For the past 16 years, Jonathan Taylorson has been devoted to making a difference to Australian lives through his work as a nurse at some of Victoria’s biggest hospitals.
Being in the healthcare system for so many years has given the 53-year-old a wealth of experience in dealing with the pressure of many different medical circumstances – a skill he has been able to bring to motorsport.
Having grown up as a motorsport fan, his first event being the 1977 South African Grand Prix, it wasn’t long into his full-time medical career that he learnt he could combine both of his passions and continue his focus on tending to the well-being of others.
In 2007, three years after entering the workforce, Taylorson was volunteering with St John Ambulance Service for crowds at motorsport events, but soon enough found himself yearning to get closer to the racing alongside Team Medical Australia (TMA).
At the turn of the new decade, Taylorson’s schedule allowed him to volunteer regularly with TMA. And while he, like most Motorsport Australia officials, thrives on going to the big events such as Virgin Australia Supercars Championship rounds and the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, Taylorson admits he enjoys grassroots just as much.
“I’ve tried to do a little bit of everything over the years. I’ve done Supercars, Formula 1 and Superbikes, but I really prefer doing grassroots like regularities and car club events,” Taylorson said.
“With that said, I have been part of the Formula 1 Extrication team for the past eight years and I really love that role because it’s a mental and physical challenge. It’s also with a great team made up of some fantastic people.
“One part of volunteering in motorsport I love is meeting different experts from different fields. We are all people from different walks of life, but we are all there for the same reason –we just love the sport.
“Although there is some uncertainty about when everything will get back to normal, I have really enjoyed my time in the sport and I plan to keep going for as long as I can.”
Currently based at Rosebud Hospital, Taylorson is part of the frontline team who have been working hard in taking care of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula’s community.
Jonathan wearing one of the Erebus Motorsport produced face-masks for frontline healthcare workers.
Thanks to his hospital’s due diligence and strong preparation, the management of incoming patients has been positive, meaning the current COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been a major threat.
For Taylorson though, the biggest challenge of the past few months has been how the strategy of dealing with the pandemic has modified the way the industry works.
“We now have a COVID-19 clinic where people can present and get tested. That's just one area where the whole healthcare system has endured a reorganisation, which I think has worked really well,” Taylorson explained.
“The Department of Health has been steering us in the right direction and hopefully the cases will continue to decrease. We have all adapted well enough in the current circumstances to the point that if we do see an increase in cases, we should be able to manage.
“We can’t keep everyone locked down indefinitely, but we can’t lift all restrictions. We have to see how things play out. The state and federal governments are doing a good job so far.
“It’s been an interesting challenge at work. The level of care is still there but we have had to adapt to a new way of doing things. Just like motorsport, when there is a new car every couple of years and you need to figure out how to get the driver out. Both work hand-in-hand very well.”