Date published: 
25 July 2021
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Australian Government is launching its 10th DonateLife Week today by calling on the country to take just one minute to join The Great Registration Race for DonateLife Week and register as organ and tissue donors.

Launching DonateLife Week today, the Minister responsible for the Australian Government’s national program to increase organ and tissue donation, Dr David Gillespie, said there are around 13 million Australians aged 16+ who are eligible to register as organ and tissue donors – but haven’t. People aged 25 and under, those born overseas, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are least likely to be registered.

“Having spent the majority of my career as a doctor, organ donation is a topic close to many clinicians’ hearts, including mine,” Minister Gillespie said.

“We know most Australians actually support organ and tissue donation, in fact, a recent poll of 60,000 Australians showed 4 out of 5 say they’d be willing to donate their organs when they die.

“So the problem isn’t that Australians are against organ and tissue donation – it’s that they’re not sure if they’re eligible to register, don’t know how to or simply haven’t got around to it.”

Last year saw a 12 per cent reduction in the number of people receiving a transplant, a 16 per cent decrease in organ donors and a 16 per cent drop in registrations due to the impact of COVID-19.

“With around 1,800 Australians on the organ transplant waitlist, including almost 40 kids and teens aged 18 and under, the demand for donors has never been greater,” Minister Gillespie said.

“I encourage every Australian to take a minute of their time and get online this DonateLife Week and register, and just as important - tell their family they want to be a donor.

“Any Australian aged 16 and over can sign up online. It doesn't matter how old you are, your medical history, your lifestyle, what country you’re from or how healthy you are – you can still register as an organ and tissue donor.

"Don’t rule yourself out even if you think you’ve lived an unhealthy life or have suffered illness; let doctors make that decision if the time comes.

“Even if you are unable to donate your organs, you could still transform the lives of others by donating tissue, such as bone, skin or corneas which could help someone suffering burns, significant sporting injuries or facing blindness.”

The Great Registration Race for DonateLife Week runs through July and August with a big push from today for DonateLife Week, encouraging up to 100,000 more Australians to get their phone and Medicare card out to register and get involved.

“Imagine the hope this can bring to these 1,800 Australians waiting for a life-saving transplant if they see 100,000 people register as donors? This really could save and transform lives.”

DonateLife Week is the Australian Government’s key public awareness initiative to encourage people to register as organ and tissue donors and to tell their family they want to be a donor.

Registering is easy and only takes one minute at