Think about it, make a decision and tell your family members; that was the message from the Victorian launch of DonateLife Week in Bendigo yesterday.
A series of events are being held across the state until Sunday to bring awareness to the issue of organ donations.
Politicians, former first-class cricketers, Bendigo residents and people who have received organ donations padded up for the Robyn Hookes Shield Cricket Match yesterday at Canterbury Park Oval.
Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, said DonateLife Week offered the perfect opportunity for people to discover the facts and decide if they would like to donate their organs.
“It’s important for people to discuss it with their family,” she said. “Organ donation often come in very tragic and traumatic circumstances, so it’s important you have a discussion prior so that your family know your wishes.
“We are working hard as a government to lift rates of organ donation and DonateLife Week is part of this.”
Ms King said the focus this year was debunking the myth that people could not donate organs for cultural or religious reasons.
A community education campaign was launched last week to give Australians from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds access to culturally appropriate information about organ and tissue donation.
“We have religious and community leaders all sign statements saying there is nothing against it and in fact it is the ultimate act of compassion,” Ms King said.