I am writing to provide an update on the advocacy efforts and advancements by Transplant Advocacy and again offer my efforts to the Transplant Australia to advance organ and tissue donation and transplant awareness. Since I commenced my Advocacy a little over 12 months ago I have received coverage across multiple media platforms.
SH!TS gone Sideways
I have also met with and corresponded with a variety of Ministers, Members of Parliament and Government Departments across Australia. I have sourced prizes and contributed to both fund raising and awareness campaigns for charities such as Transplant Australia, Jersey Day, DonateLife Week, Donor Families Australia’s Donor Heroes Night and Thank You Day events. I have engaged with individuals on the transplant journey as well as the general community across social media channels. Internationally I have engaged with Governments and NFP Organisations across Europe and the USA. I have interacted with most charities and support groups in Australia supporting Donor Families, Transplant Recipients and Chronically Ill people and some similar groups overseas. I have spent time understanding the legislative environment in all Australian jurisdictions and how our laws differ to others around the world. I have made a formal submission at the invitation of the WA Parliament to their Parliamentary Inquiry. I have submitted grant applications and made submissions on behalf of Australian Charities supporting People on the Transplant Journey. I have liaised with groups who analyse statistics, process and clinical procedures to understand how Australian results can be improved. I have spoken with "taker outers" and "putter inners" as well as the "before and after carers". I have sought to and have learned a great deal. I set-up my website www.transplantadvocacy.com
I believe wholeheartedly (supported by evidence) that my advocacy has had a positive impact in multiple ways around Australia. Some examples that I can support with detailed correspondence include:-
The formation of the Friends Group in NSW Parliament for Organ and Tissue Donation.
The formation of the Western Australian Parliament’s Friends of Organ Donation.
The inclusion of the Link to DonateLife’s Registration page on the ServiceNSW App and multiple other NSW Government websites.
The inclusion of the Link to DonateLife’s Registration page on the ACT Government website.
An email to over 5 million people in NSW encouraging registration of intent to donate.
The Sweetest Gift being named a finalist in Lyfebulb Veloxis Innovation Challenge in October 2022.
The Letter from the Western Australian Government to DonateLife, Donor Families Australia and Transplant Australia.
Some other initiatives currently being pursued in various states and territories are: 1. Formalisation of Posthumous Recognition of deceased donors enabling families to request formal recognition of their loved donor status. 2. The introduction of Digital registration of Organ and Tissue donation through multiple states and territories digital platforms to augment activities in place though drivers license registration. 3. Some jurisdictions are exploring reintroduction of Drivers License Registration. 4. Consideration of additional psychological and grief support for Donor Families. 5. The Deceased Donors Awards and Honour Roll. 6. Financial Contribution to deceased organ donor funerals. As discussed with most parties on my travels, there is broad agreement for the need for a wider review of the Organ and Tissue legislation across Australia. This harmonisation of legislation should include the changes that need to be made to enable smoother transfer of organs and tissue so more lives can be saved. My personal health is excellent, with no steps backwards since my lifesaving transplant. I am now on quarterly clinic visits and greatly reduced medication. The past 12 months has been amazing. I was nominated for an Australia Day Award for my advocacy and a Westfield local hero award. I am humbled by the acceptance and open doors I have been afforded. As we head to the end of the first quarter of 2023 and in the lead up to the celebration that will be the World Transplant Games, I am enthusiastic about what this year will bring for those people waiting for transplants, the families who do not yet know they will join the transplant journey through tragedy and everyone else already on the transplant journey. My passion and purpose is to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation and lifesaving transplants. I wake each day grateful to my donor and determined to use my second chance to ensure every Australian is able to get the same opportunity and outcome as I was given if they ever need it. I understand the OTA's reluctance to include me in your Community Engagement Group however, I formally offer my story, my passion, my time and my enthusiasm to assist the Transplant Australia to advance awareness.