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President's Report - 2012

During 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 though events and activities aimed at increasing organ and

tissue donation.


On the advocacy front, we have met with Parliamentary Secretary for Health

Catherine King, ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, CEO of the Organ and

Tissue Authority Yael Cass as well as Authority staff and made submissions

on various issues such as the replacement of the NSW RTA driving licence

system with the national Organ and Tissue Donor Register run by Medicare.

We are delighted to learn that this important change was recently introduced

by the NSW Government.


We took part in the annual DonateLife Forum involving agencies throughout

Australia and DonateLife Communications Charter signatories meetings.

Recently, I was appointed by the Government to become a member of the

Organ and Tissue Authority Advisory Council. This is the first time that

representatives of leading community organisations such of Gift of Life have

been given the opportunity to contribute to the policy process in this way.


We also participated in meetings of DonateLife ACT advisory committees.

We have organised a range of events and activities. GoLi’s DonateLife Walk

last February attracted high profile representation and around 2,400

participants – a record over the six years we have organised the event. 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

presented awards to a range of senior school colleges in recognition of their

active and strong participation at the Walk. We also took part in university

orientation week at the ANU and Market Day at the University of Canberra.


We have begun to take an interest in areas such as contact with indigenous

and priority cultural/religious groups with a view to encouraging them to

become more involved in organ and tissue donation. We have established

links to the ACT business community. We have established closer links with

the media. We are also currently exploring with the ACT Government our

proposal for a commemorative sculpture in Canberra to promote organ and

tissue donation and to recognize the generous role of donor families.


While organ and tissue donation rates around Australia are now at record

levels and continuing to grow significantly, there is a need to increase the rate

of organ and tissue donation. We need to make people’s wish count through

family discussion and signing onto the national register, so consent rates rise

significantly. Good progress is being made through the Government’s reform

program, but much more remains to be done.