Alumni News Articles

A note from Simone McMahon

22 August 2007

WA Young Australian of the Year 2006 Simone McMahon (second from left) with staff members of UCLA, Los Angeles. As the 3000th recipient of a Winston Churchill Fellowship I have just returned from an international tour of UK, USA and Spain where I studied the international models of organ and tissue donation as well as the many promotional strategies and support programs available to donor families, transplant recipients and living donors.

The whole experience was amazing. I had the opportunity of working within some excellent facilities together with some fantastic people all of whom had lots of knowledge and experience in the field and all of whom were happy to share this knowledge. Many of the organisations I worked with are achieving great things in the field of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

I am currently in the process of writing a report on my findings with the hope to bring about much needed change in the field of organ and tissue donation in Australian society Australia has one of the highest organ transplant success rates in the world, but also has one of the lowest organ donation rates in the world. Over 2000 Australians are currently on the waiting list for an organ or tissue transplant, 20% of these will die before a suitable organ becomes available and that is not counting the thousands of people that don't even make it onto the list.

My experience overseas has made me realise how much knowledge there is to be gained from other countries around the world for the progression of organ and tissue donation in Australia.

- Simone McMahon
WA Young Australian of the Year 2006