Merewether resident and St John Ambulance volunteer, Dr Jason Bendall, was honoured at Sydney’s Government House on May 20, recognising his devoted time and effort to helping others.

Dr Bendall (third along from the right, on the bottom row) with the 16 other St John Ambulance NSW members who were awarded The Order of St John on May 20 at the Government House, Sydney.

Dr Bendall was awarded The Order of St John along with 16 other St John Ambulance NSW members at the St John Ambulance Australia (NSW) Investiture Ceremony.

The Order of St John recognises members who go above and beyond to devote their time, effort, and expertise to help others.

Membership within The Order of St John is an honour sanctioned by the Governor-General on behalf of The Order’s Sovereign Head, Queen Elizabeth II.

Dr Bendall is an Associate Professor and the Clinical Dean at the University of Newcastle Manning Clinical School within the Department of Rural Health.

He has been a specialist anaesthetist at John Hunter Hospital, a pre-hospital and retrieval medicine specialist with the Hunter Retrieval Service and previously worked as a paramedic before training in medicine.

Dr Bendall is the Convenor of the First Aid sub-committee of the Australian Resuscitation Council and is a member of the International Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) first aid task force.

At the May 20 ceremony, Dr Bendall was promoted to the Grade of Commander and was recognised for fulfilling the Commissioner’s role from 2017 to 2021.

As Commissioner of St John Ambulance NSW, Dr Bendall revived volunteerism, which resulted in strong growth in adult and youth membership.

He worked closely with the CEO, Board members and the senior volunteer leadership in introducing structural changes that resulted in enhanced services for members and improved integration of teams.

CEO of St John Ambulance NSW, Sarah Lance, said that volunteers made up an essential part

of the organisation and helped make communities a better and safer place for all.

“These volunteers have made significant contributions to their communities through an ongoing dedication to St John Ambulance NSW,” Lance said.

“We are proud to honour them and recognise their ongoing commitment to service.

“The past year has been particularly significant…our volunteers have provided critical support throughout the pandemic and have supported our communities with critical medical and mental health support, as events and gatherings return.”

Lance said their members were also on the frontline, supporting communities throughout the recent flooding crisis in Northern NSW.

In 2021, over 2000 volunteers provided more than 65000 hours of community service to help build safer and more resilient communities.

Commissioner of St John Ambulance NSW, Ilan Lowbeer, said all of the members recognised had demonstrated high levels of integrity and commitment to their communities, carrying out the mission of St John Ambulance NSW.

“We are proud to recognise each of them and thank them for their commitment to supporting our communities.”

To find out more about St John Ambulance NSW or to become a volunteer, call 1300 ST JOHN or visit

Hayley McMahon