Mr PASIN (Barker) (19:35): This week is Donate Life Week. It’s about raising awareness and inspiring Australians to make a real difference to the lives of others by registering and telling their families that they want to be an organ donor. In this Donate Life Week, across Australia, agencies and community stakeholders are holding events and activities in their local areas to help promote the life-changing gift of organ and tissue donation. Organ donation is an amazing gift. It’s a selfless act that can never be repaid.
The federal government is supporting organisations around the country to spread this message about the importance of organ donation, encouraging Australians to register. The Herd of Hope is one such organisation which is spreading the good word. It was founded in 2017 by Megan McLoughlin, herself an organ recipient and a resident of the Barossa Valley in my electorate of Barker.
Megan is an inspirational Australian. As a child, she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Later, she became legally blind and received an urgent life-saving transplant before being diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2015. Megan is passionate about rural Australia and is helping those who are in need of treatment who live in rural and regional Australia.
One in three rurally based residents will need transplants in their lifetime, but many do not have the ability to stay at home to receive that treatment. The organisation has recently partnered with the University of South Australia to fund a study into the impacts of transplant processes on recipients and their carers when regionally based.
Herd of Hope is an amazing organisation founded by an inspirational woman. I commend Megan and her team for all they’re doing, not just this week but every week, for regional Australians.
Finally on this issue, can I say: I encourage all Australians to register for organ and tissue donation and talk to your family about that choice. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give.