Western Australian Paramedic and Mandurah local father, Jeremy Anderberg, has been named Citizen of the Year, in what can be considered a glimmer-of-hope-from-tragedy story, after the community was rocked by the death of a young boy in road accident in 2020.
A paramedic since 2012, Mr Anderberg was one of the first paramedics on the scene who worked to try save the child’s life. Tragically the child later died, but the event provoked Anderberg to consider what could be done to improve road safety awareness and reduce the likelihood of something similar happening again.
Paramedics are busy people, often with family and community commitments, in addition to demanding shift work. At a local school P&C meeting Mr Anderberg had the idea for a school-based road safety awareness campaign with a difference.
Mr Anderberg and a group of volunteers have since been present outside schools during morning drop-offs, armed with St John stickers to hand out to students who demonstrate positive road safety behaviour.
“I wanted to do something with some positive reinforcement rather than punishing people for not wearing their helmets and things like that,” he said.
“That way, they think about it in a positive mindset and that can be very powerful.”
And it didn’t end there. Students with stickers were entered into a raffle to win prizes donated by the P&C, and the winners were announced during a special ambulance visit and presentation at the school assembly.
WA Paramedics are being recognised all around the state, for the invaluable and sometimes thankless contribution they make to society.
Also this month, Broome St John Ambulance paramedic Jacqui Mackay received national recognition awarded with the Ambulance Service Medal for her 30 years of service to various communities around WA.
During that time, Ms Mackay has served in almost every role imaginable, and was one of three WA medal recipients, among 15 nationwide.
“I love this job, the challenges it presents and how rewarding it can be — I have no intention of slowing down or stopping anytime soon.” Ms Mackay said.
The medal recognises distinguished service as a member of an Australian ambulance service and will be formally presented by WA Governor Kim Beazley at a ceremony in April.