Donor Heroes' Night
Thursday 18th May 2023
Celebrating Organ & Tissue DONOR HEROES
Thanks to Perth City Council House in WA for lighting up to help us raise awareness ahead of Donor Heroes' Night 2023
Bruce McDowell, Graham Harrison and Heidi Johnston tell why
Donor Heroes' Night is important to them
What is Donor Heroes Night about and its History?
Donor Heroes Night is a national event which celebrates, honours and commemorates the men, women and children of Australia who have given the gift of life through organ and tissue donation.
The event also aims to raise the profile of organ/tissue donation and transplantation across the broader Australia community, following the nation’s highest yearly donation rate of 554 in 2018 dropping by 24% in 2021 down to 421 donors. The 2023 statistics are yet to be published. By highlighting those that have given the Gift of Life we will generate greater interest in the public embracing organ/tissue donation. It is said that one is 10 times more likely to require a transplant of some nature in their lifetime than they would find themselves becoming a Donor Hero.
On May 2020, the inaugural Donor Heroes Night was undertaken. The event was inspired by thousands of Aussies commemorating ANZAC day when they came out of their homes in the early morning to remember our ANZAC Heroes, light a candle or played the last post in their memory. So why couldn't the same be done to acknowledge and celebrate the approximate 25,000 Donor Heroes who have given themselves to save or benefit others during the past 37 years. DFA recognises all organ and tissue donors as well as living donors drawing on data provided from DonateLife and ANZDATA.
2020 resulted in 50,000 Australians through the various social media platforms being involved.
2021 saw this number rise to 125,000 that were involved in the weeks leading up to and including the night of the 18th May.
2022 resulted in involving a total of 260,127 Facebook "Reaches, Likes, Engagements, Comments and Shared postings" which exceeded our original goal of 250,000. The event for the first time reached out to several overseas organisations and it is hoped that this international exposure will continue to grow. On the evening of 18th May 30,623 actions on Facebook involving posting photos of their light/candle and Donor Hero loved one accompanied by comments supported by family, friends, and the community at large occurred.
Finally, remember to sign onto the Australian Organ/Tissue Donor Registry and also have that important conversation with your family concerning your wishes.
Songs that celebrate our Donor Heroes
My Donor Friend is a very special song sung by Jeff Leggett and friends who has since passed away.
Missing you mate.
Who are our Donor Heroes?
Donor Heroes are people from all walks of life who have donated their organs and/or tissues so that others may live.
In Australia we honour the lives of many thousands of donor heroes who have given the gift of life and or improved life to others. They're our brothers, sisters, parents, friends and children.
Who and How can I take part in Donor Heroes Night?
Turn on a (porch) Light or light a candle for all Donor Heroes;
if you are a donor family,
if your mate was a donor hero,
if you know of a donor hero,
if you are a recipient,
if you are a recipient family,
if you are in need of a transplant,
if you have signed the National Organ/Tissue Donor Register,
if you support Organ/Tissue Donation.
Take a photo of your porch light or candle and upload it onto our DFA's Facebook Page at facebook.com/DonorFamiliesAustralia together with your comment. Donor Families are also encouraged to also post a photo of your Donor Hero if you wish. You may also wish to post on your own Facebook Page, Instagram or Twitter account which can help highlight Donor Heroes' Night.
You are also invited to join Donor Families Australia. Donor Families are registered
as members as DFA and Recipients and their family members as well as friends of Donor and Recipient families as DFA Associate Members.
How do I go about posting my photo?
Once your photo has been taken on your phone, undertake the following steps:
Download the photo onto your computer (not required if you are posting from your phone,
Go to the DFA's Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/DonorFamiliesAustralia
Scroll to the Post Heading "Donor Heroes Night"
Click on "Comment" to provide your comment
then click on camera icon to add your photo.
To add an additional photo e.g. your donor
hero, then on your original posting, click on
reply to add your photo.
Who is Donor Families Australia?
Donor Families Australia is a national member-based independent support and advocacy group comprising primarily of families who have donated their loved ones’ organs and tissue. DFA’s manifesto is to; Care and support donor families, Advocate by providing a voice for donor families where change is required, Educate the wider community of the benefits of organ and tissue donation, and Share our own experiences within our membership. It's the only organisation of its kind in Australia specifically dedicated to supporting Donor Families. DFA was established in late 2012 and its membership is currently close to 1,000 with over 2,755 followers on our Facebook page. DFA also produces a quarterly newsletter with a projected circulation of 6,000. Further detailed information can be found at https://www.donorfamiliesaustralia.org/
Can I give a Monetary Donation?
As a not-for-profit organisation, Donor Families Australia gratefully accepts monetary donations. All funds received help DFA support its membership and raise greater awareness of issues impacting on Donor Families.
