Australia achieved a notable first last weekend: electing a senator known to have received an organ transplant. At about the same time, the NSW state government announced it would throw its support behind the Australian Transplant Games to attract more visitors to Western Sydney.
Media personality Derryn Hinch, who received a liver transplant five years ago, is preparing for a new political career representing his Justice Party in the Senate.
Hinch, nicknamed the Human Headline, stood on a strong law-and-order platform. He also says he will try to lift the national rate of organ donations.
In New South Wales, meanwhile, NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Minister for Sport and Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres, said the coming Australian Transplant Games would attract competitors and spectators from around the nation to Western Sydney.
Ayres spoke at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith, which will host the Dragon Boat events when the Games are held across a number of Western Sydney locations from 24 September to 1 October.
“The event will showcase these inspirational athletes, all of whom have been touched in some way by the transplant process, and will also raise awareness of the importance of organ donation,” Ayres said.
“In addition to this important message, it will also provide a boost to the Western Sydney visitor economy, with more than 300 domestic visitors travelling to compete.”
The Australian Transplant Games are held every two years and celebrate the success of transplantation.
NSW Minister for Health Jillian Skinner said the event encourages Australian families to discuss organ and tissue donation.
“The Australian Transplant Games is a truly inspirational event taking place right across Western Sydney, with events to be hosted at Blacktown, Penrith, Rooty Hill and Homebush,” Skinner said.
“Entries are open to transplant recipients, donor families, living donors, people on dialysis or awaiting a transplant and their supporters.”
The NSW Government is supporting the 2016 Transplant Games through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
Edited by Peter Needham