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Transplant Australia welcomes NSW Government Decision
27 June 2011
Transplant Australia has welcomed the announcement by the NSW Premier The Hon. Barry O'Farrell that the NSW Government will provide significant funding for the staging of the Australian Transplant Games in Newcastle next year.
Transplant Australia Chairman, Dr Alan Amodeo, CEO, Chris Thomas and four NSW transplant recipients joined with the Premier and NSW Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, for the announcement yesterday (June 27) in Newcastle.
The Premier met recipient athletes Ian Hill, Lyndon Olsson, Alec Maddocks, and Adam Welsh at the launch at the Hunter Sports Centre.
The four provided ‘living proof’ of the benefits of donation with Lyndon speaking of his kidney transplant some 27 years ago. Ian and Adam have also had kidney transplants and Alec a liver transplant.
Health Minister Skinner, who was instrumental in the decision by the Government, said: “Every time these games have been held there's been a spike in donations, and that's my real goal because I want to see many more people benefit from organ donation and being fit enough to compete in the future.”
Mr Thomas said the funding of $325,000 from the NSW Government was a result of a business case presented to the Health Minister which described the various benefits of the staging of the Games in Newcastle.
“These Games are more than a sports event. They provide economic stimulus for the local economy but most importantly they help raise awareness of the need for more people to become organ and tissue donors,” Mr Thomas said.
“Our analysis shows that in a games year over the past 10 years there are on average an additional 117 transplants performed. It’s very important to keep in mind the underlying benefits of the promotion behind these games actually helps save lives.”
The announcement means that the NSW Government will join with the Organ and Tissue Authority as the two major partners supporting the staging of the games in Newcastle from September 29 to October 6, 2012.
“Transplant Australia is committed to working with the Organ and Tissue Authority to promote the outcomes of all the hard work that goes into improving organ and tissue donation in Australia. The Games validate this work by demonstrating that people can return to a productive and healthy life,” Mr Thomas said.
“We will work with the Authority to continue to encourage Australians to discover the facts about donation, decide for themselves, and discuss it with their families.”
Up to 1,000 transplant recipients and their families will join in this celebration which features over 20 events including tennis, athletics, swimming, badminton and cycling.