Donor Heroes' Night 2022
Celebrating Organ & Tissue Donor Families

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Thanks to Perth City Council House in WA for lighting up to help us raise awareness ahead of Donor Heroes' Night 2022

Bruce McDowell, Chairperson of DFA welcomes all to Donor Heroes' Night
What is Donor Heroes Night about and its History?

Donor Heroes Night is a dedicated 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.

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 25,000 plus Donor Heroes who have given themselves to save or benefit others.   This includes organ and tissue donors as well as living donors (kidney & liver).

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. 


250,000 is the goal for 2022 and on the night of 18th May 30,000 are anticipated to be involved posting photos of their light/candle and Donor Hero loved one accompanied by comments supported by family, friends, and the community at large.

This event also seeks 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.

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.


You can find a list of Donor Heroes and their stories here on the Donor Families Australia website.

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Who and How can I take part in Donor Heroes Night?

Turn on a (porch) Light or equivalent 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 light, and upload it onto your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page and as well as posting onto  DFA's Facebook Page at together with your comment.   Donor Families are also encouraged to also post a photo of your Donor Hero if you wish.

You are also invited to joint Donor Families Australia via

How to I go about posting my photo?

Once your photo has been taken on your phone, undertake the following steps:

  1. Download the photo onto your computer (not required if you are posting from your phone,

  2. Go to the DFA's Facebook Page at

  3. Scroll to the Post Heading "Donor Heroes Night

  4. Click on "Comment" to provide your comment
    then click on camera icon to add you photo.

  5. To add an additional photo e.g. your donor
    hero then on you have loaded your original
    posting, click on reply to add your photo

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What are we aiming to do?

The goal of the Donor Heroes Night is to:

  • Celebrate, honour and commemorate the lives of our donor heroes, and recognise the lives that they have saved through their generous donations.

  • Raise awareness of organ and tissue donation in Australia, and encourage people to have conversations with their loved ones about the importance of being an organ and/or tissue donor.

In 2020, we reached 50,000 participants.

In 2021, we reached 125,000 participants.

In 2022, we aim to reach 250,000 and beyond. Be part of the experience, spread the word, put the 18th May 2022 in your diary and participate on the night.

Who is Donor Families Australia?

Donor Families Australia is a national member-based independent support and advocacy group comprising families who have donated their loved ones’ organs and tissue. It's the only organisation of its kind in Australia specifically dedicated to Donor Families.

Can I give a monetary donation?

As a not-for-profit organisation, Donor Families Australia gratefully accepts monetary donations.


All donations over AUD $2.00 are tax deductible.


For more information, head to our Donation page (


Media Enquiries & Releases


             Bruce McDowell             0427 645 262          Unit 2, 38 Preston Street, Como WA 6152.

             Warwick Duncan             0422 714 014         

             Graham Harrison            0421 697 048          

ACT     Barry Mewett                   0408 024 110          

              Holly Northam                0412 289 295          

NSW    Philippa Delahoy                                             

              Graham Harrison           0421 697 048          

NT        Helen Day                        0418 646 389          

QLD     Jannelle Colquhoun     0414 385 530         

SA         Jackie Robson                0418 369 741           

TAS       Rebecca Free                  0448 007 718                                  

              Karen Garner                   0423 876 442           

VIC        Leanne Campbell          03 9438 3447          

              David Reynolds               0407 460 756          

WA        Bruce McDowell            0427 645 262           

               Anthea Openshaw        08 9795 5388          

Press Releases  
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30 April 2022

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3 May 2022

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10 MAY  2022

FLYER 2022
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Donor Hero Stories

Adam (Qld)

Adam was a loving and social man with the biggest heart. He was always willing to help others in need.

Warwick Duncan at Everest Base Camp with
Warwick (VIC)

I first contacted my donor family, anonymously through the hospital as you had to in those days, at five months post-transplant.

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Kyall (ACT)

Our son Kyall was a popular 22-year-old apprentice electrician when he was fatally injured in a car accident on 20 January 2013.

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Karen (TAS)

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.

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Peter (WA)

My name is Philippa Waldron from Perth WA.   I lost my wonderful husband Peter very suddenly after 37 happy years of marriage. 

Brian (NSW)

My brother, Brian, (Boof) enjoyed everything about life.

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Sally (NSW)

Sally McCanna was born in Griffith on the 3rd December 1984, she was our first born and her brother Steven was born in 1988.

Ben Harrison
Ben (NSW)

My Son

My Mate

My Donor Hero

Stewart (NT)

He lived life to the full and always loved to help people in need. I think it is fitting that he continued to help people as a result of his passing.

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Alysha (WA)

Alysha (Lee) was 18 years old when she lost her life in a car accident.

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Neill (WA)

My beautiful husband and father of our four children, Neill Openshaw, died on 1st January 2014

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Jean (ACT)

In early 2005, Jean, my beautiful wife, and mother of our two sons, died suddenly

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Pete (SA)

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.

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Maureen (TAS)

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.

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Jereme (NSW)

On the 22nd June, 1992 Jereme Andrew Doust fell asleep at the age of 6.   Exactly one month prior to his 7th birthday.   Jereme was the eldest brother of 3 siblings, Samantha 5, Alicia 3 and Joshua 18 months and dearly loved and missed by all.   

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Scott (NSW)

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.

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Ben & David (NSW)

The saddest day of our lives occurred on the 18th May 1993 when my wife Elayne and I had to say farewell to our 10 year old son Ben for the last time. 

Tony (NSW)

We miss Tony every day, and we are proud that he was able to save lives by being an organ donor.

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Brett (VIC)

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.

Steve Willams with wife - Recipient  ACT
Stephen (ACT)

My name is Stephen Williams and at the age of 26 I was told that I have Cystic Fibrosis. Needless to say I didn’t welcome the news from my specialist.

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Noah (QLD)

On the 8th of December 2018, Noah had a tragic accident where he fell three stories.    After being treated at the scene, he was placed in an induced coma, and taken to hospital. 

Donor Hero NEWSPAPER Stories
From  2021

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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.

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The Mercury, Hobart

Rebecca Free's mother's sudden death caused extreme grief for her family, who made a huge decision within hours of the tragedy that who eventually save lives.

Warwick Duncan at Everest Base Camp with
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