competition. They were given exposure to other scenarios that they would not likely see in England, such as treating people in extreme heat – as the weather averaged 33*C.

Gareth O’Gorman, Young People's Safety and Assurance Officer was the Contingent Leader for the Cadets down under.

‘It was a great opportunity for our Cadets to experience a new range of scenarios to test their first aid skills,’ said Gareth. ‘They had to consider new factors affecting their casualties, and also had a chance to watch the Australian National Competitions close up as some of our Cadets participated as causalities.’

In addition to a week of first aid, team building and cultural activities at the Cadet camp, the SJA England Contingent spent a week travelling around Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and were hosted by SJA Queensland. Of the many memorable activities, Cadets got to hold a koala bear, go surfing and spending New Year’s Eve under the fireworks display at Sydney Harbour.

The next International Cadet Camp is scheduled for Hong Kong in 2016. SJA England hopes to send a group of up to 30 Cadets.

Here’s what some of the English Cadets had to say about the event:

Charlie Ward: 'It was a once in a lifetime opportunity filled with cultural experiences!'

James White: 'It was so interesting to learn about different cultures and how the charity is integrated into Australian’s way of life.'

Sophie Morris: ‘It's amazing how one first aid competition can bring so much to people, including friendship and knowledge of how St John Ambulance works internationally.’

Rebecca Owens: ‘It makes you more aware of your own self and how important we each are to make St John the organisation and, more importantly, the family that it is.’

Rebecca Terry: ‘It was an incredible opportunity to learn more about first aid, new cultures, the international Cadet family, life skills and about ourselves.’

Rebecca Jackson: ‘The camp was an amazing opportunity to make so many friends from all over the world! An experience I will never forget.’

Taranpreet Bhoday: ‘It was an incredible opportunity to meet so many new people and create lifelong, international friendships.’

Benjamin Stevens: ‘The event had a huge impact on my life because of my new-found knowledge of the charity worldwide and the people I have the good fortune to share it with.’

Natalie Mauger: ‘It was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience that has given me so much confidence.’