A LOCAL media organisation will play a key role in reaching out to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to encourage them to become organ donors, says Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch.
Queensland Remote Aboriginal Media (QRAM), based in Cairns, will receive a $36,160 grant under the Organ and Tissue Authority’s 2014-15 Community Awareness Grants.
The Community Awareness Grants program is a key component of the national DonateLife Community Awareness and Education Program, which aims to broaden community acceptance of organ and tissue donation for transplantation.
“QRAM will work to make people aware of just how important it is for families to talk about organ and tissue donation, using innovative and culturally-appropriate animation and a series of radio broadcasts in Indigenous languages,” Mr Entsch said.
“Unfortunately organ donation is a subject many people avoid, but it’s absolutely vital because in Australia, families are asked to support the donation decision of their loved one before the donation can go ahead.”
In 2013, 391 organ donors transformed the lives of 1,122 Australians. This figure represents a 58 per cent increase over 2009 (247), the year the DonateLife Network was established.
A recent national study by the Organ and Tissue Authority found that for 94 per cent of donor families, the donation process provided them with comfort in the loss of a loved one.
“There is still a lot of work to do to increase the number of people who are willing to donate their organs and tissue when they die,” Mr Entsch said.
“The key action we want all Australians to take is to decide and register donation decisions on the Australian Organ Donor Register and, most importantly, for every family to discuss and know each other’s’ donation decisions.”
The QRAM grant is one of 22 across the country, with the Australian Government providing a total of $462,064 for public awareness programs.
Over the coming months, a mix of community-based activities will highlight the importance of Australian families discussing and knowing each other’s donation decision, culminating in DonateLife Week 2015 (Sunday 2 Sunday 9 August, 2015).