Chief Minister's Awards 2013 Announced

Wednesday, November 06, 2013
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher today recognised a special group of individuals for their outstanding contributions to organ and tissue donation awareness in a ceremony at the National Arboretum in Canberra.

Organised by the Gift of Life, an organisation promoting organ donation awareness in the ACT region as well as nationally, the awards acknowledge the exceptional role played by people from the community, health, media and public sectors in promoting organ and tissue donation during the past year.

Read more here.  A photo gallery of this event is available here.



             

Strong Growth In Donation And Transplantation Outcomes

Monday, July 29, 2013

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Shayne Neumann today announced that Australia's strong year to date growth in organ donation outcomes have resulted in more lives being saved through transplantation.

Read more  . . .

Great 4 Corners Program

Monday, April 08, 2013

Gift of Life welcomes the 4 Corners program on organ and tissue donation.

Many Australians desperately need a transplant. The program will help spread the message that organ and tissue donation is the starting point for this: more people and their families need to register to become a donor.  Equally important is for families to respect the organ donation wishes of their loved ones who have passed away – their wish to save the life of other Australians.

Read more here  . . .

Record Quarter For Organ Donation

Monday, April 08, 2013

The Parliamentary Secretary for Health & Ageing, The Hon. Shayne Neumann, MP, has today announced that Australia has experienced a record quarter for organ donation. 

"In the first quarter of 2013, the national outcome of 119 donors is a 55% increase on donors for the same period for 2012. This means 70 more people have benefited from a transplant in just the first three months of this year, compared to the same time last year," Mr Neumann said.

Read more here  . . .


Gift of Life DonateLife Walk 2013

Friday, March 08, 2013
Despite heavy overnight rain and morning drizzle, Gift of Life’s seventh annual DonateLife Walk in support of greater community awareness of the need for increased organ and tissue donation was held successfully in Canberra near Regatta Point beside Lake Burley Griffin on Wednesday 27 February 2013. Over 3,000 participants took part.

As usual, it was a colourful occasion with walkers wearing free Gift of Life and DonateLife T shirts and hats and there were lots of coloured balloons in the vicinity.  Stands showing large photographic images of prominent people in the ACT and NSW donation and transplantation fields were displayed which provided a special context for the event. 

The Walk involved two routes taking place simultaneously: a longer walk across the two bridges and around Lake Burley Griffin and a shorter walk for those who preferred it around the large pond at Commonwealth Park.


l-r  Bill Handke, The Hon. Catherine King, MP, David O'Leary, Ms Katy Gallagher, MLA, Jon Seccull

The event was officially opened by Ms Catherine King, Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing with responsibility for organ and tissue donation and Ms Katy Gallagher, ACT Chief Minister and Health Minister.  They were assisted at the start by Mr Jon Seccull, who rode his motor bike 700 km from Ballarat to the event in his memory of his young son, Ethan, who became a donor after he was tragically killed in a train accident behind his home.

Other prominent people taking part in the Walk were Member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann, Senator for Canberra Gary Humphries, ACT Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson, ACT Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury, ex-Raiders Captain and DonateLife community Ambassador Alan Tongue, Canberra Capitals basketballer Alex Bunton and ultra-marathon runner Turia Pitt.  Turia had received life-saving skin tissue after being severely burned in a bushfire in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.   Head of the Department of Health and Ageing, Jane Halton, and Organ and Tissue Authority CEO, Yael Cass also took part.

At the start line, l-r: Ms Gai Brodtmann, MP, The Hon. Catherine King, MP, Mr Jon Seccull, Senator The Hon. Matt Thistlethwaite and Ms Katy Gallagher, MLA.

There were many more teams than usual from a range of government departments and agencies, business groups and other organisations as well as huge numbers of school college students.

Free showbags with DonateLife merchandise were handed out to participants by Medicare staff who also received completed forms from those who wished to sign on immediately to the Australian Organ Donor Register.

A free BBQ was arranged as usual after the Walk by the Canberra Belconnen Lions Club assisted by Alana Lowes, Masterchef finalist and TV presenter.

A wonderful time was had by all participants in support of a cause which can save many more Australian lives each year.

