Page 5108 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 26 October 2011

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The special theme of the convention this year was the important need for organ and tissue donation. My key message today is: tell your families. Australia is a world leader in transplantation medicine. Unfortunately, the number of organ and tissue donations in Australia is low by global standards. Around 1,700 people are on Australian organ transplant waiting lists at any one time. One of the key tools to increase organ donation is to encourage awareness and discussion amongst family members. Many family members do not know the donation wishes of their loved ones. They do not know that they have to give consent to the donation of a family member’s organs and tissues.

The Australian government has established a national reform program—its name is DonateLife—to facilitate organ and tissue donations and in so doing to transform and save more Australian lives. Registration is easy. Anyone over 16 may register their decision online, by calling the hotline or just by filling out a form at any Medicare office or GP surgery. Registration is the first step. You also need to discuss your decision with your family because, even if you are on the Australian organ donor register, donation will not proceed without your family’s consent.

The Australian organ donor register was established in November 2000. It is the only national register for organ and/or tissue donation for transplantation. The donor register keeps a record of your donation decision and of the organ and tissue you agree to donate. The donor register ensures that your donation decision can be verified 24 hours a day seven days a week by authorised medical personnel anywhere in Australia. In the event of your death, information about your donation decision may be accessed from the donor register by authorised medical personnel and provided to your family.

Since 1965 more than 30,000 Australians have received transplants. Improved survival rates now mean that most organ and/or transplant recipients enjoy many years of high-quality life after their transplant. Lions clubs and other community organisations are well placed to encourage discussion in the broader community on organ and tissue donation. This is an important discussion. I commend the Lions clubs for encouraging it; I urge you to talk and I urge you all to tell your families.

ACTSport awards

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (9.07): In my capacity as shadow minister for sport, I had the pleasure of attending last Friday night the ACTSport sportstar of the year awards gala dinner and industry celebrations at the Canberra Southern Cross Club in Woden, along with you, Mr Speaker, and a few other luminaries of our fair city. The ACTSport sportstar of the year award has a great history over the past 28 years, with proud Canberrans Rob de Castella, Lauren Jackson, David Campese, Bradley Clyde and Caroline Buchanan just some of the previous winners over the past 28 years. It was also great to see that ClubsACT have again become the naming right sponsors for ACTSport and it was good to see Jeff House, the chief executive of ClubsACT, and president, Max Mercer, lending their support to the evening’s activities.

I would like to congratulate Jim Roberts, the president of ACTSport, and all of his staff on the organisation of yet another very enjoyable and professional evening that

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