Organ and Tissue Authority

Capital Steps Out in Support Of Giving the Gift of Life

Article Date: 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Thousands have stepped out at Canberra’s 12th annual Gift of Life DonateLife Walk around Lake Burley Griffin, to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation and encourage people to join the Australian Organ Donor Register.

The Minister responsible for the Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA), Ken Wyatt AM, helped launch the 12th annual walk this morning and emphasised the importance of increasing Australian organ donation. 

“Among the vast crowds here today are organ and tissue donor recipients, who thankfully are able to join us because they received the gift of life,” Minister Wyatt said.

“This is one of Australia’s biggest community events to celebrate organ and tissue donation, a timely reminder of its life-changing and lifesaving benefits.

“Last year in the Australian Capital Territory 14 generous people and their families gave the gift of organ donation and the lives of 30 Australians were saved and transformed.”

Under Australia’s national program introduced in 2009, the number of deceased organ donors has more than doubled and the number of Australians receiving a transplant has increased by 75 per cent, recently passing the 10,000 mark.

“While this growth is encouraging, there is much more to be done and the Turnbull Government is committed to optimising every donation opportunity to save more lives,” said Minister Wyatt.

“Few people – less than two per cent – who die in hospital can become an organ donor and there are currently around 1,400 Australians on transplant waiting lists, with a further 11,000 on kidney dialysis.”

A key to increasing our consent rate is having more Australians join the Australian Organ Donor Register, Australia’s national register to record your decision to become an organ and tissue donor.

“Unfortunately, only one in four Canberra residents are registered organ donors,” the Minister said.

“Registration is vital because it leaves your family in no doubt of your decision to save lives as an organ and tissue donor. In fact, nine in ten families agree to donation proceeding when their loved one is registered.

“Online registration takes one minute, using your mobile phone, tablet or a personal computer. Type in ‘donatelife’ and follow the simple instructions.

“All you need is your Medicare card number and it’s a decision that could one day save lives.”

The web address for online registration is donatelife.gov.au

Canberra’s Gift of Life DonateLife Walk is supported through an Organ and Tissue Authority Community Awareness Grant.