Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, and the Member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann, this morning praised walkers in Canberra’s DonateLife Walk for their commitment to the cause of organ and tissue donation.
It is the sixth DonateLife Walk organised by the organisation Gift of Life and follows a course from Regatta Point in Commonwealth Park near Lake Burley Griffin, around the lower eastern basin and over Kings and Commonwealth bridges.
“Last year Australia achieved its highest organ donation rate of 337 deceased solid donors and its highest transplant recipient outcome of 1,001 transplant recipients since national records began,” Ms King said.
"But there is much more to be done to sustain and build on those trends.
“That is why events like this in DonateLife Week are so important. All these participants are playing their part in urging all Australians to have a conversation with their loved ones, a conversation which could one day save a life," Ms King said.
Before last year the walk was known as the Terry Connolly Organised Walk in memory of the former Supreme Court Judge and ACT politician who died suddenly during an early morning bike ride and, following his death, became a tissue donor.
His wife Dr Helen Watchirs and a daughter attended today’s event.
Ms Brodtmann said she was impressed that each year the Canberra DonateLife Walk is attended by a wide range of participants from across the ACT.
“There are always political and community personalities, staff from Government departments and agencies, businesses and other organisations, sporting personalities and large numbers from schools and universities and the wider public.
“This has become a great tradition of DonateLife Week and the people of Canberra have embraced it as a mark of recognition of the wonderful gift of life that comes through organ and tissue donation and transplantation,” Ms Brodtmann said.
“I thank all who are involved every year and encourage everyone to continue every effort to elevate the understanding of the importance of organ and tissue donation.”
Registering your decision can be done simply by visiting your local Medicare office, visitingwww.donatelife.gov.au or by phoning the Australian Organ Donor Registry on 1800 777 203.