JOIN Annual General Meeting 2018

Lignano, Italy, 10. June 2018

From left to right
Front row: Alexandra Vetter, Dr Sarah Vecchione, Prof Graziella Kainich, Fleur de Beaufort, Lidwien van der Reep, Melanija Grundšteina.

Second row: Joachim Berney, Dr Davide Laetzsch, Dr Ian Greaves, Dr Robert Brandstetter, Stephan Beschle, Mark Broughton, Harm-Bastian Harms, László Porcsalmy, Dr Arnold von Rümker, Imre Szabján, Johannes Bucher, Georg Aumayr, Thomas Vorwerk, Eric von Troil, Christian Velten-Jameson, Pontus Hedberg, Dr Andreas Tanos.

All pictures by Dr Robert Brandstetter

The JOIN Annual General Meeting 2018 was hosted on 08-10 June by our Italian member S.O.G.IT (Soccorso dell’Ordine di San Giovanni). Twenty-three delegates from St John enterprises across Europe met in the city of Lignano to discuss a wide spectrum of topics.

The first day began with our Chairman, Johannes Bucher, reporting on the activities of the Board over the past twelve months, followed by comprehensive financial information by our Vice-Chairman, Christian Velten-Jameson. Mark Broughton was elected to the Board and will represent St John Ambulance in the coming year.





Prof Graziella Kainich (S.O.G.IT President) and Johannes Bucher (JOIN Chairman).

This was followed by presentations of the working groups providing more detailed information about their activities which encouraged discussion and clarification on a number of issues. Areas covered included the outcomes of the PR, Marketing & Communication Group (Dr Robert Brandstetter, Johanniter Austria) and reported on the discussions within the JOIN network regarding possible harmonisation of the members’ logos. The growing interest in teaching first aid at school was also outlined. The Brussels Office spoke about the revival of the Volunteering Group and outlined the success of the Volunteer Swap program this year.

Following a discussion on the opportunity to reactivate the Youth Group, the International Cooperation incl. Fundraising Group (Stephan Beschle, Venerable Order of St John) presented two granted projects resulting from a bilateral cooperation between JOIN members. The Brussels Office showed a wide spectrum of articles published by the JOIN network over the year about international cooperation projects.


The Head of the Clinical Group (Dr Ian Greaves, St John Ambulance) reported on the start of the drafting of JOIN European First Aid Standards. It is expected to complete the work before the next AGM in 2019. Concerning the Medical Students Exchange programme, a recorded presentation of the very first participant was shown. 

Harm-Bastian Harms (Head of unit International Projects & Cooperation, Johanniter Germany) gave an interesting insight into European Emergency response projects and invited the JOIN network to send teams to the next field exercises. The work of the Brussels Office was outlined by Joachim Berney, our General Manager providing detail of its routine activities while emphasising its focus on networking as well as EU funding opportunities.

On the second day, the delegates outlined the general activities of their charity over the past twelve months. Georg Aumayr (Johanniter Austria) provided information on the ongoing 'My Active and Healthy Ageing' project and indicated ways to involve JOIN members in international research projects.

Finally, after what was perceived by all delegates to be a successful AGM, a last tour de table provide the opportunity to offer feedbacks and suggestions for the comings years.

The AGM 2019 will be hosted by our Swiss member in the canton of Zurich on 10-12 May.