Organ and Tissue Donation 2012
Just in response to my colleague the member for Fraser, the south side rules; the south side rocks! Maybe I should go and speak to the Governor-General and the Prime Minister about what they think about living on the south side. Anyway, I am not here to talk about that, much as I love the south side.
Organ donation is on our minds this month as we gear up for DonateLife Week in a fortnight. The theme for the week is 'Ask and know your loved one's donation wishes'. 2011 was a landmark year in consolidating infrastructure to support improvements in organ donation. As members will know, Australia is a leader in transplant surgery, with absolutely stunning outcomes, yet our donation rates are comparatively low. However, after a Labor injection of $151 million and associated resources into the sector, we are now seeing improvements.
Last year we had more organ donations than ever before, which translated to over 1,000 transplants. That is thanks to 337 families who agreed to donate their loved ones' organs, and I pay tribute to them. The ACT continued to lead the way, with 21.9 donors per million population. That is because our community regards discussion about organ donation as an integral part of life in the capital. We have also started this year well with a multiorgan donor in January 2012, and we have Gift of Life working with DonateLife to improve organ donation awareness.
We have the DonateLife Walk coming up on 22 February, which coincides with DonateLife Week.