Ambulance Commissioner honoured

St John Ambulance Commissioner Matthew Cannon was recently honoured with admission as an Officer of the Order of St John, a Queen’s Sovereign Order.

Madam Jean Kekedo said: “The acceptance of Mr Cannon into the Queen’s Order was clear recognition of the significant contribution he has made to progressing quality ambulance and emergency services in Papua New Guinea.”

Cannon said: “It is a privilege to live in this beautiful land surrounded by such diversity.

“The work St John performs around the world holds a substantial place in my heart, and PNG has become my transitory home.”

A key focus of St John’s work is to improve maternal and infant health care through coordinated, efficient and quality ambulance services, paramedic and health transport.

He said working for an ambulance service is like no other job in the world.

“There is no other profession where you would walk into someone’s house and they would hand you their newborn baby without hesitation; it’s a tremendous responsibility, and as CEO of St John I have never taken this responsibility lightly.

“I am passionate about seeing St John Ambulance being able to contribute to the already amazing work being done by nurses, midwives, doctors and allied health workers here.

“Ambulance is a moderate but important part of the big health picture.”

Investment in quality, reliable, affordable and well-coordinated ambulance services leads to sizeable improvements in maternal and infant survival.

“As a paramedic, there is not greater feeling than knowing your direct intervention and application of life saving medical treatment has meant the patient got to hospital alive. It is a real honour to work in a health system with so many clinicians that really care about their patients, as I experience here in Papua New Guinea.”

Cannon is a registered paramedic and adjunct lecturer in paramedicine at Charles Sturt University, Australia. Cannon started his career with St John Ambulance over 16 years ago.

He has spent the last four of those years here in Port Moresby. Prior to taking up the top job with St John PNG, Cannon worked for the NSW Minister for Health as a liaison for the Ambulance Service, and prior to that a senior operations manager with St John.

The Deputy Chairman of the National St John Council of Papua New Guinea, Ian Clough, said the Council recently extended Cannon’s contract for further three years, recognising the much-needed growth and regained community confidence in St John in the communities, under Cannon’s leadership.

Press release