Page 2274 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 4 August 2015

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finish next Sunday, 9 August. National awareness week provides a timely reminder to all Australians of the need to discuss their donation decisions with loved ones and to ask about and know their donation decisions. It is a week dedicated to having a chat, a chat that can save many lives in our community. Family discussions and knowledge of donation decisions are vital. The majority of families say that having discussed and knowing the donation decision of their loved one made it much easier to support donation proceeding. Rarely does a family decline donation if they know of the deceased’s wishes.

An excellent article by Belinda McKeon in today’s Canberra Times tells the story of one such family—the Taylor family. Marge Taylor and her son Michael have been family friends of ours for years and I, along with many in our community, have been impressed by their dedication to preserving Annette’s memory and their encouragement of other families to have the conversation with their loved ones about considering registering as potential organ donors. Marjorie Taylor’s daughter, Annette, was the first organ donor in the ACT. Annette died in 1975, just prior to her 12th birthday. A few weeks earlier she had discussed organ donation with her mother. When Marjorie was told by doctors there was no donor program in place, she asked to ring her boss, who happened to be then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, to ask for his help. Eventually hospital staff realised Marjorie’s determination and that she meant business, and Annette’s kidneys were donated to two grateful recipients.

In a conversation with Marge’s son Michael today, Michael underlined Marge’s strong desire that she would like a change in the system—to the opt-out system rather than the opt-in system we now have—and for governments to legislate so that donors’ wishes cannot be overturned by next of kin.

We salute Marge and the Taylor family for their dedication and constant championing of DonateLife Week. The DonateLife Week campaign is part of the Organ and Tissue Authority’s broader community education efforts supporting the national reform program to increase organ and tissue donation rates in Australia.

Netball World Cup

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Justice, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Transport Reform) (5.27): I will speak tonight about the Netball World Cup, which gets underway in Sydney this coming week on 7 August and goes until 16 August. The competition launches at Sydney’s Olympic Park with preliminary rounds between the 16 competing teams, including New Zealand, England, South Africa, Malawi, Samoa, Uganda and Jamaica. The Australian Diamonds go into the competition as not only the host nation but as the reigning world champions, the currents number one ranked side and the most decorated nation in Netball World Cup history.

The Diamonds begin their campaign on Friday when they take on Trinidad and Tobago’s Calypso Girls, followed by Barbados on day two, ahead of the much anticipated clash against world number two ranked side, the Silver Ferns, on Sunday. I am certainly looking forward to attending some of the matches over the coming weeks.

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