A warm invitation
We would like to offer you the opportunity to connect to an independent support and advocacy group.
We are proud to be and to represent organ and tissue donor families in Australia.
We honour and remember our loved ones and the wonderful legacy they have left behind.
The aim of Donor Families Australia is:
- To provide care and support to families who have donated their loved ones’ organs and tissue.
- To advocate on behalf of these families and give them a voice in all aspects of organ and tissue donation.
- To educate the wider community about the benefits of organ and tissue donation whilst emphasising the very important role of the donor families in this process.
- Share your experience with similar people to support those making life changing decisions.
Help us to build a caring community and to shape the future of this new and exciting network.
- Designing pins so that donor families can wear a symbol of their support.
- Establishing the donor family memorial in Perth.
- Improving communication between donor families and donation recipients.
- Lobbying for donations to be noted on death certificates.
For more information or to become involved please contact us.
Board of Directors
Bruce McDowell – Chairman
In September 2008 Bruce and Karen’s 19 year old daughter, Alysha, died in a car accident. Soon after, when asked by a Donate Life co-ordinator if Alysha could be a donor, they both said Yes.
Bruce has been an active member of the WA Donate Life Advisory Committee.
He, along with Karen, many supporters from the local community and with funding assistance from Government bodies, built the Donor Awareness Fountain in Geraldton. Bruce has been actively promoting the benefits of organ and tissue donation since September 2008.
Bruce brings with him years of experience of working with many community based committees and running his own accounting practice in Geraldton.
Graham Harrison – Secretary
The death of Graham and Elayne’s 10 year old son Ben, following surgical complications in May 1993, resulted in their decision to donate his organs. As an outcome of that decision, Graham became heavily involved in the promotion and improvement of the organ donation and transplantation system.
Over the years he has been involved with ACCORD, Australians Donate, Transplant Australia and more recently ShareLife Australia.
However, it is through DFA that he sees donor families gaining a voice through growth in our collective numbers, to the point where donor families will be involved in all aspects of improving Australia’s organ donation and transplant system. Particularly within the area of donor family support at the time of donation and the years that follow.
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 coordinator.
Holly is a Director on the Board of Sharelife Australia and a Churchill Fellow.
In December 2009, Leanne and Rick’s 21 year old son Brett was tragically killed in a freak accident whilst holidaying with friends. Brett had made his wishes known in regards to organ donation and so his parents consented and his gift saved three people’s lives. Leanne is passionate about supporting Donor Families.
She is a volunteer with DonateLife, the Donor Family Representative for Transplant Australia – Vic and a support group leader with The Compassionate Friends Victoria.
Philippa emigrated on her own from UK at age 19 in the 60’s, not knowing anyone or anything about Australia except that it was sunny and warm.
After travelling a great deal all over the world and Australia, Philippa had a wonderful, happy 37 year marriage, a daughter and a son, now the 3rd grandchild has almost entered the world in Spain. Philippa recently retired from the newspaper industry after 25 years and is loving retirement.
She finds involvement with Donor Families Australia very rewarding, noting that she feels a part of a very caring, loving Australia wide family.