Our Ambassadors



"I have had a lot of amazing things happen in my life, but on December 15, 2011 my life was turned on its head – literally! What started as an easy thing to do ended up with me being rushed to hospital.

The paramedics saved my life – it’s as simple as that!

There were weeks in hospital and then months of rehab, but things are pretty good right now – thanks to the paramedics and medical staff who cared for me.

I was found by the paramedics unconscious and with significant head injuries. I was treated on the spot, and then rushed to hospital. Everyone knows that the earlier you can start treatment, the better the outcome will be. For me, I had bleeding on the brain and a swag of other injuries, and needed to be stabilized and taken to hospital. I don’t think it is untrue when I say 'they saved my life'!

I believe in The Thank You Event

In lots of ways I was lucky. The paramedics got to me quickly, treated me on the spot, and I received great medical care… I just can’t thank them enough.

But not everyone has that opportunity. Not everyone gets the chance to meet the people who rescued them, give them a hug or shake their hand, and say a heartfelt “thanks”.

One of the biggest problems with this is that the paramedics, lifesavers, firefighters or police, and all emergency service workers for that matter don’t get a chance to know first-hand the value of their work each day. They miss out on potentially a huge boost to their job satisfaction!

I was amazed to find out that very few of them ever receive a 'thanks' from the people they have helped. This is probably due to the fact that most people don’t know how to do this! Do you ring them up? Do you write a letter? Who knows!

Well The Thank You Event is a way that everybody can say ‘thanks’ to all emergency service workers involved in their incident, no matter what the situation! This is a fantastic initiative, and we should all get behind it."

"The Thank You Event is a brilliant idea, and long overdue, and I am proud to be an Ambassador!"


Lani Brereton

On the 14th of December 2013 I was driving home with my 9 year old daughter in the car. We were about half a kilometre from pulling into our driveway, when an unlicensed, drunk driver hit us head on.

My daughter, sitting in the back seat, was virtually uninjured, while I had a multitude of injuries. From a severe head injury, two collapsed lungs to multiple fractures throughout my entire body... I was in serious trouble.

It took the CFA one hour to cut me from the wreckage. While being airlifted to the Alfred I ceased breathing. Upon arrival I was put on a slab in a private room in emergency where I was given a blood transfusion and put on life support. When my family arrived they were told to say their goodbye’s - I was not expected to live through the night.

It is now a year on, and I am living independently, am driving and will return back to work soon.

Why did I become a Foundation Ambassador of The Thank You Event?

Without the dedication and commitment from the multitude of emergency service personnel that were at the scene of the accident, I would not be here to talk about it.  I firmly believe that each and everyone of the CFA, ambulance and police played a huge role in my survival.

I have actually had the opportunity to meet with the paramedics, and was deeply saddened when I was told that in her 10 years of being a paramedic, the girl who saved my life had never been thanked by any of her patients. She went on to say that she had lost her sense of worth in her job, and was ready to find a new career. She was a day away from resigning. Until she met me. My Thank You was all she needed to continue.

It led me to think, that if something so simple can encourage those that we depend on so deeply, if that is all it takes, then why don't we all do it?

SeanPurcell-Portrait-HR.jpgSean Purcell

"While on a morning beach run my heart stopped beating. I collapsed and landed face first in the water on a beach in Torquay, Victoria. What happened to me next was nothing short of truly remarkable. A group of quick thinking locals came together to administer life saving CPR that kept me alive long enough to ensure that Paramedics could stabilize me and air-lift me to Hospital. My prognosis was bleak; the Doctors said that if I was to survive, I was most likely to suffer permanent brain damage. But you see, I did survive, and thrived.

I then went on a quest to find and thank those who saved my life.

I believe that giving people the opportunity to say thank you to those who saved their life is an imperative step in moving forward after such a traumatic experience. I know that our emergency services do not receive anywhere near enough exposure for their work, and there are limited avenues for people like me to thank them for their life changing work.

"The thank you event is the perfect platform for our community to highlight the amazing work that our services provide to us on a daily basis, meet them face to face and say THANK YOU”.

If you got a promotion at work, you'd thank your boss or colleagues for their support, right? If someone gave you a car, you'd say thank you, wouldn't you? If someone gave up a seat in a cafe so you could sit down as a family you'd say thank you… we’ve all done that haven’t we?

So why don’t we say thank you to those that work endlessly to save our life?