Encouraging students to help save lives by joining the Australian Organ Donor Register

The Federal Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, MP spoke at the University of Western Australia, encouraging students to help save lives by joining the Australian Organ Donor Register.

Page last updated: 21 February 2017

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20 February 2017

Can I thank you very much. It’s an idea that arose out of a meeting with your School of Medicine where I talked about the shortage of donors within Australia and indicated that in the young cohort our numbers were less than what we expected.

Now in Australia in the last year we had 1713 people be recipients of organ tissue and another 9000 people who were recipients of skin and other tissues, including eyes, from 503 donors.

Yet we still have in excess of 15,000 Australians waiting for different organs because of their life circumstances that have led them to have a failing in their health.

And that has an impact on their social life, their family and within their community. And what we’re looking at is a long-term partnership with the University of Western Australia in which we encourage young people to think about becoming organ donors.

The greatest gift we can give someone is an opportunity at another go at life. And yesterday when I was in Bendigo playing cricket with the Donate Life team, one of the comments that came home to me very strongly was the way in which their life had been given a second innings for which they could live their life, share time with their family and contribute back to their community. And their organs came from a young male who was killed in a car accident and he’d made his wishes known to his family that he wanted to donate his organs and tissue.

We have an incredible opportunity to give someone a second innings and I congratulate the University of Western Australia as the first university to formally adopt an approach of encouraging young people to sign up and become organ donors.

What’s always fascinated me in my time in politics has been the strong sense of social justice that I’ve seen from young Australians on many issues. And on this one, I welcome those who make the decision to become a donor, to make a difference, to give a gift of life to give somebody a second innings.

For this I commend the university on what it’s committed to and I hope that you challenge other universities across this nation to match the efforts that the University of Western Australia.

So thank you very much.

ENDS.

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