Monday, July 11, 2011
The Australian & New Zealand Organ Donation Registry has released organ donation and transplantation data for the first half of the year.

We continue to see steady improvement with 168 generous families agreeing to donate their loved one's organs, resulting in 495 people receiving life saving surgery.  The ACT has had four multi organ donors to date while NSW has had 36 donors.

The report to 30 June 2011 is available here.

New Advertising Campaign

Monday, June 06, 2011

The new DonateLife campaign commenced on 5 June with the them of To donate life, ask them today.  OK?

The advertisement that has been running on television stations throughout the country can be viewed at the DonateLife website.

The Parliamentary Secretary's speech at the launch of the new campaign is available here.

Transplant Society to meet in Canberra

Sunday, May 08, 2011
The Transplant Society of Australia and New Zealand will meet in Canberra between 28 June and 1 July 2011.  

A fun run (5km) will be held on Thursday, 30 June 2011, starting at 7 am from University House, for the delegates at the Conference.  It would be marvellous if as many of our community as possible could support the members of the Society who work hard to improve the lives of Australians.

It will be cold, but wear your Gift of Life or DonateLife shirt - a great awareness raising opportunity.  Here's the map giving directions of the route.

Further details available from David O'Leary.

Organ Donation to 30 April 2011

Saturday, May 07, 2011
The Australian & New Zealand Organ Donor Registry has recently published organ donation and transplant data to 30 April.  The trend is again pleasing, with a steady increase in donors.  For the first four months of 2011, Australia has had 112 multi organ donors and is well on track to finish the calendar year with 336 multi organ donors.  The average organs retrieved per donor was just under three, and 327 patients have had life saving transplantation surgery as a result of the generous decision of the 112 families of the organ donors.

Chief Minister's Awards

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The Chief Minister and Patron of Gift of Life, Jon Stanhope, has recognised six Canberrans for their outstanding contribution to organ and tissue donation awareness.  The ceremony, organised by Gift of Life with the support of DonateLife and ACT Health, was the last major activity during DonateLife week.

The recipients are:

  • Ms Gai Brodtmann, MP, who received the Annette Taylor Award for Community Service
  • Ms Genevieve Jacobs was awarded the Angus Fairbairn-Cody Award for Media Support
  • Mr Steve Williams was awarded the Matthew Reynolds Award for Community Service
  • Ms Karen Oliver received the Ben Wiseman Award for Health Care
  • The Belconnen Chapter of the Canberra Lions Club received the Jenny Deck Award for Community Support
  • Ms Anne Cahill Lambert was the recipient of a special award for outstanding contribution.

More details are available in the citations, the press release and the speech by the President, Mr David O'Leary.

l-r:  Judy Farr, Anne Cahill Lambert, AM, Gai Brodtmann, MP, Genevieve Jacobs, Karen Oliver & Steve Williams (photo

Organ donation to 31 March 2011

Monday, April 04, 2011
Australians are continuing to heed the It's OK message with record numbers of organ donors in the first quarter of 2011.  As at 31 March 2011, 85 families have generously agreed to donate their loved one's organs which has resulted in 254 transplants.  Families in Victoria are leading the way, with 32 multi organ donors coming from that State.  More details are available in the report released by the Australia & New Zealand Organ Donor Registry.

DonateLife Walk - it was a GREAT day to discuss organ donation

Thursday, February 24, 2011
It was a glorious morning for more than 1,800 Australians to participate in the DonateLife walk on Wednesday, 23 Feb 2011.  Gift of Life again organised the walk with the support of the Australian Organ & Tissue Donation & Transplant Authority.

Building on the success of previous years, the DonateWalk gave participants to embrace the national message for DonateLife week:  Any day is a good day to discuss organ donation.
Read more: 

l-r  Students from St Clare's College assist The Hon. Kevin Rudd, MP, The Hon. Catherine King, MP, Ms Katy Gallagher, MLA, Mr Stephen Jones MP and Mr David O'Leary to launch the DonateLife Walk. (photo

A Record Year

Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The families of the 309 organ donors in Australia in 2010 deserve our thanks.  It was a record year for organ donation and these donations saved or improved the lives of 931 Australians.  The Australian Capital Territory also had a record year with ten multi organ donors, which equates with 28 donors per million population - the highest in Australia.  

A full report is available here.

The Hon Catherine King, MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Health & Ageing has paid tribute to Australia's organ donors today and her press release is here.  Gift of Life's press release is available here.  The press release from Ms Katy Gallagher, MLA, ACT Health Minister, is available here.

DonateLife Book of Life

Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The Organ & Tissue Authority has established a DontateLife Book of Life. Organisations or individuals have lodged stories with the Authority and the final version of the DonateLife Book of Life was launched by the Governor-General during DonateLife week in February 2011.

The book will be updated and if you are interested in nominating someone to appear in the book, the template should be completed and submitted via Gift of Life or via the DonateLife ACT agency or directly to the Authority.     

l-r The Governor General, The Hon. Catherine King, MP and Ms Robyn Gough (photo:

Our Region Leads

Wednesday, December 08, 2010
The data released by the Australian & New Zealand Organ Donation Registry for the period 1 January to 30 November 2010 demonstrate that the community of the Australian Capital Territory and surrounding districts is one that cares.  The data show that this is our best ever year with ten multi organ donors to date.  Our previous high for a whole year was nine multi organ donors.

November 2010 was also another record month for Australia with 31 multi organ donors bringing the annual total to 289.  There were 247 multi organ donors in 2009 and 259 donors in 2008.

The ten donations from the ACT led to a saving or improvement of life for 32 Australians.  We continue to be grateful to the ten families who had discussed their organ donation intentions with their loved ones and who were able to make such a selfless decision at the time of their loved one's death.

The other big improvements in organ donation rates have been seen in New South Wales and Tasmania.  NSW has already had 80 multi organ donors (compared with 69 for the whole of 2009 and 57 for 2008) resulting in 244 transplants.  Tasmania, like the ACT, has had 10 multi organ donors resulting in 27 transplants.  Victoria's numbers are well up also, with 80 generous multi organ donors resulting in 270 life saving transplants.  We need our biggest jurisdictions working as well as they possibly can if we are to sustain a steady improvement in donor numbers.

For the ACT, the important statistic is that we now have over 19 donors per million population, a pleasing result indeed.

All of this improvement could not be achieved without the commitment of donor families and the leadership of the jurisdictional medical directors.  We single out Dr Imogen Mitchell (ACT), Dr Jonathan Gillis (NSW), Dr Helen Opdam (Victoria) and Dr Andrew Turner (Tasmania).  Of course the leadership shown by the Transplant Authority generally and the National Medical Director, Dr Gerry O'Callaghan, in particular has been an important part of the improvement in outcomes.

Thank you to everyone involved in this considerable success.

Register for Organ Donation

Are you registered on the Australian Organ Donor Register?   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.


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.