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Our Story

Greg's Story

Heart of the Nation was born from a moment of crisis turned trigger for change.  

Founded in 2020 by Greg Page, the original Yellow Wiggle, our story begins with a terrifying experience that would redefine Greg's purpose and, eventually, the lives of countless Australians. 

During a performance for the Black Summer Bushfire Relief, Greg suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) on stage. It was a moment that could have ended in tragedy, but for the swift actions of crew members and fans in the audience that night. They saved Greg’s life thanks to their quick response - using CPR and an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). When he woke up in hospital, Greg was confronted with his own vulnerability and lack of knowledge about cardiac arrest—even though his wife is a cardiac nurse. 

Greg Page, the orginal yellow Wiggle

This personal ordeal highlighted to Greg the silent epidemic of SCA, a leading cause of death in Australia. Over 25,000 suffer a sudden cardiac arrest each year, and only 5% survive.  With 80% of these events happening at home, it’s clear that there needs to be greater access to AEDs in residential areas so that more people have the same chance of survival. 

Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen to anyone, at any time, and anywhere. There’s general lack of awareness around the seriousness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Many people don't realise that anyone can help save a life by calling 000, performing CPR, and using an AED within the first 5 minutes. This sequence, known as 'Call, Push, Shock,' is also called the Chain of Survival. 

Greg’s near-death experience sparked a relentless drive to transform his story into a nationwide movement for survival, awareness and improvement of systems geared towards finding, accessing and using AEDs when someone is in cardiac arrest.  

Thus, Heart of the Nation was created, committed to increasing Australia's cardiac arrest survival rates through education, access to AEDs, and fostering a community where every individual is empowered to act in an emergency. 

Michael Hughes Foundation Legacy 

Similar to Greg's journey, Julie Hughes' (General Manager) story unfolds with a different experience, but a shared resolve.  

Michael Hughes, Julie’s husband was a vibrant member of his community who died of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest at home. Julie was left  grappling with the shock and the unyielding question of "Why?"  

Michael’s premature death in their home drove Julie into action. She founded the Michael Hughes Foundation in 2015, driven by a mission to dispel myths and provide critical education on cardiac arrest, ensuring that people are prepared, not powerless, in the face of such emergencies. 

Joining Forces

In 2022, The Michael Hughes Foundation team joined forces with Heart of the Nation, united by a common vision. Together, we’ve merged our efforts, boosting our impact with a combined force stronger than the sum of its parts.  

Our purpose is unmistakeable: to keep the beat going – keep a cardiac arrest victim’s heartbeat going by ensuring that more people have access to the skills and tools to restart someone’s heart when it suddenly stops - to turn bystanders into responders, to turn inaction into action, to turn uncertainty into confidence. 

Together we are solution; we are transforming the rhythm of life in Australia, ensuring that all Australians can Keep the Beat Going. 

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower every Australian to understand that any attempt at resuscitation is better than none. By supporting communities to complete the chain of survival, we turn bystanders into responders, giving the public confidence to recognise cardiac arrest, perform CPR and locate and use an AED in their time of need. 

Our Vision

Our vision is to ensure an increased survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest by leading change through education, training and access to an Automated External Defibrillator within one minute of all locations across the country.  

Timeline

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The Heart of the Nation Team

A key strength of the team is a shared lived experience of cardiac arrest. Heart of the Nation represents many individuals and families who have experienced this health issue – from medical professionals, paramedics, survivors, community first responders and those who are grieving the sudden and, in most cases, unexpected loss of a loved one.

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Greg Page

Founder / CEO

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Julie Hughes

General Manager

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Joanne Struck

Operations & Corporate

Relations Manager

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Clementine Holman

Marketing & Communications Manager

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Ailish Murphy

Administration Officer

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Kevin McSweeney

Head of Training & Education

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Board of Directors

At the very core of our charity's mission are these incredible individuals who dedicate their time, passion, and expertise to drive us forward. Some of them are from the Michael Hughes Foundation, showing how we've joined forces for even greater impact. Together, they are the heartbeat of our organisation and their selfless dedication ensures that we continue to grow and thrive.

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Marlon Fraser

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Helen Jones

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Maria Scott

Patronage

We're incredibly honoured to have Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC Governor of New South Wales as Vice Regal patron of Heart of the Nation.

Advocacy & Research

We are not just about providing the community with practical solutions. We engage with leading organisations and government to help effect change in important areas of this field.

AED Signage

We champion the importance of having a unified standard for signage that is not only highly visible but also easily identifiable, ensuring accessibility in critical moments. This is why we advocate for and recommend yellow signage. Our collection includes an array of yellow signage options, both wall-mounted and floor-mounted cabinets, distinctly designed to differentiate your AED from standard first aid equipment. 

The Heart Foundation

We are very excited to announce a partnership with the Heart Foundation that sees us working together on projects to help save Aussie hearts from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Read more about our partnership here.

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Government 

We are consistently interacting with prominent health authorities at both federal and state levels, discussing heart health, bystander and emergency response. We also emphasise current statistics to influence and drive policy change.

Educational Programs

We are continuously providing a range of learning programs within educational institutions including the development of the Kids Save Lives program in conjunction with the Australian Resuscitation Council, Ambulance Victoria, the Heart foundation and the Victorian Department of Education and Training.

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Research Collaboration

Our commitment to resuscitation extends beyond the front line of response, and includes various research projects and journal articles that help raise awareness about new ways of thinking in the cardiac arrest space.

Awards and Acknowledgements

December 2023

It was a special day for our own Greg and Julie, who have been honored with Certificates of Appreciation at the Hills Police Area Command awards ceremony.

Their unwavering dedication and efforts in advocating, supporting, and assisting with the rollout of AEDs in our community have not gone unnoticed.

Presented by Superintendent Darrin Batchelor, the Hills Police Area Commander, this recognition highlights the significant impact that Greg and Julie have made. Their commitment to public safety and community support is truly inspiring.

November 2023

The Michael Hughes Foundation and Brooks Community Engagement are honoured to receive an IAP2 Health Category Award for their outstanding community engagement program for the residents of Melrose Park. This award recognised their work establishing Melrose Park as a Heart Safe Community, increasing the number of AEDs throughout the residential development and empowering residents to be first responders during cardiac arrest events. Due to 80% of cardiac arrests occurring in the home, this is a unique and powerful program to help save more lives!

The community engagement program has enhanced the AED network by providing lifesaving education to residents about the issue of cardiac arrest, providing support to locate and use local AEDs and provide complementary CPR education courses within the local area. We have developed a program that has listened to the needs of the local community, and it has been implemented with translated communications and bringing the neighbours together with social activities.

This program would not have been successful without the dedication and commitment provided by PAYCE Sekisui House Australia Brooks Community Engagement, and the engagement from the local Melrose Park community. Heart of the Nation, following the merger with the Michael Hughes Foundation, has a commitment to grow and develop this program and create a blueprint for other residential strata communities.

WINNER 

Heart of the Nation wins the IoT Health Award 2023

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Heart of the Nation has been using the IoT (Internet of Things) to monitor data related to our 24/7 accessible AED's in the community.  These help us ensure that AEDs are secure, and kept in environments where the AED will maintain their optimum operational abilities.

 

 We are so grateful to the team at Inauro for their support and contribution to the project with almost 300 x 24/7 accessible AEDs out in the community now, we are providing access for approximately 45,000 Australians to an AED who have responders that need to located one at any time of the day and night, to try and save a life.

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Award accepted by Inauro on behalf of
Heart of the Nation

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