Tuesday, 22 November 2022
Statements by Senators
Today Transplant Australia unveiled a new global symbol for organ and tissue donation called the Gift of Life Baton. As a senator for Western Australia, I thought it was wonderful to meet with Transplant Australia to discuss the upcoming World Transplant Games to be held in Perth in April next year. Competitors from 50 nations will compete in 17 sports, and all of them will be winners before they get to Perth.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Australia's rate of organ and tissue donations. Between 2019 and 2021 there was a 23 per cent decrease in donations. While most of us—and I'm sure that includes everybody in this chamber—would support the concept of organ and tissue donations, only around a third of Australians have registered as donors. That's why Transplant Australia are now working to re-engage the public on organ donation and have the conversation with us all.
Today in Australia just under 2,000 people are waiting for desperately needed and desperately desired life-saving organ transplants. These Australians come from all walks of life, and, in fact, tomorrow it could be any of us here in this place who need an organ transplantation. It's not something we like to think about or talk about, but, if you haven't already, can I encourage everybody, if you wish to be a donor, to let your family know and to have that conversation with them now. If the worst happens, it takes away the burden of them having to decide on your behalf. You can learn more about it through the Transplant Australia website. It is so easy to save lives. You can register as a donor on your Medicare app. It only takes about five minutes to do. I have, and we all should.