Honour roll

Past Award Finalists and Recipients

Australia's Local Hero

State Finalist

Date of birth: 27 December 1936
Town: Umina Beach
State: New South Wales

State Finalist Australia's Local Hero 2011

James Harrison OAM

Blood donor

After undergoing major chest surgery at the age of 14 which required 13 litres of blood, James Harrison vowed to become a blood donor himself. True to his word, James has donated blood regularly for the past 56 years. Now approaching his one thousandth donation, James is the Australian record holder for the most blood donations. James’ blood contains a life-saving antibody which prevents Rh(D) negative women developing Rh(D) antibodies during pregnancy, which can harm the unborn child. When he began donating, thousands of babies were dying each year of Rhesus disease, and thousands more were being born with brain damage because of the condition. His multiple donations have contributed to more than two million doses of Rh(D) immunoglobulin. His selfless commitment to giving blood regularly has helped save the lives of more than two million babies. His blood has also led to the development of a vaccine for the disease called Anti-D. James has become affectionately known as the ‘man with the golden arm’ and his generosity is making a real difference to the lives of millions of Australians.