Date published: 
22 October 2021
Media type: 
Media release
General public

Community groups and organisations with innovative ways to encourage more people to sign up as an organ donor were launched today on Saffron Day, an event that honours seven-year-old organ donor Deyaan Udani.

Saffron Day, organised by Deyaan’s family and friends, received funding through the 2021 Community Awareness Grants program. Deyaan suffered a brain haemorrhage while on holiday with his family in India in 2016, his organs went on to save four others.

The national day, held on 22 October each year, aims to encourage multicultural communities to talk about donation with their family and register to be an organ and tissue donor.

“To know that Deyaan and his sister had learnt about organ donation at their school in Sydney and discussed it with their parents, before he tragically passed away, highlights the importance of having a family discussion,” Dr Gillespie said.

“Deyaan’s family knew he wanted to be an organ donor and his family were able to fulfill his wishes and save the lives of others. It would have been a very difficult decision for the family to make if they hadn’t already spoken about it.

“Saffron Day, like all of our community grant recipients, offer a unique opportunity to increase reach and engagement about organ and tissue donation with key target audience groups – both a national and more local level.”

Applications are now open for up to $750,000 for community-based initiatives in 2022 including up to three-years of funding for national events to encourage more Australians to say “yes” to organ donation.

Dr Gillespie said the 2022 criteria favoured organisations that can develop and implement either broad-reaching national events, media, public relations or digital activities, research/behavioural change projects or the development of education resources.

“It’s important we continue to build a broad and diverse network of organisations and community groups that can provide new and creative ways of raising awareness about organ and tissue donation across Australia,” Dr Gillespie said.

“We’re looking to target organisations that can engage key audience groups who have low representation on the Australian Organ Donor Register, including young people, First Nations Peoples and multicultural groups.”

Saffron Day is just one of many examples of grant recipients since the program’s inception in 2009.

Other recipients from 2021 include the development of First Nations Peoples videos, a Valentine’s Day campaign targeting young men, a national Gift of Life walk, the production of new education resources for Year 9 and 10 students and radio broadcasting into First Nations communities.

Minister Gillespie said it only takes one minute to register as an organ and tissue donor at or through myGov or the Medicare Express Plus app when downloading your COVID-19 vaccination certificate.

Applications for 2022 funding open today, Friday 22 October 2021 and close at 10:00am AEDT, Wednesday, 17 November 2021. Multi-year funding of up to three years is available for national events applications. Successful applicants will be announced in February 2022.

For more information about the 2022 Community Awareness Grants, including the assessment criteria and the application process, visit