Thursday, 12 August 2021
Organ and Tissue Donation
I rise today to encourage Australians to help save lives by registering to donate their organs. The last week of July was DonateLife Week, when it was very important to remind all Australians how important it is that some of us do choose to donate our organs at the end of our lives because that means that we can save other lives. I joined a gentleman in Rockhampton, Lee Briskey, who is a successful local mechanic. He's only continuing to be a successful mechanic thanks to a liver transplant 10 years ago. I joined him and his wife, Sandy, and daughter, Maddie, and they were so thankful to the people who donated organs to help Lee still be here with us.
There are about 1,800 Australians, though, who remain on a waiting list for an organ, and there are around 12,000 Australians who are on dialysis machines and could benefit from a kidney transplant. So it's very important that Australians consider registering to donate their organs. Unfortunately, during COVID, there was a 16 per cent drop in the number of Australians signing up to be organ donors. So this year it's something we should consider doing. In fact, I was under the misapprehension, before I was contacted by Jo Reoch from DonateLife, that in Queensland, if you'd registered to donate on your driver's licence—many years ago in my case—you were on the register to donate. That is not the case. It is very important to remind all Australians that all you need to do is go to donatelife.gov.au/register and ensure that you are on that register so that that can happen when people might be in need. I did that on that day, as soon as I found out. So make sure you do think about it. Talk to your loved ones about it and make sure they know what you want, and go to donate life.gov.au/register. It takes two seconds and you could help save a life.