This week is DonateLife Week, Australia's national awareness week to promote organ and tissue donation. This morning I participated in Canberra's eighth annual DonateLife Week walk around the shores of beautiful Lake Burley Griffin. The walk always draws a large crowd and today was no different. Canberrans were out in force this morning, and there was a particularly strong school-student contingent. Labor was well represented at the walk. I was joined by colleagues and fellow organ and tissue donation advocates including the members for Ballarat, Isaacs and Kingston, Senator Kate Lundy, ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and many dedicated ACT ALP members and MLAs.
Organ and tissue donation saves lives. One donor can transform the lives of up to 10 people. There is a great need for organ and tissue donation in Australia with around 1,500 Australians waiting for a lifesaving transplant at any one time. The majority of Australians are willing to become organ and tissue donors. However, family consent is required for donation to take place. So it is not enough to be willing; you must talk to your family and ensure they are aware of your intentions.
Currently only 53 per cent of Australians say they know of their loved ones' intentions when it comes to organ and tissue donation—this is not enough. Every Australian family needs to ask and know their loved ones' donation decisions. So this week, have a conversation about donation with your loved ones and register your donation decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register. And thank you members for wearing the teal ribbons for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Week.