News & Current Affairs |
Australian Red Cross

Multimedia News Release: Australian Red Cross World First Aid Day 2019

Australian Red Cross World First Aid Day 2019

Aussie Dad who was dead for 19 mins before being saved by CPR joins multicultural first aid training session on World First Aid Day 

This World First Aid Day (Saturday 14th September 2019), Australian Red Cross is aiming to host the nation's largest ever multicultural first aid training session with free sessions held simultaneously in numerous locations around the country. 

For broadcast quality footage and high-res images, please visit the Multimedia News Release: 

56yo father Ian Hutchinson will join the training session at Australian Red Cross headquarters in Sydney. Ian had a cardiac arrest whilst cycling almost 12 months ago, and was clinically dead for 19 minutes. He is alive today because his best mate Don MacKee - who was with him at the time - knew CPR. 

Fronting the campaign as the Australian Red Cross World First Aid Day official spokesperson is renowned orthopaedic surgeon, author, and former Iraqi refugee, Associate Professor Munjed Al Muderis. 

Australia still has one of the poorest rates of first
 aid training in the world. This is worrying because unless timely first aid is provided, many severely injured people stand no chance of survival. It can literally be the difference between life and death,” warns Associate Professor Al Muderis.  

This may be particularly concerning for the nearly 50% of Australians for whom English is a second language. Research shows that culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities can be less likely to be able to identify, describe, or communicate a medical emergency due to language barriers [1]. This has the potential to put some migrant and refugee Australians at greater risk should they find themselves experiencing or witnessing an emergency situation.  

Not knowing how to respond in an emergency situation can have tragic consequences for all involved, so it is vital that every Australian is equipped with first aid knowledge to handle an emergency,” said Associate Professor Al Muderis.  

By aiming to host the nation's largest ever multicultural first aid training sessions around Australia, Australian Red Cross is ensuring that more Australians have access to first aid knowledge. Training sessions are being held in Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Hobart, Launceston, Sydney, Wollongong, Western Sydney, Albury, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, and Darwin.  

“A first aid education is universal. It is not culturally or linguistically specific. As a multicultural country, it is important that all members of the community can access this knowledge,” said Amanda Lindsay, Australian Red Cross spokesperson and trainer.  

“On September 14, we intend to increase and improve Australia’s low first aid knowledge rates amongst new Australians,” said Ms Lindsay. “We are also inviting all Australians to take action and learn this vital life skill through doing a first aid course.”  

Facts around First Aid

  • Approximately 260 children die and 58,000 are hospitalised every year due to unintentional injury in Australia. This means that more Australian children die of injury than die of cancer, asthma and infectious diseases combined.[2]

  • 27% of all drowning deaths over the past 10 years involved people who were born overseas. 86% were living in Australia at the time of death.[3]

  • Globally, around 140,000 people die each year in situations where their lives could have been saved if somebody had known first aid. [4]

  • A person whose heart has stopped has an 80% chance of surviving if CPR is started in the first minute. This goes down to less than 5% survival chance if CPR is not started until 10 minutes later. [5] 


1800 RED CROSS (733 276) | |     


For further information on World First Aid Day, or to arrange an interview, contact Blue Planet Public Relations:

Cathryn Buchanan - 02 9816 3277 


Sophie Blue - 0416 006 821 

[1] Heart Foundation,

[2] KidSafe Victoria,

[3] Royal Life Saving Australia,

[4]The Guardian,

[5] ABC,