Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Catherine King this morning urged hundreds of Canberrans to make their organ and tissue donation wish count at the annual DonateLife Walk around Lake Burley Griffin.
Ms King said, "The DonateLife Walk is a key activity in Canberra during DonateLife Week. It is encouraging to see such a large number of people using the opportunity to start a conversation that could one day transform a life."
"Many people are unaware that less than 1% of hospital deaths occur in the specific circumstances where a person can be considered for organ donation, although many more have the opportunity to become a tissue donor."
"The rarity of organ donation for transplantation highlights why every Australian family need to know each other's donation wishes. To make your wish count, you need to share your donation decision with your loved ones.
"I am confident that the DonateLife Walk has today prompted many Canberrans to consider their position on organ and tissue donation and most importantly to discuss their wishes with their loved ones. This is important because in Australia the family will always be asked to confirm the donation wishes of the deceased before donation for transplantation can proceed."
Setting off from Regatta Point at 7am, hundreds of Canberrans took advantage of the bridge-to-bridge circuit around the lake, followed by a free community breakfast.
The DonateLife Walk, organised by the Gift of Life ACT, is sponsored by the Australian Government through an Organ and Tissue Authority Community Awareness Grant to support DonateLife Week (Sunday 24 February – Sunday 3 March 2013).
In 2012, the third full year of implementation of the Government's national reform agenda to increase organ and tissue donation, the lives of 1,052 Australians were transformed through the generous gift of organ donation from 354 deceased Australians and their families.
For more information www.donatelife.gov.au.