1983 Centenary St John Ambulance in Australia

St John Ambulance Australia is a self-funding charitable organisation dedicated to helping people in sickness, distress, suffering or danger. It is part of an international organisation, the Order of St John.

St John First Aid training centres were established in Australia in the late 19th century. On 13 June 1883 a public meeting was held in the Melbourne Town Hall to form a local branch of the association. By the end of June 1883, a centre had been established under the leadership of Edward Neild.

The service has a significant place in the football world. In WA and the NT they run the emergency ambulance service. The banner above shows ambulances painted in Dockers and Eagles colours. They attend matches from junior leagues to major stadiums to provide first aid. In the past they provided services at the highest level but clubs now have their own medical departments. Most first aid kits and first aid training are supplied by St John Ambulance.

On the 8th June 1983 Australia Post issued a stamp to commemorate the establishment of a state centre in Melbourne in 1883. Other centres followed, SA 1884, Queensland and Tasmania 1889, NSW 1890 and WA 1892. The FDI Postmark showed a cadet and the Centenary 1893-1983. (APM 13550) The second cover is postmarked with the North Hobart FDI TANFL Postmark. (APM11600)

The First Day Cover featured a montage of items relating to St John Ambulance. It includes an injured footballer being treated while the game proceeds, a cadet and antique ambulance. The cover was commonly used for the 125th Anniversary of Australian Football Postmark (APM13630) both with the SJA stamp and the 1974 Australian Football Stamp.