What we’re doing about organ and tissue donation

The Australian Government is committed to increasing Australia’s organ and tissue transplantation rates. We are looking at ways to improve the organ donation, retrieval and transplantation system to help save and improve the lives of more Australians.


Organ donation, retrieval and transplantation policy

In 2018, the Government agreed to an independent review of Australia’s organ donation, retrieval and transplantation system. The review is considering current systems, practices and processes across the sector.

The first phase of the review looked at pre and post-transplantation services and identified barriers to equity of access to transplant waiting lists and transplantation services.

Read the Ernst & Young Review of the organ donation, retrieval and transplantation system final report and All Government’s statement.

Ernst & Young also completed a review in 2015. Read the:

  • final report on the review of the implementation of the national reform agenda on organ and tissue donation and transplantation
  • Government response to the report.

The second phase will develop a National Strategy through consideration of the final report’s recommendations and stakeholder consultation.

Eye and tissue policy

PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted an analysis on the Australian tissue sector in 2016. Read the:

The National Eye and Tissue Sector Framework forms the response of all Australian governments to the Analysis of the Australian Tissue Sector.

The framework provides the future directions for the Australian eye and tissue sector. It sets the national objectives to achieve the vision that all Australians have safe, equitable and ethical access to life‑altering and/or life‑saving tissue transplantation, through a strong and effective Australian eye and tissue donation for transplantation sector.

Transition Action Plan

The Transition Action Plan (TAP) builds on work to date on both the organ and eye and tissue sector reviews by identifying actions agreed by all governments.

Stakeholder consultations

All Australian Governments are committed to consulting internal and external stakeholders at all stages of the organ and eye and tissue sectors review process.


Human tissue acts govern organ and tissue donation in each Australian state and territory:

Regulation and compliance

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guides ethical standards for donation and clinical practice.

Read the NHMRC guidelines for health professionals and donors.

Initiatives and programs

We support living donors and people who need transplants through the:

Who we work with

Our portfolio agency, the Australian Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA), leads the national program to increase and raise awareness of organ and tissue donation.

We work with them to respond to reviews of organ and tissue donation in Australia. We develop actions that the Government will take to help meet the need for donated organs and tissue.

We also work with state and territory governments to ensure Australia has the best systems in place to support organ donation and to get the best transplantation results.


  • gives evidence-based, authoritative health advice
  • sets guidelines and ethical standards
  • funds organ and tissue donation and transplantation research projects through its research grants programs.


For more information contact us at organandtissue@health.gov.au.

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