The Pride Takes No Prisoners When it Comes to Organ Donation
North Queensland, Australia – (News4us.com) February 22, 2013
The Northern Pride will embark on a mini tour of Far North Queensland communities featuring games against Yarrabah’s Sea Hawks, Innisfail’s Leprechauns, Mareeba’s Gladiators and what is destined to be two highly anticipated games against prisoners from Lotus Glen Correctional
This series has been organised by Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland & Torres Strait (RDA FNQ&TS) to play an integral role in promoting organ and tissue donation to Indigenous communities during DonateLife Week that takes place between Sunday 24 February and Sunday 3 March 2013.
RDA FNQ&TS Chief Executive Sonja Johnson said it was great to have the Northern Pride on board to help promote organ and tissue donation to Indigenous Australians.
“There is great synergy between our efforts to promote organ and tissue donation and the team’s Take Pride program that focuses on engaging the community in a whole range of issues from education and health to training and employment”, Ms Johnson said.
Lotus Glen Correctional Centre General Manager Peter Henderson said Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) was proud to join forces with DonateLife to support the project.
“DonateLife do fantastic work reaching out to engage with those Queenslanders, particularly from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities to make an informed choice about organ and tissue donation,” Mr Henderson said.
“Lotus Glen Correctional Centre accommodates a number of prisoners from this community, so by hosting this event, the centre can help to deliver information about DonateLife to this group, many of who may not have considered organ donation before.” Mr Henderson also acknowledged the Northern Pride Rugby League team’s support of the project and relationship with Lotus Glen.
“To see local sporting heroes, like the Pride, reach out to culturally and linguistically diverse communities is inspiring,” he said. Ms Johnson said that RDA FNQ&TS is mindful to also reach remote communities with the organ donation message.
“With a proportion of the prisoner population originating from Cape York and Torres Strait, the correctional centre provides an avenue for organ and tissue donation information to reach prisoners’ families back home.
“To this end, we will have a number of Indigenous transplant recipients travelling with us and telling their story, not only at Lotus Glen, but across all events”, she said.
In November last year RDA FNQ&TS secured a Community Awareness Grant from the Organ and Tissue Authority for a project promoting awareness of organ and tissue donation in Far North Queensland.
The DonateLife Week campaign comprises of a series of events and activities across the region including football matches, movie nights, basketball shoot-out and school based activities.
Events kick off on Sunday 24 February in Yarrabah with a presentation on organ and tissue donation followed by a game of touch footy between the Northern Pride and the Sea Hawks at 3.45pm. All events will be preceded by a presentation on organ donation.
RDA FNQ&TS Chief Executive Sonja 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.
“Increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who arewilling to become organ and tissue donors could potentially increase access to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on organ and tissue transplant waiting lists.”
“This is because there is a greater likelihood of an organ being a match to another Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person”.
“This is particularly important due to the high number of diabetes and kidney related illnesses in Aboriginal communities,” she said.
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 information on organ and tissue donation visit http://www.donatelife.gov.au/news-and-events/news-and-events
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 information visit www.rdafnqts.org.au
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