Gift of Life Awards 2014 Presented by ACT Chief Minister

19-Nov-2014 ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher will today recognise 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.

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.