Page 828 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 27 February 2013

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The DonateLife team also works with non-government organisations and a team of volunteers to ensure appropriate education and awareness in the ACT and region. It has good regional connections with Transplant Australia, the Eurobodalla Renal Support Group and the Heart and Lung Association.

DonateLife has also established a connection with quilting associations in Canberra and the region, who provide individually crafted quilts for organ donors and their families. The quilts soften the clinical environment and allow the family to sense the gratitude and warmth felt by the community for their generosity. Families are then provided with a quilt when they leave the hospital as an ongoing reminder of the gratitude of our community. This program is reliant entirely on the generosity of quilters, but I think it really does beautifully reflect the community connection that occurs through the organ and tissue donation sector.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: In this DonateLife Week, Chief Minister, what is the key message that you would like to get across to the ACT community about this important issue?

MS GALLAGHER: Each year the DonateLife Week has a different theme. In 2013 it is “make your wish count—discover, decide, discuss organ and tissue donation”. A lot of members in this place talk about organ and tissue donation. I think there is tripartisan support for the program that is being rolled out nationally. Essentially, you have a conversation with your family and friends to make it easier for them if they are put in the position about whether or not to consider organ donation, but also, once you do decide, that you take the next step and then register your intentions. Hopefully all members in this place will consider that and, if they are not already on the organ donation register, will take the opportunity to sign up. It is very easy to do.

Also in this week it is about taking part in the activities. I know there were a number of members at the walk this morning, despite the rain. I think Ms Berry, Dr Bourke, Mr Hanson and Mr Humphries were there. Minister Rattenbury and Mr Wall were also there. I think that shows the level of support for organ donation across the ACT community and the work that has gone in, particularly by DonateLife ACT. There were a huge number of volunteers there again today making sure that the walk went well. My guess is that probably around 2,000 were out there very early this morning to make sure that we are continuing to talk and encouraging people to discuss and decide whether or not to become organ donors.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, what has been the result so far from the national effort to help increase organ donation rates?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. In 2008 COAG endorsed the Australian government’s national reform agenda to improve world’s best practice approach to organ and tissue donation. The Australian government committed $151 million over four years to establish a nationally coordinated approach to organ

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