Regional Efforts to Boost Organ & Tissue Donation Gain Momentum
(News4us.com) January 24, 2013
In the lead up to DonateLife Week next month the Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland and Torres Strait (RDA FNQ&TS) has been working with Aboriginal communities in Cairns, Mareeba, Yarrabah and Innisfail to raise awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation.
This news follows Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King’s announcement this week that Australia had recorded a steady increase in organ donation during 2012.
In November last year the RDA FNQ&TS secured a Commonwealth grant of $71,152 for its promotional DonateLife Week campaign to stage a series of events across the region that include movie nights, football matches and school based activities.
RDA FNQ&TS Chief Executive Sonja Johnson said that discussions to date with Lotus Glen Correctional Facility, the Taipans and Northern Pride sporting teams have proved positive, with potential support to the campaign through participation in the event program.
Ms Johnson said the events are focused on providing information to Aboriginal communities in order for individuals to make informed decisions about organ donation and also, to start family conversations to ensure an individual’s wishes are carried through upon passing.
“By increasing the number of Aboriginal Australians on the organ and tissue register, the greater likelihood to a DNA match to an Aboriginal person waiting for organ donation. This is particularly important due to the high number of diabetes and kidney related illnesses in Aboriginal communities,” she said.
DonateLife Week is the national awareness week to promote organ and tissue donation and will take place from Sunday 24 February – Sunday 3 March 2013.
The theme of DonateLife Week 2013 is ‘Make your wish count. Discover, decide and discuss organ and tissue donation’.
Just this week the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King announced that Australia showed a steady increase of organ donation during 2012 with Tasmania, the Northern Territory, Queensland and the ACT all recording their highest ever annual donation outcomes.
Ms King said that, in 2013, the generosity of 354 organ donors and their families who agreed to donation gave 1,052 Australians a second chance at life.
The 2012 figures were 5 per cent higher than in 2011, while the national donation rate increased to 15.6 donors per million population (dpmp) – an increase of 38 per cent in the national donation rate since 2009, when the Government established the Organ and Tissue Authority.
RDA FNQ&TS CEO Sonja Johnson said in November last year the RDA FNQ&TS secured a grant of $71, 152.30 for its DonateLife Week campaign focusing on promoting awareness among Indigenous communities of the Far North.
In its regional Roadmap, RDA FNQ&TS identifies inclusive planning and delivery of social services as a key pillar. It has since developed a Regional Priority Package that is targeted at increasing the quality of health services, particularly within the Indigenous population.
This package incorporates many key stakeholders from across the region, including the Cairns Institute situated at James Cook University,.
“We believe that the objectives of DonateLife Week are perfectly aligned with those within our Strategic Priority Package focusing on achieving proactive health service delivery,” she said.
The Community Awareness Grants are administered by the Organ and Tissue Authority as part of its Community Awareness and Education program to promote organ and tissue donation.
To view in full, The Hon Catherine King MP’s media announcement and for news and information on organ and tissue donation,
About Regional Development Australia
Regional Development Australia (RDA) is a partnership between Australian, State, Territory and local governments to strengthen regional communities.
The national network of 55 committees which delivers RDA are made up of local leaders who volunteer their time to work with government, business and community groups to deliver better services to their regions.
The committees work with their communities to find ways to deal with the economic, social and environmental issues affecting them.
The regional Road Maps, produced by the local RDAs, will guide the committees in supporting improvements for their communities. The Australian Government funds these committees and so do State, Territory and local governments in some jurisdictions.
About Regional Development FNQ & TS
From Cardwell to the Cape, Torres Strait and inland to the Tablelands and taking in Croydon and Etheridge shires, the Far North Queensland and Torres Strait branch of Regional Development Australia (RDA FNQ&TS) takes in a vast and diverse area of the regional Queensland.
It works to provide one voice in terms of regional issues and priorities and as such provides guidance and support to the many agencies, organisations and individuals working towards long term, sustainable growth, prosperity and wellbeing of this region.
For more: www.rdafnqts.org.au
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