For the sixth time, Gift of Life organised the annual DonateLife Walk in Canberra on 22 February 2012 as one of the key events held around Australia during national DonateLife Week. The event was sponsored by the Government’s Organ and Tissue Authority.
Alana Lowes, a finalist in Masterchef, lodges her intention to be an organ and tissue donor with a volunteer from the Australian Organ Donor Registry.
The aim was to highlight the importance of people signing the Australian Organ Donor Register and of having a family discussion to know their loved ones’ wishes in order to increase donation consent rates in future.
There was a very large turnout this year with around 2,400 Canberrans taking part, including many more young people. The event attracted strong media coverage. It was a wonderful morning, a colourful occasion with many balloons, bright T-shirts and hats worn and photographic images of key personalities involved in transplant activities in the ACT and Sydney hospital teams reflecting the nature of the occasion.
And they're off!
Most participants took the regular route from Regatta Point around the lake across Kings and Commonwealth Avenue bridges and back. Others took the new alternative shorter walk around Commonwealth Park which was less demanding and better for those needing to get to work early.
Key participants included The Hon. Catherine King, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Ms Katy Gallagher ACT Chief Minister, Senator Gary Humphries representing the Federal Opposition Leader, Ms Gai Brodtmann Member for Canberra, Mr Zed Seselja ACT Opposition Leader, Mr Jeremy Hanson ACT Shadow Health Minister, Ms Jane Halton head of the Department of Health and Ageing, Ms Yael Cass CEO of the Organ and Tissue Authority, Dr Peggy Brown head of ACT Health as well as a number of sporting personalities including members of the TransACT Capitals, Olympic athletes and the official AIS starter, Masterchef finalist Alana Lowes at the BBQ, local business and community leaders, staff from government departments and agencies as well as large numbers of school and university students.
l-r Ms Yael Cass, The Hon. Catherine King, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, Ms Gai Brodtmann, Ms Jane Halton & Mr David O'Leary
Gift of Life President David O’Leary thanked all those who turned out to show their support for organ and tissue donation: “Events like the DonateLife Walk provide an important opportunity for people to have a conversation with their loved ones and to know their wishes so they are prepared to give their consent to donation should the situation ever arise. So we were pleased to see so many people take part in the Walk this year held during national DonateLife Week.”
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