All donations over AUD $2.00 are tax deductible.
Media Enquiries & Releases
Bruce McDowell 0427 645 262 Chairman/ Donor Family Rep. Unit 2, 38 Preston Street, Como WA 6152. Graham Harrison 0421 697 048 Event Coordinator V582, 8 Carrak Rd, Kincumber NSW 2251
Warwick Duncan 0422 714 014 Recipient Rep. 17 Giffords Rd., Warburton VIC 3799
ACT Barry Mewett 0408 024 110 Donor Family Rep Nicholls, ACT 2913
Holly Northam 0412 289 295 Ethics Advisor Canberra ACT
NSW Philippa Delahoy 0437 149 641 Secretary/ Donor Family Rep Crows Nest, Sydney NSW 2065
Graham Harrison 0421 697 048 eAdministrator/ D.F. Rep V582, 8 Carrak Rd, Kincumber NSW 2251
NT Helen Day 0418 646 389 Donor Family Rep. Darwin, NT 8000
QLD Jannelle Colquhoun 0414 385 530 Recipient Rep. Kirrawee, Brisbane QLD 4054
SA Jackie Robson 0418 369 741 Donor Family Rep. Adelaide, SA 5047
TAS Rebecca Free 0448 007 718 Donor Family Rep. TAS
VIC Leanne Campbell 03 9438 3447 Dept.Chair/ Donor Family Rep. Diamond Creek VIC 3089
Julie Wilson 0413 381 460 Donor Mum Melbourne VIC 3337
WA Bruce McDowell 0427 645 262 Chairman/ Donor Family Rep Unit 2, 38 Preston Street, Como WA 6152.
Anthea Openshaw 08 9795 5388 Donor Family Rep. Stratham WA 6237
Press Releases as at March 2023
Donor Heroes Flyer 2023
Donor Hero Stories
Miliya was a gentle soul with compassion and empathy for those around her but was especially concerned about endangered animals.
She was hit by a driver making an illegal turn at traffic lights and did not survive.
Our son Kyall was a popular 22-year-old apprentice electrician when he was fatally injured in a car accident on 20 January 2013.
I still remember the first time my now husband took me out for dinner. He rolled up his sleeve to show me his “buzzing” arm.
My name is Philippa Waldron from Perth WA. I lost my wonderful husband Peter very suddenly after 37 happy years of marriage.
Over 10 years ago my husband donated his organs to help save so many others lives.
My “beautiful” wife, Louise, passed away at the age of 44 in April 2014. Louise would have wanted to help as many people as best she could.
The Boy behind Donor Heroes' Night
Alysha (Lee) was 18 years old when she lost her life in a car accident.
In early 2005, Jean, my beautiful wife, and mother of our two sons, died suddenly
In 2010, we lost our beloved mother, Maureen Kaye. We were a close-knit family of two daughters, their partners and one grandchild at the time of Mum’s passing.
My story is about my wonderful husband, Scott. Scott was a fit and healthy 44-year-old who loved to travel, enjoyed good food, great coffee and even better wine. He was living life to the full.
My brother was my hero. He was diagnosed with Mesothalioma in April 2006 and underwent chemotherapy for 6 months but unfortunately this never helped him and just made him terribly ill.
Lisa Ellis was a mother of 2 and pregnant with her third child when she unexpectedly passed away. Lisa’s third child was delivered via c section 3 months premature but today is a healthy happy teenager.
My beautiful husband and father of our four children, Neill Openshaw, died on 1st January 2014
Our son Richard Harry Moon passed away suddenly from a brain aneurism on 8 March 2018.
Ben was diagnosed with epilepsy at 15. He had Tonic-Clonic seizures, but was helped with medication to a certain extent.
March 15th 2016 will forever be etched into our memory as the saddest day of our lives. That was the day we were informed that my husband of 34 years and dad to our 3 children was not going to make it.
On the 26th May 2020, my world came crashing down. On this day, I had just spoken to my then 17 year old son on the way home from work, it was almost his 18th birthday and were speaking about what he'd like.
Your life reflected that of your favourite Looney Tune, Taz, a whirlwind. As a child you even said to Mum that you felt you wouldn’t be here for a long time.
Laura was to be a Lung Recipient but fate intervened while in hospital that eventuated in her becoming a donor hero.
Donor Hero NEWSPAPER Stories
The Area News, Griffith
A Griffith woman's life-saving gesture is set to be honoured by her family during a national night of commemoration.
The Yarra Star Mail
Donor Families Australia will be commemorating the 10,000 plus donors, who have donated their organs and tissue to continue to raise awareness of transplantation in Australia with a Donor Heroes Night