Organ and tissue donation in Australia

Donating organs and tissue saves and transforms lives. Our donation rate has been rising, but we still need to do more. Read statistics about how many people donate and receive organs and tissues, and who governs organ and tissue donation in Australia.

The size of the problem

Australia’s donation rate doubled between 2009 and 2019. However, Australia’s donation and transplantation rates dropped in 2020 due to the emergence of COVID-19.

In 2020, there were 1,270 organ transplant recipients from 463 deceased organ donors.

  • Right now, more than 1,600 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant.
  • There are also 12,000 people on dialysis, many of whom would benefit from a kidney transplant

In 2020, there were 10,817 reported tissue transplant recipients from 3,018 tissue donors, including:

  • 2,728 living tissue donors
  • 290 deceased tissue donors.

There were 1,318 eye donors and 2,277 corneal transplants — more than twice as many as there were in 2009.

Since 2009, more than 23,500 Australians have received a corneal transplant.

Read more on what we’re doing about organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

Who governs organ and tissue donation in Australia

Our Department sets national organ and tissue donation and transplantation policy.

Our portfolio agency, the Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA), works to improve organ and tissue donation and transplantation outcomes in Australia on behalf of the Government.

To do this, they work with:

  • states and territories
  • clinicians
  • the community sector
  • the general public.

Services Australia hosts and manages the Australian Organ Donor Register — the national register where you can record your organ and tissue donation decision.

Last updated: 
20 April 2021

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