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President's Report - 2011

Over the past year, Gift of Life has been busy pursuing its main

priorities: policy advocacy as well as the promotion of greater

community awareness and education aimed at boosting organ and

tissue donation.


On the advocacy front, we have met with Parliamentary Secretary

for Health Catherine King, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, CEO of

the Organ and Tissue Authority Yael Cass as well as Authority

staff and have been involved in regular meetings of DonateLife

ACT advisory groups. We have pursued assistance with events

and activities we organize as well as issues such as the NSW RTA

driving licence now under review, live donation, better retrieval

processes, assistance with extra logistic costs for those in rural

areas and improved and consistent national procedures for organ

allocation.


We made presentations at the annual DonateLife network forum,

DonateLife Communications Charter signatories meetings and

made a major contribution towards the preparation of the recently

released DonateLife national community speaker’s guide which

has been warmly received by DonateLife network agencies around

Australia as a helpful tool in getting key messages across.


Our main events and activities during the year have once again

been the re-named DonateLife Walk last February which attracted

high profile representation and over 1800 participants. The Chief

Minister’s Awards for ACT citizens who have made a major

contribution to community awareness involved over 100 guests.

Both events attracted wide and positive media coverage during

national DonateLife Week. We have also presented awards to a

range of senior school colleges in recognition of their active and

strong participation at the Walk. We took part in university

orientation week and we were also involved with various other fun

runs/ walks.


By year’s end we have begun to move into new areas such as

making contact with indigenous and priority cultural/religous

groups with a view to encouraging them to take a greater interest

and involvement in organ and tissue donation. We are extending

our links to the ACT business community and we plan to improve

our media links. We are also beginning to explore means of giving

more recognition to and appreciation of the role of donors and their

families in the transplant process.


All of this represents a significant agenda to be continued and

sustained during the coming year.


While organ and tissue donation rates around Australia are now at

record levels and continuing to grow significantly, we need to

sustain or boost the rate of increase in organ and tissue donation.


The need to ask and know your loved ones’ donation wishes and

to sign on to the national register remains paramount, so consent

rates will rise significantly. Good progress is now being made, but

much more remains to be done.


David O’Leary

President

Gift of Life Incorporated

28 November 2011

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Gift of Life Incorporated is a not-for-profit association based in Canberra which aims to promote greater community awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation and transplantation in the ACT and surrounding region as well as nationally in order to save many more Australian lives.

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