The theme for this year’s Walk was “Make Your Wish Count” – discover the facts, decide to become a donor, and discuss with family and friends.  These are all vital to increasing organ and tissue donation rates in Australia.

Gift of Life President David O’Leary said afterwards he was thrilled with the number of people who walked this year.

“ Even though it was raining, we had thousands of enthusiastic walkers ready to pound the pavement as well as to spread the message about organ and tissue donation, to sign on to the national Australian Organ Donor Register and, importantly, to discuss their wish with their family and friends”.

Organised by Gift of Life and sponsored by the Australian Government’s Organ and Tissue Authority, the Walk is Canberra’s largest community event held each year during national DonateLife Week.




Gift of Life appreciates the enormous support from schools around Canberra.


We were heartened by the support of the Canberra Raiders and the Canberra Capitals.


More than 3000 Canberrans attended Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More than 3000 Canberrans attended Gift of Life’s annual DonateLife Walk this morning - the largest attendance in the event’s seven-year history.

Walkers from local schools, businesses and government departments, as well as Catherine King, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing and ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher participated in the event. Jon Seccull travelled on motorbike from Wallace, Victoria, in memory of his late three-year-old son, Ethan.

This year’s message - make your wish count, discover the facts, decide to become a donor, discuss with family and friends is vital to increasing organ and tissue donation rates.

Gift of Life President David O’Leary says he’s thrilled with the number of people that walked today.

“Even though it was raining, we had thousands of enthusiastic walkers ready to pound the pavement and we hope everyone will spread the message about organ and tissue donation, sign up to the Australian Organ Donor Register run by Medicare and, importantly, discuss their wish with their family and friends,” he says.

Organised by Gift of Life and sponsored by the Australian Government’s Organ and Tissue Authority, the Walk is Canberra's largest community event during national DonateLife Week, which runs until Sunday 3 March.

Still time to register for Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk 2013 is just two days away and there’s still time to register as a team or individual.

David O’Leary, President of Gift of Life says the response to this year’s walk has been outstanding.

“Canberrans have really got behind the walk, we’ve had plenty of colleges, businesses and government departments register,” he says.

“There’s been a big increase in the number of teams registering, one with around 400members, which means the message is spreading.It’s our goal to ensure as many people as possible discover, decide and discuss organ and tissue donation, and make their wish count. Signing on to the Organ Donor Register run by Medicare and having a family discussion regarding your wish to donate is vital”.

“Only 56 per cent of Australian families faced with the decision to agree to donation have given their consent and we want to see these figures improve significantly. Prior family discussion leads to much higher consent rates.”

One of the many workplace teams that has registered this year includes the ACT Territory and Municipal Services Directorate (TAMS).

TAMS Executive Director Kim Smith says their participation is part of a new workplace health and wellbeing program, which launched last year.

“Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk was brought to the table as a perfect activity for our staff to get involved with,” says Mr Smith.

“We put out a message to all our staff encouraging them to get involved in this great cause and as a result we have a team of 32 walkers, as well as their families and in some cases their dogs too, registered to support the event.”

Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk 2013 is on this Wednesday 27 February at Regatta Point from 6.45am. The Walk is sponsored by the Commonwealth Government’s Organ and Tissue Authority. Register at www.giftoflife.asn.au

Young donor’s father travels to Canberra for Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk

Friday, February 22, 2013

Ballarat father of four Jon Seccull will be riding his motorcycle to Canberra next week for Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk in memory of his three-year-old son Ethan.

Ethan was struck by a passenger train near the family’s home in Wallace, Victoria, on 3 October 2011. Jon and his wife Michelle made a bedside decision to turn Ethan’s life support off. Ethan passed away the following day.

Ethan became the first child to donate his organs after cardiac death.

Mr Seccull is one of two donor family representatives on the Organ and Tissue Authority’s Advisory Council and he and his wife Michelle dedicate their time to helping other families, health professionals and raising awareness within the community.

“Ethan’s favourite colour was yellow and we have purchased a bright yellow BMW motorcycle in his memory,” says Mr Seccull.

“We’ve had his two favourite sayings sign written on the bike—‘No Me Not’ and ‘Yeah Me Do’.”

Mr Seccull will be travelling solo from Ballarat to Canberra, visiting several towns along the way, to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation. His journey will finish at the walk, which this year encourages everyone to discover, decide, and discuss organ and tissue donation, and make your wish count.

