A Big Welcome to our New CEO – Stephen Porter
In February 2021, we welcomed our new CEO, Stephen Porter, to St John Qld. Stephen has had an incredibly diverse career serving with the Regular Army and Army Reserve rising to the rank of Major General. He has been General Manager of Marist College Ashgrove and CEO at the Marist Ashgrove Foundation, a charitable trust to assist families in financial need. He is a mentor and advisor with the Queensland University of Technology Business School.
Stephen is passionate about helping others and supporting them through their journey. He is the Chair of Reason to Thrive a charity using equine assisted learning activities to support those experiencing disadvantage, disability, mental illness and domestic violence. He is also Director of another charity delivering rehabilitation programs for current and ex-serving military members and first responders dealing with mental health issues including PTSD.
Stephen has served in the military and a strong sense of social justice, and we are lucky to have him with us now. Since he started, he has been engaged in conversations with the St John Qld team to see where we are, and more importantly, where we are going. And we cannot wait for you, our wonderful clients, to take this journey with us.
And most importantly, we have asked Stephen some questions so that you can get to know him a little bit more, outside of the kind words we have to say.
So we’ll hand it over to Stephen.
I feel privileged to be CEO of St John Qld, an iconic organisation with 130 years of history in support the Queensland community. At St John we have a great team of people supporting our community and living the St John values on a daily basis. In my first week I was taken by a comment from one of our community services people, we do things in the St John Way we go the extra for the community we are supporting”. That approach is evident in St John every day and will continue to be so.
What do you think has been your greatest career achievement?
In a career as divers as the one I have been fortunate enough to have, there are many highlights. I think what is extremely rewarding for me is the ability to give back to the community that has given me the wonderful opportunities I have had. My successful military career, attending equine assisted learning, supporting veterans and first responders or being able to assist families in need to attend a wonderful College such as Marist, are all highlights on my journey so far.
How do you think St John makes an impact in the community?
Throughout our history we have focused on support of our community. Initially in first aid and then keeping first aid as our core, embracing broader community support. I like to think of St John as having a continuity of touch points with the community as people journey through their lives. From first aid to new mothers and infants; first aid in schools; volunteer programs; first aid, mental health and wellbeing courses, equipment and supplies through to our community services work. Our impact is a continuing presence in a person’s life journey and that is where we will continue to focus.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by people who give so much of themselves to support the community every day often in small but significant ways. There is great good in our society despite everything we are told, and we often don’t see it. These people who show us the way and inspire us to follow their example of service.
What would you like the St John Qld community to know about you?
I am honoured to be CEO of ST John, I have had a broad number of experiences that I will be able to bring to the role to take us on the next part of our journey. I’m interested in what you think and how we can improve our services, how we can build on the St John way and support you. I will be getting out and about so please say hello and let me know what you think.
There is great good in our society despite everything we are told, and we often don’t see and it. – Stephen Porter