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Performance delivers organ and tissue donation story



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THE HON CATHERINE KING MP PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR HEALTH AND AGEING

SENATOR TRISH CROSSIN SENATOR FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY

MEDIA RELEASE

15 JUNE 2012

PERFORMANCE DELIVERS ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATION STORY

A 30-minute theatre performance called the Gift of Life, launched in Darwin today, aims to carry the vital messages about the importance of organ and tissue donation and transplantation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Launched by Northern Territory Senator Trish Crossin on behalf of Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Catherine King, the performance was funded by the national Organ and Tissue Authority and has been produced by Artback NT.

Ms King said the initiative is an outstanding example of the innovative approaches being adopted across the nation to build better organ and tissue donation and transplantation outcomes among the whole community.

“For instance there have been specific programs funded to assist the non-english speaking people among our immigrant community to understand the issue, there have been targeted approaches in the sports sector and now we have endeavours such as this to benefit our

indigenous communities in Northern Australia,” she said.

“And, while there is still much work to do, it is clear these efforts - and the hard work of all involved in the DonateLife Network - are bearing fruit,” Ms King said.

“More than 1000 Australian lives were saved or improved through organ transplants in 2011, representing a 30% increase on Australia’s rate over the past two years.

Senator Crossin said the Gift of Life is a heartfelt and informative story of an Indigenous woman who is struggling with end stage kidney disease and follows her journey through the difficult process of dialysis to receiving a kidney transplant.

“I congratulate playwright Ben Graetz and the team of local actors who are bringing this performance to life on the stage,” Senator Crossin said.

“It is a story about family, loss and love and the extraordinary gift of giving through organ and tissue donation. This is the message the Government wants people in all corners of the nation to understand.

“I encourage all who get the opportunity to come and see this production. It is vital that everyone has the conversation about organ and tissue donation and ensures that those around them are aware of their wishes.

From the performance at the Darwin Entertainment Centre, where the production was launched, the performance will tour to other locations around Alice Springs and Darwin, Santa Teresa and the Tiwi Islands from June 18 to 22.

For more information contact the parliamentary secretary’s office on 02 6277 4230