Our Committee of Management
Membership is made up of Donor Families who control the network’s activities.
There are also Associates (friends of) who are not themselves members of donor families but have an interest in, and are supportive of, the organisation and its members.
The Committee of Management is made up predominately of Donor Families with the Chair specifically being a Donor Family member.
Treasurer & NT Donor Rep.
Treasurer and NT Donor Rep.
Helen lives in Darwin and is the mother of three sons and a daughter, ages 21 to 29. She also has two grandchildren.
On 29 April 2012, Helen’s second eldest boy, Stewart, was killed in a freak motorbike accident, four days short of his 24th birthday. In his life, he always put others first and it was a blessing that he was able to save and improve six lives through his organ donation.
Helen has devoted her life to continuing her son’s legacy by helping people in need. She volunteered in Uganda in 2012 and has been a spokesperson for DonateLife NT.
Helen would like to see more support given to donor families and is keen to support families living in the Northern Territory.
An accountant by trade, she changed career following her son’s death, to be able to help people in need and is currently undertaking a Diploma in Counselling and Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention which she expects to complete by June 2016.
Social Media & QLD Donor Rep.
Secretary, Media Officer and QLD Donor Rep
Nathan's triplet brother, Adam, died suddenly in January 2014. Adam was a registered organ donor and donated various organs to five recipients. Nathan and his family attended the inaugural Donor Families Australia conference in Canberra, October 2019 where he became a member of DFA.
As the newly created position of Social Media Coordinator, Nathan promotes the DFA's campaign to "Have the Conversation" with loved ones once you've registered to become an organ and tissue donor - to ensure your family are aware of your desire to donate and save lives.
Nathan assists in maintaining DFA website and manages the organisations Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Membership Admin & WA Donor Rep.
I live in Joondalup north of Perth City. My husband, Peter died very suddenly from a brain aneurysm at age 61. I was lucky to have had such a beautiful man in my life for 38 years. To date, I have been privileged to have met only one of Peter's recipients which has helped to cope with the loss of a loved one.
Joining the Committee of Donor Families Australia in 2013 as the WA Representative has been one of the best decisions I have made. Watching and helping our membership to grow, listening to others, trying to make improvements in the system and being part of a huge Australia wide family is very rewarding and comforting to be able to help others.
For the future, I would like to see every donor family member and recipient family member given the right to meet if they mutually wish.
I would like to see a much better system in place for sending and receiving letters, this is vitally important. Letters should not be opened and names crossed out if a Donor and Recipient agree to receive such letters... it is their very personal choice.
I would like to especially see the same rules apply to every State and Territory of Australia and for all the organisations involved at every level to help each other. I strongly believe that co-operation, education and especially listening to each other properly would hugely increase the Organ and Tissue Donation rates in Australia.
Donation & Transplantation Ethics Adviser & ACT Rep
Holly Northam is Assistant Professor in Critical Care Nursing at the University of Canberra.
She is a Registered Nurse, Midwife, and Doctoral Candidate exploring the experiences of families who have made organ donation decisions.
Amongst her previous clinical roles, Holly was an organ donor co-ordinator and is currently a Director on the Board of ShareLife Australia and a Churchill Fellow.
NSW Donor Rep.
Jann joined the DFA committee after losing her brother in 2016 from a boating accident.
"My brother donated his organs and has helped save the lives of three people. As a result I am passionate in promoting organ donation and supporting other Donor families, as well supporting recipients.”
ACT Donor Rep.
Barry became a donor husband following the sudden death of his wife, Jean, in 2005.
Multiple organs were donated, enabling a number of people to be restored to good health. Jean would've been amazed and profoundly grateful to know so many people were assisted
Graham became heavily involved in supporting and promoting Donor Families following the passing of his 10 year old son Ben in 1993 due to failed surgery.
Having been involved in many organ donation and transplantation organisations throughout the years that followed, it has become Graham's passion as a founding member with Donor Families Australia in 2013 to assist in supporting and help grow the national organisation.
In his role as eAdministrator, Graham is responsible for the uploading and management of the Membership Database, the DFA Website, the DFA D-R Contact Register and an administrator for the Members-DFA Facebook Group
Chairman & WA Donor Rep.
