Page 907 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 27 February 2013

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little bit older to get out on the court and have a go. Watching my nieces grow up playing basketball, I have seen firsthand the importance of sport in positively shifting a person’s identity.

Whilst exercise has a role to play in preventive health, participation in sport also builds confidence, social skills and teamwork, and community spirit. The success of women in basketball is not surprising. The profile of the WNBL and of Australian players internationally is a product of the support Basketball ACT and Basketball Australia show for women at all levels of the game. The flow-on effect is the growing number of girls and women making time for a weekly game in their busy schedules.

This relationship between elite sport and community participation has been recognised by the ACT government in the redevelopment of the Belconnen basketball stadium. Upgrading these facilities improves the experience of the local clubs that use them, but also lets fans like me see their heroes play closer to home. It was an honour to spend the evening with some of the best basketballers in the country. I will definitely be in the stands cheering on the Canberra Capitals when the 2013 season begins later this year.

Health—organ donation

MR WALL (Brindabella) (7.02): I too rise this evening to speak about an event that occurred this morning here in Canberra: the seventh annual DonateLife Walk. The walk, which I along with a few thousand other Canberrans participated in this morning, is Canberra’s largest community activity during DonateLife Week, a week designed to promote organ and tissue donation nationally. I note numerous members of this place from both sides of the chamber were present, which I guess is testimony to the quality of the cause.

Events such as DonateLife raise awareness and encourage people to discuss the importance of organ and tissue donation. During DonateLife Week, Australians are all being encouraged to discover, decide and discuss organ and tissue donation—that is, discover what organ and tissue donation are about and how this last gesture could save the lives of others, decide to register and sign up to become a donor, and discuss it, the most important step. Discussing this decision to become a donor with your family and loved ones ensures that your wish will be able to be followed. It is critical that this decision is discussed with your loved ones, as it will be their decision that allows this donation to take place. Recently, my wife and I discussed becoming organ donors and we both signed up to the organ donor registry. It is a simple process and it costs nothing. I urge everyone to at least consider becoming an organ donor as you never know what the future may hold.

I am happy to see that the statistics are improving, thanks to successful campaigns such as this one. In a recent media release, Gift of Life announced that figures released by the government on the Australia-New Zealand organ donation registry showed there was a five per cent increase in donors since 2011, which resulted in a four per cent increase in transplant recipients. The ACT also achieved its best ever organ donation results, which is really pleasing to see.

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