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Communities, Sport and Recreation

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Kathryn Ann Burns

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Kathryn Ann Burns

Awarded for service to Health, service to the Community

Born: 18 September 1942

Entered on roll: 2008


Kathryn Burns grew up at Oyster Cove and Snug in the State’s south. She attended school in Woodbridge and Snug and worked on her parents’ dairy farm and piggery. As the eldest of nine children, Kathryn was responsible for caring for her younger siblings when her father passed away in 1960.  In October 1961, Kathryn married David Burns and moved to Stonor in the lower Midlands. Kathryn and David both worked at Tasmanian Railways, Kathryn as Station Caretaker. During the 1960s, Kathryn became a member of the then Civil Defence Team for Stonor (which was later absorbed into the State Emergency Service).  As a member of the Civil Defence Team, Kathryn completed numerous qualifications including her first aid certificate. In 1969 Kathryn and David moved to Bridgewater. They have five daughters and three sons.

In 1973, Kathryn joined the Claremont Unit of St John Ambulance Australia (Tasmania). She has now been a member of St John Ambulance for 35 years.  Kathryn has made a significant contribution to her community through voluntary service and has been a role model for all St John members, holding numerous positions within the organisation. Testament to her skills and experience are her victories at National Open First Aid competitions, as a team member in 1979 and as an individual in 1981. In 1993 Kathryn was admitted into the Order of St John as a Serving Sister, and promoted to an Officer in 1997, in recognition of her extensive service.

Kathryn’s work with St John also acted as a motivator for her career development, inspiring her return to study as an adult to train as a registered nurse.  She completed her nursing training in 1982 and continued working as a nurse for 12 years before retiring.

In 1995 Kathryn started training as a volunteer with the Tasmanian Ambulance Service, and has continued to be involved with the organisation to this day. In recognition of her dedicated service, she was awarded the organisation’s P.J. Parssey Memorial Award in 2002.

Kathryn has been an active supporter of a range of other community service organisations. She was a committee member and fundraiser for the Ace Tourette Marching Girls, often raising funds for the teams to compete nationally. Kathryn has also made a significant contribution to the first Dual Online Access Centre in Tasmania and served as Chairperson of the Access Centre Committee when it opened.

Kathryn has served on many school committees including those from Brighton Primary, Bridgewater Primary and Bridgewater High School, and was the first person to teach first aid in these schools in 1983. She continues to teach first aid to this day.  Additionally, Kathryn sits on the Brighton Alive Committee as a representative for the Brighton Community Combined Division of St John.

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