Our committees

Our committee structure gives key stakeholders the opportunity to provide input, advice and recommendations to support the delivery of the national program.

All our committees report to the CEO, providing advice and recommendations on their areas of expertise. The Audit Committee also provides advice and assurance to the CEO.

Jurisdictional Advisory Group

The Jurisdictional Advisory Group (JAG) is the peak advisory committee on the national program. The group considers, and makes recommendations about, all aspects of the program, including strategic priorities, clinical and data governance, and program planning and resources for the DonateLife Network.

The JAG works to ensure the national program is consistent with state and territory legislation, policies and processes.

Chaired by our CEO, this group comprises jurisdictional and Commonwealth health department representatives, the National and State Medical Directors, DonateLife Agency Managers and the OTA Chief Operating Officer.

Clinical Governance Committee

The Clinical Governance Committee is the peak clinical advisory committee on donation. It is chaired by our National Medical Director and comprises the DonateLife State Medical Directors and Clinical Agency Managers, and representatives of both the eye and tissue professional bodies.

The committee provides a forum for sharing experiences and new initiatives and agrees on practices related to the implementation of the Clinical Practice Improvement Program in DonateLife hospitals.

The committee makes recommendations relating to clinical aspects of the national program, and where there are policy or funding implications these are considered by the JAG.

Eye and Tissue Advisory Committee

The Eye and Tissue Advisory Committee facilitates communication between the OTA, the Commonwealth Department of Health, and the eye, tissue and organ donation sectors.

This collaboration helps to improve systems and processes to increase the number of deceased eye and tissue donations for transplantation in Australia.

The committee is chaired by a clinical expert, Dr Marisa Herson, and membership comprises representatives from the OTA, the Australian eye and tissue banks, as well as the Australian Government’s Health Technology Assessment Branch and the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Transplant Liaison Reference Group

The Transplant Liaison Reference Group facilitates engagement with the transplantation sector on matters relevant to the national program and provides advice on issues and emerging trends that have implications for transplantation matters more broadly.

It is chaired by Professor Steve Chadban. Membership comprises our National Medical Director, representatives from transplant, medical and nursing professional bodies, donation specialists and Transplant Australia representing consumers.

Vigilance and Surveillance Expert Advisory Committee

The Vigilance and Surveillance Expert Advisory Committee (VSEAC) monitors the performance of the Australian vigilance and surveillance system and provides advice on emerging risks identified in the organ and tissue donation and transplantation sectors.

The Chair is Professor Jeremy Chapman and membership comprises our National Medical Director and high-level technical specialists with relevant expertise from key clinical stakeholders and government.

In July 2021, the VSEAC released the Annual Report on the Australian vigilance and surveillance system, for notifications received from 1 January to 31 December 2020 and also included insights into the impacts of COVID-19 on the organ donation sector. The report provides the Australian community with a clear view of vigilance and surveillance in the system and provides confidence to those who need a transplant that we are doing everything we can to make it as safe as possible.

The VSEAC also issues quarterly communiques to the clinical sector to drive clinical practice improvements.

OrganMatch Strategic Governance Committee

The OrganMatch Strategic Governance Committee provides governance and oversight of the OrganMatch system for the benefit of donors, families and transplant recipients and to provide an interface and foster ongoing collaboration between the donation and transplantation sector.
The committee is chaired by Professor Toby Coates and membership comprises the CEO and high-level technical specialists with relevant expertise.

Community Engagement Group

The Community Engagement Group works collaboratively to inform communications and engagement activities undertaken as part of the national program.

The group is chaired by OTA Advisory Board member, Mr Oren Klemich, a donor family member. Membership comprises the CEO and representatives from a broad range of community organisations. These include organisations working to promote awareness of organ and tissue donation, including target audience groups such as First Nations Peoples, young people, and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse groups.

The group gives us a community perspective on relevant issues, emerging trends, and opportunities.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee provides independent advice and assurance to our CEO, assisting them to meet their duties and obligations regarding financial and performance reporting, risk oversight and management, and systems of internal control.

The Audit Committee comprises three independent external members and is chaired by Gayle Ginnane.

Read The Audit Committee charter (PDF 263 KB)

Purpose-specific working groups

We have a number of purpose-specific working groups and committees. In 2021–22 the following groups were active:

  • Communications Reference Group
  • Data and Audit Working Group
  • Education Coordinators Network
  • Electronic Donor Record Working Group
  • Family Support Advisory Group
  • First Nations Engagement Group
  • OrganMatch Operations Committee

COVID-19 specific forums

The COVID-19 National Transplantation and Donation Rapid Response Taskforce, established in March 2020 with the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand, continued to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on donation, retrieval and transplantation.

The Taskforce meets regularly to discuss emerging issues within Australia and New Zealand and to share domestic and international literature and data on COVID-19 focussing on organ donation, transplantation, and vaccination for transplant recipients and those on the waitlist.

In addition to our CEO, National Medical Director, OTA VSEAC representatives and DonateLife representation, our National Manager Analytics and Technology presents current domestic and international COVID-19 data and trends.

Our CEO and National Medical Director, along with DonateLife State Medical Directors are also active participants in the COVID-19 forum for international sharing, facilitated by Canadian Blood Services.

Read the communiques.