Our History and Photo Gallery
Our Annual Walk
We've been walking for more than a decade, raising awareness for organ donor registration along the way.
Gift of Life's ORGANised Annual Walk was held for the first time in 2007 to raise awareness in organ and tissue donation.
In 2009 and 2010 the Walk was renamed in honour of Justice Terry Connolly who 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 had been a Supreme Court Judge since 2003. Terry was a husband, father, son and, following his death, a tissue donor. See Justice Terry Connolly's story here.
The Walk has continued every year building in numbers and support. In 2011, with the blessing of Justice Connolly's family, the Walk became known as the Gift of Life DonateLife Annual Walk to acknowledge the partnership with the Australian Organ and Tissue Authority's DonateLife program. The Walk has become a a staple on the ACT community events calendar attracting thousands of participants each year.
Over the many years the Walk has demonstrated our commitment to encourage residents in the ACT and region to Discover the facts about organ donation, Decide what they want to do, Discuss it with their family and then Register to become an organ donor.
2021 Gift of Life's DonateLife Walk -Virtual
Our Walk happened a little differently this time...
In 2021, our 15th Walk and unable to Walk in a large group due to COVID-19 went virtual, We encouraged everyone in the ACT region and across Australia to take the next step during the the week 22-28 February to organise their own walk up to 5 km anywhere, anytime as an individual, with family, friends or colleagues, Our branded merchandise was worn to great effect.
Our aim was to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation, to register on the national organ donor register and to have the conversation with your family. We know that letting your family know your wishes can make a massive difference at a very difficult time.
On behalf of the Gift of Life Inc. Board, I would like to thank over 3000 people from the ACT region, Australia and overseas who signed up. The support for the Walk was incredible and I met some amazing people and heard many stories.
In particular, I thank Lucinda Barry and the team at the Organ and Tissue Authority, Federal Minister Mark Coulton and ACT Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith for their funding support, their time and for sharing their stories.
We received tremendous support from the Co-Chairs of the Parliamentary Friends of Organ and Tissue Donation Dr Anne Webster and Dr Mike Freelander, The Hon Mark Butler MP gave his support as did a number of other MPs and Senators. ACT Ministers giving support include Tara Cheyne and Emma Davidson.
The DonateLife, DonateLifeACT and Canberra Health Services teams provided additional support for all our activities during the week.
Highlights of our 2021 Walk
National Launch at Australian Parliament House on 17 February 2021
The Hon Mark Coulton MP, Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, the Hon Hon Mark Butler MP, Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing spoke at National Launch of the Annual Walk 2021 - virtual. The event was hosted by the Co Chairs of the Parliamentary Friends of Organ and Tissue donation, Dr Anne Webster and Dr Mike Freelander. It was great to see a number of members of Parliament who are also Parliamentary Friends and Lucinda Barry, CEO of the Organ and Tissue Authority and her team.
ACT Launch in Civic Square 22 February 2021
Rachel Stephen-Smith, ACT Minister for Health and Lucinda Barry, CEO of the Organ and Tissue Authority officially launched our COVID safe annual walk this morning 22 February in Civic Square ACT. Special thanks to Greg Bayliss for MCing again this year. We thank everyone who was able to join us.
The Governor-General, Mrs Hurley and the GG team
Everybody was doing the virtual Gift of Life's DonateLife Walk 2021.
Including Governor-General of Australia His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Mrs Hurley and the GG team.
Some of our Walkers in the ACT and across Australia
In the Media
Special thanks to our Media Partner, the Riot ACT and Region Media for launching our social media campaign and their coverage of the Walk.
Television and Radio
2CC Breakfast with Stephen Cenatiempo
We're grateful to our sponsors and supporters for their support
The conversation needs to continue
Walkers are encouraged to upload their photos and videos and show their support through social media sharing. Social image frames are available to help build awareness of the Walk and the cause – organ and tissue donation.