Opening of the Robyn Hookes Shield cricket game for organ and tissue donation

The Federal Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, MP opened the Robyn Hookes Shield cricket game for organ and tissue donation in Bendigo, Victoria on 19 February 2017.

Page last updated: 20 February 2017

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19 February 2017

The Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, MP, at the opening of the Robyn Hookes Shield cricket game for organ and tissue donation in Bendigo, Victoria, on Sunday 19 February

Since taking over responsibility in this area I have met incredible families – families who have been touched by a donation. Their lives have been transformed from waiting near a telephone.

I remember meeting a gentleman in Sydney who said that he and his wife had waited for two years and each day they could not go out of range of a mobile phone because, she said to me: “I did not want to miss that vital call.”

I knew Jimmy Little and Jimmy was in Albany at an event I was at and he got a call and he just said: “I have got to go.” And I knew he was being given an incredible opportunity and I hear of families’ experiences and the challenges that it presents.

This year we have had a record number of 1713 people who have been recipients of 503 donors, but on top of that 9000 Australians have received eye or tissue donations and that has made an incredible difference to their families but also the community.

We forget that a community is equally affected, particularly in country towns where you know each other. I grew up in a country town and I know how an event really has an impact on a town.

And when somebody waits for so long and then is given that absolute hope and talking to some of you who are recipients and hearing your journey.

I want to acknowledge David Hookes as well. I remember very vividly the event when I heard in the media and the public reaction and the fact is that he saved 10 others, giving their families an opportunity to be with them and experience life.

I congratulate all of the organisers. I think this concept is a brilliant one. I did say at the beginning that this would be a test in seeing how fit we are on the field. For some of us realising that our bodies are older and we will feel the pressure afterwards.

Thank you all very much and certainly as a member of the Federal Government I really appreciate every aspect of what you do and how you contribute as individuals.

I want acknowledge all of the families that have donated to making life with somebody richer and given them the hope and aspiration that they have always had until something has gone wrong.

So let the game begin.

ENDS

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