St John NT Vol­un­teer of the Year cel­e­brates 40 years of ser­vice

Sunday Territorian - - INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER DAY -

LES­LEY King, who joined St John Am­bu­lance vol­un­teers in 1977, cel­e­brated 40 years of ded­i­cated ser­vice this year. She epit­o­mises what a St John mem­ber as­pires to be and is a won­der­ful ex­am­ple to other mem­bers. Les­ley joined the am­bu­lance ser­vice “to be use­ful” and un­der­took am­bu­lance du­ties up un­til 1987, af­ter this Les­ley con­tin­ued with much pas­sion hold­ing many dif­fer­ent po­si­tions within the vol­un­teer branch. Les­ley writes: “The value of vol­un­teers: now there’s a co­nun­drum — how do you place a value on some­thing that costs you noth­ing? Well — you look at the ben­e­fit it pro­vides and its im­por­tance in con­tribut­ing to the safety and well­be­ing of your com­mu­nity. We tend to think of value in terms of cost, but in the case of vol­un­teers the value is in cost sav­ing, and it doesn’t end there. For how do you put a value on the com­mit­ment, the train­ing and time sac­ri­ficed to ser­vice needs, and the per­sonal qual­i­ties that vol­un­teer­ing re­quires? Those at­tributes are gifted to us by the vol­un­teer. Peo­ple vol­un­teer with the idea that in some way or to some ex­tent they are go­ing to make a dif­fer­ence and stay be­cause of the sat­is­fac­tion gained from be­ing help­ful, and that is the only re­ward in most cases.”

Les­ley has es­tab­lished her­self as a re­spected peer and men­tor to both adults and cadets across the NT.

In 2009 Les­ley was pro­moted to a Dame of the Or­der of St John in recog­ni­tion of her ded­i­ca­tion and her out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to St John in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory. Les­ley was also recog­nised in this year’s NT Vol­un­teer­ing Awards, re­ceiv­ing the over­all award of NT Vol­un­teer of the Year and also the Life­time Con­tri­bu­tion to Vol­un­teer­ing Award.

Leanne El­t­agonde and Les­ley King at the NT Vol­un­teer Awards 2017

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