The new appointments to the Transplant Australia represent a welcome set of skills and experience that hopefully will bring the necessary governance and direction to reunite the fractured Transplant Community.
Many people I have built connections with over the past two years, have spoken of how they have felt Transplant Australia must change and become more inclusive of people on the transplant journey, not just the sports minded recipients. As an organisation that claims to be inclusive, many have been marginalised, left out and even treated poorly by the organisation which is supposed to be there to support them.
Over my transplant journey and throughout my life, I have been encouraged to do the right thing even when no one is watching. Using tact and diplomacy reveal the truths that lie beneath the superficial glossy surface and treat every one with respect. I have expressed concerns over the treatment I personally have received from transplant Australia and have used what I believed were the right channels to raise my concerns.
I have used as much of my time since receiving my life saving transplant to understand not only my transplant journey but to learn as much as possible about the journeys of many others. Whether they be the lucky recipient of the gift of life, the medical professionals who facilitate donation and transplants or the amazing donor families who gave their consent to make organ donation possible when they lost a loved one too soon. Working with politicians, administrators and volunteers across the board to gain perspective of the journey through the eyes of others. Much of what I have learned I have been able to apply to the discussions with law makers to introduce legislative and policy improvements in the organ donation process. As well as better understanding what needs to be done to improve the rates of Next of Kin Consent, Donor identification and organ viability to improve transplant success rates.
Sadly I have encountered too many people, who through their journey, have felt harassment, bullying, exclusion and division from the main entities federally and philanthropically funded to provide support and services to those on the transplant journey. I have personally experienced bullying and harassment first hand.
Raising the issues with my Local Federal Member of Parliament and also with the appropriate entities who should address these issues, I have detailed my personal experience. At the time of writing this my concerns are still being investigated by some but have been ignored by others.
I will be approaching the new members of the Transplant Australia board to remind them of their fiduciary and governance responsibilities as well as the provisions provided under the
Corporations Act for Whistleblowers protection so that anyone who feels that they have experienced unfair or intimidatory treatment can come forward and tell their story. With out fear of further repercussions.
Not-for-profit incorporated organizations that meet the definition of a trading or financial corporation must comply with the corporate sector whistleblower protection regime in Part 9.4AAA of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act). This includes incorporated associations, other bodies corporate, and organizations registered with ASIC as Australian registered bodies or with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) as charities. All not-for-profit organizations structured as public companies limited by guarantee must already comply with the whistleblower protection provisions. The Treasury Laws Amendment requires all not-for-profit organizations that are public companies limited by guarantee to implement a whistleblower policy as soon as possible but before January 1, 2020. Companies that fail to have a compliant policy in place before January 1, 2020, face fines of up to $12,600. If you need more information on how ASIC handles whistleblower reports, you can refer to Information Sheet 239.