It’s DonateLife Week: Australian families urged to take a minute to register and chat about organ and tissue donation

Department of Health

This DonateLife Week (23 to 30 July), Australians are being asked to register and have a conversation with their family if they want to be an organ and tissue donor in the future.

The Assistant Minister responsible for the Australian Government’s national program to increase organ and tissue donation, the Hon. Ged Kearney MP, and Queensland Minister for Health, Hon Shannon Fentiman MP, today launched DonateLife Week 2023 at the Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH).

Assistant Minister Kearney and Minister Fentiman were joined by Harrison, 1, and Cairo, 3, who recently received liver and kidney transplants at QCH. The kids’ life-saving transplants were only made possible through the gift of organ and tissue donation.

There are currently almost 1,800 seriously ill Australians on the waitlist for a potentially life-saving organ transplant, including 32 children aged 18 and under, who need Australia’s help.

In Australia, organ and tissue donation will only go ahead with the consent of families, and medical teams will never proceed with donation if a family objects. A new YouGov poll found that 7 in 10 Australians who support donation haven’t told their family or friends they want to be a donor.

Each year opportunities for transplants are missed because families are unsure. Around 9 in 10 families say yes to donation when their loved one was registered as an organ and tissue donor. This consent drops to only 4 in 10 families if they are unsure what to do.

So, if you want to be a donor, it’s essential that you register and tell your family – someone’s life may depend on it.

New data released today shows how many people are currently registered in each LGA – with a national registration average of 36 per cent. Assistant Minister Kearney said the problem isn’t that Australians don’t support organ and tissue donation – 4 in 5 people do – it’s that they don’t know how to register, don’t think they’re healthy enough, haven’t got around to it, and, importantly, haven’t spoken with their family about it.

That’s why this DonateLife Week, Australians are being encouraged to ‘donate a minute, donate a lifetime’.

Anyone aged 16 and over can register online. It doesn’t matter how old or how healthy you are – you can still register as an organ and tissue donor, and you need to let your family know.

DonateLife Week runs from today, Sunday 23 July until next Sunday, 30 July, with events and activities taking place throughout the country.

It only takes one minute to register or just three taps in your Medicare app.

Media kit, b-roll and photos.

Quotes attributable to Federal Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Hon. Ged Kearney MP

“As a former nurse, I’ve seen first-hand what happens when Australian families have the conversation about organ and tissue donation and what a life-saving and life-changing impact this has.

“This DonateLife Week, I’m encouraging Australian families to talk about organ and tissue donation, because one day, someone’s life may depend on it.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Minister for Health, Hon. Shannon Fentiman MP:

“204 Queenslanders received an organ transplant last year, which shows just how important it is that people register as donors and let their families know when they do.

“Hundreds of lives are saved in Queensland due to organ donation and many more are improved through life-changing tissue donation, so please head to and register today.”

/Media Release. View in full here.