Nursing staff at Toowoomba Hospital support DonateLife Week and AODR registrations (Photo: DDH)

July 27, 2022

The Australian Organ Donor Register (AODR) is keen to mark this year’s DonateLife Week by getting another 100,000 Australians to sign up as organ and tissue donors.

DonateLife Week runs from Sunday, July 24 until Sunday, July 31 and it caps off a record-breaking year, with around 350,000 Australians joining the AODR to register as organ donors.

In the Darling Downs area, the top five regions with the highest number of people signed up are:

  • Goondiwindi (31%)
  • Toowoomba (28%)
  • Southern Downs (27%)
  • South Burnett (24%)
  • Western Downs (23%)

Right now, about 30 per cent of Queenslanders are registered to be organ and tissue donors, but this is below the national average of 36 per cent.

According to ICU nurse Elizabeth Hill, the problem isn’t that Australians are against organ and tissue donation – it’s that they don’t know how to, don’t think they’re healthy enough or simply haven’t got around to it yet.

But with about 1750 seriously ill people on Australia’s organ transplant waiting list and another 13,000 people on dialysis who may benefit from a kidney transplant, she said the need to consider organ donation has never been greater.

“Any Australian aged 16 and over can sign up online,” Ms Hill said.

“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.

“We know the biggest barrier to families saying ‘yes’ to donation is not knowing their family member wanted to be a donor.”

“Across Australia, nine in 10 families say yes to donation when their loved one was a registered donor, but this number is halved when a person is not registered and has not shared their wishes with their family.”

One organ donor can save up to seven lives and help many more through eye and tissue donation.

Ms Hill said it was important for everyone in the community to get behind DonateLife Week, because in Australia there are 13 million people aged 16 and over who are eligible to register as organ and tissue donors, but haven’t.

“Turning that number around starts with every single person who registers this DonateLife Week,” she said.

It only takes one minute to register as an organ and tissue donor at donatelife.gov.au or just three taps in your Express Plus Medicare app.


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