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President's Report - 2013

During the past year, Gift of Life has continued to pursue its main priorities:

policy advocacy as well as promotion of greater community awareness and

education though events and activities aimed at increasing organ and tissue

donation.


On the advocacy front, we have raised a number of issues with the

Government such as our annual walk, “soft” First Person Consent, assistance

for living donation, extended criteria for transplantation and growth in hospital

funding for organ transplantation to provide greater resources as donation

levels increase.


This year my membership of the Organ and Tissue Advisory Council has

offered additional opportunities for input and influence. We also participated

in the OTA Communications Charter signatories meeting and the DonateLife

ACT community and consumer advisory committee. We also attended the

very successful international organ donation congress in Sydney recently.


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

in February this year during DonateLife Week attracted high profile

representation for the launch and around 3,100 participants – a record over

the seven years we have organised the event. Our next Walk will be held on

Wednesday 26 February 2014. The Chief Minister’s Awards for ACT citizens

who have made a major contribution to community awareness, arranged in

association with Gift of Life, involved around 70 guests recently up at the

National Arboretum. This year we separated the Awards from DonateLife

Week which was a considerable improvement. Both the walk and the Awards

attracted wide and positive media coverage. We also took part in university

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

and for the first time addressed third year medical students at the ANU in a

joint presentation with a doctor representing DonateLife ACT.


We have continued to promote our links to the ACT business community and

aim to move further in this regard. We have established closer links with the

media. We are also currently exploring with the ACT Government and staff at

the Arboretum our proposal for a reflective sculpture in Canberra to promote

organ and tissue donation.


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

levels and continuing to grow significantly, there is a ongoing need to lift the

rate of donation. We need to make people’s wish count through family

discussion and signing onto the national register, so consent rates continue to

increase. Significant progress is being achieved already through the

Government’s reform program, but it is still early days in this process. Much

more remains to be done.

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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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