I have just recently moved to Perth WA after living in Geraldton for the past 30 years with my wife Karen. After our 19 year old daughter, Alysha, passed away in 2008, I became a Donor Dad. I am very proud of Alysha for becoming a Donor Hero.
I soon found that there needed to be a support group for families whose loved ones had become a Donor; a place where people could offer peer to peer support, as fellow Donor Families understood the highs and lows of losing a loved one as well as being a donor family.
Donor Families Australia was established in 2012 and I have been a proud and active member since its inception. It is very pleasing to see this group grow from strength to strength.
What would you like seen improved for Donor Families?
Firstly, I would like to see greater openness and transparency within the Organ and Tissue Authority/Donate Life when supporting Donor Families. For this to happen we need to see more Donor Families in decision making positions.
Through the ongoing work of the DFA Committee I hope that we will be able to help facilitate consenting Donor Families and Recipients to meet. I would also like to see a review of the Letter Writing process to ensure that letters are passed onto the intended recipient as written, if that is what both parties consent to. Our Members keep telling the Committee these are the top two pressing issues that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
Vice Chairperson & Vic Donor Rep.
Diamond Creek has been home for my husband Rick and I for the last 36 years, where we raised our three children. It's a town with a natural bush setting and a strong sense of community.
We lost our twenty-old year-old son, Brett, in December 2009, and became a donor family. Whilst he was not a registered organ donor, we chose to uphold his decision to give the gift of life.
Lack of support during and after our donation experience compelled me to speak up for positive change. The need to be supported by others who had walked this journey and who could truly understand how we felt was imperative.
I would like to see an end to the bureaucratic approach to policy and decision making. We need a system that places those most affected (donors, recipients, donor’s and recipient’s families) first, ahead of the emphasis on the organ and tissue register. I believe funds could be much better spent whilst still achieving increased donations rates. The concerns in regard to the letter writing process need addressing now. Consenting donor families and recipients should be able to meet should they wish and be supported through this process.
Secretary & NSW Donor Rep.
Philippa is a donor wife, following the sudden passing of her husband Scott in 2011.
His kidneys freed two young people from a lifetime of dialysis and his corneas went to medical research. Scott, a huge sci-fi fan, would be amused by his organs living on long after him.
Philippa became involved in Donor Families Australia in 2017. With he background working within Pfizer, she brings a wealth of knowledge media communications and has become an invaluable member of the Management Committee.
TAS Donor Rep.
I am a proud member of a donor family here in Tasmania. Sadly, I lost my beautiful Mum suddenly to a brain aneurysm in March 2010. Her passing completely shocked our little family but from this complete tragedy we have witnessed many times the power of organ donation. Although our network in Tasmania is small, we have met some amazing donor families, and also organ and tissue recipients over the years since Mum's passing.
The journey of a donor family is an extremely unique one, and I enjoy meeting with and assisting other families who are in the same situation as ours. The connection formed between donor families is special, where everyone simply understands the journey that each is travelling.
TAS Living Donor Rep.
I live in Hobart, Tasmania and have lived here for the last 19 years. I donated a kidney to my partner, David in 2013 and we then married in 2014. We travelled to Melbourne for the operations to occur and spent about a month there for recovery. At the time we had a 4 year old son and we were fortunate that my mother could come from Queensland to look after him during the process.
I recognised the need for additional support for living donors during my donation process. Whilst I understand the need for vigorous testing, both physical and mental, to ensure that the full implications of donating are explored, explained and that there will be no detrimental outcomes for the donor, the sometimes onerous testing whilst having a partner needing dialysis four times a week made this time quite stressful.
I am looking forward to bringing the unique perspective of a living donor as the first to be appointed to the committee.
SA Donor Rep.
My husband and father to our 3 children died very suddenly in March 2016 of a catastrophic brain haemorrhage. We were able to make a decision to donate his organs at this traumatic time as we had previously discussed organ donation as a family. He saved the lives of 3 people and his pancreas went to medical research.
Because of my personal journey with organ donation I wanted to volunteer my time to an organisation that I had an affinity with and DFA seemed an appropriate group. I have also spoken at Donate Life ceremonies and feel privileged to talk about our journey and experiences with organ donation.
We as a family are passionate about spreading the word about organ donation and we would like to see donor families and recipients given the right to meet if they both wish.