Registrations open for Gift of Life’s 10th anniversary DonateLife Walk 2016

More than 5,000 Canberrans are expected to participate in the 10th anniversary of Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk on Wednesday 24 February and to help highlight the life-changing importance of organ and tissue donation.

The walk is conducted around Lake Burley Griffin and attracts thousands of Canberrans each year who put on their walking gear to demonstrate their support for organ and tissue donation.

Among the thousands are local and national political leaders who continue to support the walk. ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr is urging all Canberrans to participate and to help spread the word about organ and tissue donation.

“The ACT is leading the charge with raising awareness for organ and tissue donation,” he says. “Talking about organ and tissue donation with family and friends and registering your decision can save lives. Through it’s awareness raising, the Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk is helping to improve and enhance the lives of many,” he said.

President of Gift of Life David O’Leary says the public response to the walk each year has been outstanding and continues to grow.

“Each year we see a huge turnout of Canberran’s and in this, our 10th anniversary year, we’re expecting our numbers to increase even further,” he says. “We want to shine a light on the importance of this initiative and we want everyone to talk to their family and friends about their donation decision.

“Canberra almost achieved a 100 per cent success rate in organ and tissue donation in 2015 which is a testament to our strong community support, however more lives can be saved.

“We are encouraging every family to ‘have the chat’ that saves lives and to ask and know their loved one’s donation decision,” he said.

Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk is Canberra’s largest community activity in support of organ and tissue donation. The walk is sponsored by the Organ and Tissue Authority, which leads the Australian Government’s national reform program to implement a world best practice approach to organ and tissue donation for transplantation.

“It’s important to register your donation decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register administered by the Department of Human Services and Medicare, and to encourage your loved ones to register their donation decision,” said Mr O’Leary.

Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk 2016 is a free event on Wednesday 24 February starting from Regatta Point at Lake Burley Griffin at 6.45am for a 7.00am sharp start. Visit giftoflife.asn.au now to register for the walk.

For more background on organ and tissue donation in Australia and on how to register as a donor visit donatelife.gov.au

For more information, images or interviews please contact Hannah Walker at Morris Walker p: 6162 0021 mob: 0402 378 269 e: hwalker@morriswalker.com.au

REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN FOR GIFT OF LIFE DONATE LIFE WALK 2015

Canberrans are urged to walk for an important cause on Wednesday 25 February at the annual Gift of Life DonateLife Walk, now in its ninth year.

Thousands of Canberrans are once again expected to show their support for organ and tissue donation by pulling on their walking shoes for a lap around Lake Burley Griffin to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation. 

President of Gift of Life David O’Leary says the public response to the walk each year has been outstanding and continues to grow.

“Each year we see a huge turnout of Canberrans who show exceptional support for the walk. Last year we saw just over 4,000 people participate and we’re hoping to top that in 2015,” he said.

Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk is Canberra’s largest community activity in support of the national DonateLife campaign which promotes organ and tissue donation.

The Organ and Tissue Authority is sponsoring the Walk through its Community Awareness Grants Program.

Ms Yael Cass, CEO of the Organ and Tissue Authority said, “I encourage all Canberrans to show their support for organ and tissue donation by participating in the Walk. It’s a great opportunity to chat with your family and friends about your donation wishes.”

“We are encouraging every family to ‘have the chat’ that saves lives and to ask and know their loved ones’ donation decision,” Mr O’Leary said.

“The walk is a great reminder to register your donation decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register administered by the Department of Human Services and Medicare, and to encourage your loved ones to do the same.”

It is important because organ and tissue donation saves lives. Each donor can transform the lives of up to 10 or more people.

“In Australia more than 60 per cent of families give consent for organ and tissue donation to proceed. We would like to see these figures improve. Families that have had a prior family discussion find it much easier to agree to a loved one becoming a donor.We are seeking the support of Canberrans to raise community awareness and boost the opportunity to save the lives of fellow Australians,” Mr O’Leary said.

Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk 2015 will be held on Wednesday 25 February starting from Regatta Point at Lake Burley Griffin with a 7am sharp start. 

There is no fee for participation and the event will conclude with a free healthy breakfast prepared by the Lions Club Belconnen.

For more information on organ and tissue donation in Australia and to register as a donor visit www.donatelife.gov.au


ACT CHIEF MINISTER'S AWARDS  FOR ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATION AWARENESS WINNERS ANNOUNCED 

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has recognised a special group of individuals for their outstanding contributions in raising organ and tissue donation awareness, in a ceremony at the Legislative Assembly in Canberra.   

Organised by Gift of Life, a leading community association promoting organ donation awareness in the ACT region and nationally, the awards acknowledge the exceptional role played by people from the community, health and government sectors in promoting organ and tissue donation during the past year. 

Gift of Life congratulates this year’s recipients. 

The Special Award for National Leadership – Professor John Horvath AO – for his pivotal role in developing Australia’s national program to improve performance in organ and tissue donation and transplantation.   

The Ben Wiseman Award for ACT Government Support – ACT Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker – for her role in introducing an innovative streamlined process for eye tissue donation in relation to deaths referred to the Coroner, and for her ongoing consideration of a streamlined process of donation of organs relating to deaths in criminal cases. 

The Terry Connolly Award for Health Care Leadership – Professor Imogen Mitchell – for her role, as the inaugural Medical Director of DonateLife ACT, in establishing arrangements and structures at the Canberra Hospital and in educating medical staff, that have greatly facilitated ACT organ and tissue donation. 

The Annette Taylor Award for Community Service – David Parker AM – for his role in developing, and advocating to the ACT and federal governments, strategic policy changes in the area of organ donation and transplantation. 

The Angus Fairbairn-Cody Award for Support from the Public Service – COMCARE – for the commitment of the organisation and their staff in promoting organ and tissue donation, including through regular involvement in Gift of Life’s annual DonateLife Walk.    

The Jenny Deck Award for Support from Schools ­– Merici College – for their large, enthusiastic and continuing involvement at Gift of Life’s DonateLife Walk.  

Gift of Life President David O’Leary thanked the recipients of awards for their dedication in various ways in increasing organ donation and transplantation or in raising awareness for organ and tissue donation. 

“Community advocates such as those we’re recognising today play an important role in encouraging discussions amongst families and friends leading to decisions about organ and tissue donation. By increasing donor family consent and getting people to register with Medicare as prospective donors, many more Australian lives can now be saved,” he said.    

“The ACT has a good donation rate by Australian standards, but much more needs to be done to raise awareness amongst the community that their decision to be a donor can save the lives of up to 10 people,” Mr O’Leary said.