Giving life – Talking about organ donation at your local library
  • Wednesday 15 September 2010

Sunshine Coast Libraries have been offered an opportunity to get on board Australia's new DonateLife organ and tissue donation campaign and help raise awareness that organ donation can save lives and tissue donation can improve quality of life.

Unfortunately, there are over 1700 people on Australia’s organ transplant waiting lists and more than one person will die every week waiting.

Sunshine Coast Regional Donor Coordinators will be presenting the “Seeds of Hope” program throughout October in libraries across the region to explain what people need to do to protect their wishes, and how to find out about local processes. Combined with real life experiences from a local recipient and donor family, Matty & Wendy, these sessions are sure to have a lasting impact and change lives.

Community Engagement and Governance Portfolio councillor Christian Dickson, said there is an urgent need to increase Australia's organ and tissue donation rates and the first step is to get the topic on the community agenda and conversations started in every household.

“Sunshine Coast Libraries are looking to educate people about the important subject of organ and tissue donation and what it means to them and their loved ones,” Cr Dickson said.

“While this is a highly sensitive topic, we should not be shying away from the reality. One organ and tissue donor can save the lives of up to 10 people and improve the lives of dozens more.”

As part of the “Seeds of Hope” program Wendy will share her very moving story about her daughter who died in a car accident six years ago and her decision to donate her daughter’s organs for transplantation. Matty will recount his survival after two kidney transplants. The first organ donation was from his mother and the second from a deceased donor.

Cr Dickson added many people were unaware the consent for organ donation would be sought from the family even though their decision may not necessarily be the wish of the prospective donor.

“While recent research shows the majority of Australians are generally willing to become organ and tissue donors, 40% of Australians do not know the donation wishes of their loved one,” Cr Dickson said.

Currently only 58% of families give their consent for organ and tissue donation to proceed.

Sessions are free and with places filling fast, bookings are essential. More information is available at the Sunshine Coast Libraries website: and the DonateLife website