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