- Community organisation
Voluntary Aid Detachments were established during World War I by members of the Australian Red Cross and the Order of St John. Members received instruction in first aid and home nursing from the St John Ambulance Association. Initially they worked without pay in hospitals and convalescent homes alongside doctors and nurses. After the war the voluntary service continued. Recruits were drawn from the local area by invitation from a serving member. During the World War II Voluntary Aid Detachment members were given more medical training, but they were not fully qualified nurses. Voluntary Aides worked in convalescent hospitals, on hospital ships and in the blood bank, as well as on the home front.
In New South Wales Voluntary Aid Detachments are now part of the Voluntary Aid Service Corps (VASC). To become a member of the Corps, volunteers must hold a current Senior First Aid Certificate. Members provide free first aid at major sporting and cultural events as well as assistance in times of disaster.