The Seccull’s have dubbed the trip the first annual Jimmy’s Journey in honour of Ethan’s nickname Jimmy.

Gift of Life's DonateLife Walk on Wednesday 27 February is organised by Gift of Life and sponsored by the Organ and Tissue Authority. It's Canberra's largest community event during national DonateLife Week, which runs from 24 February to 3 March.

Register your involvement here.

Less than two weeks to register for Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk

Friday, February 15, 2013

Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk 2013 is less than two weeks away and organisers are expecting it to be the biggest walk the association has ever held in the nation’s capital.

Now in its seventh year, current registrations are already above last year’s figures for the event, which will be held at Regatta Point on Wednesday 27 February.

"Gift of Life's DonateLife Walk is one of Canberra's most popular community events with more than 2,000 participants involved every year," says Gift of Life president David O’Leary.

"The message this year is to discover, decide, and discuss organ and tissue donation, and make your wish count.

“The reason it’s so important is because in Australia, the family of every potential donor is always asked to confirm the donation wishes of their loved one before the organ and tissue donation canproceed,” he says.

“We're hoping to increase family consent rates so many more Australians’ lives can be saved.”

Walk participants will meet at Regatta Point from 6.45am for the event’s start at 7am. Belconnen Lions Club and former MasterChef finalist Alana Lowes will cook a free breakfast, and the first 1000 walkers will receive a showbag. FormerRaiders captain and now DonateLife champion Alan Tongue will take part, as well as members from the Canberra Cavalry and ACT Brumbies.

"Come on Canberra, join the cause and register to participate in the walk on 27 February. Get your workplace, friends or family involved and register as a team at www.giftoflife.asn.au" says Mr O’Leary.

Gift of Life's DonateLife Walk is organised by Gift of Life and sponsored by the Organ and Tissue Authority. It's Canberra's largest community event during national DonateLife Week, which runs from 24 February to 3 March.

Gift of Life Welcomes Progress in Donor Rates

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gift of Life Inc. celebrates the news released earlier today that in 2012 more Australians than ever before received a life-saving transplant.

Figures released by the Government and the Australian and New Zealand Organ Donation Registry (ANZOD) show that there was a 5% increase in donors above 2011 which resulted in a 4% increase in transplant recipients.  Each donor can save many lives. 

The highest number of kidney transplants ever from deceased donors and the highest number of liver transplants were achieved.  There was also a significant increase in corneal transplants in 2012 enabling many people’s eyesight to be improved.

Around Australia, NSW, Queensland, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT all achieved their best ever organ donation results.

Read more  . . .




Register for Organ Donation

Are you registered on the Australian Organ Donor Register?  Unless you’ve got one of these blue cards, you’re not registered.  Click here to register on line or call 1800 777 203.

Tax Deductible Gifts

Gift of Life Incorporated – a not for profit non-governmental organisation – based in the ACT engages in a range of activities each year in support of organ and tissue donation.

Gift of Life enjoys tax deductible gift status with the Australian Taxation Office for contributions received in excess of $2.00.

Those in the community wishing to contribute funds to support Gift of Life’s activities may do so either by sending a cheque addressed to Gift of Life Incorporated, PO Box 9511, Deakin, ACT 2600 or by direct transfer to Gift of Life Incorporated’s bank account with the NAB BSB 082-980 Account Number 495688467.

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Terry Connolly

Justice Terry Connolly died suddenly in the early morning of 25 September 2007 on Red Hill, having cycled to the top as part of his exercise routine.  He was a Supreme Court Judge since 2003, and Master since 1996.  Terry was the Member for Molonglo in 1990-1995 and served as the ACT Attorney-General and Minister in various portfolios, including Health.  He and his family have lived in Canberra for many years and he was a popular Canberran.

More importantly, Terry was a husband, father, son and, following his death, a tissue donor.

Terry’s wife, Dr Helen Watchirs, says that she and Terry had discussed their wishes in relation to organ donation.  This meant that at the dreadful time of death, she was clear on his wishes.  Terry’s donation to the improvement of other lives has given Helen and his daughters a sense of contribution, and has helped make up for a life cut short.

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