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AIR FORCE September 17, 2009
By Barry Rollings
IT'S A little-known fact that the
blood ADF members donate is just as
likely to aid troops in need overseas as it
is to be used domestically.
The fact that -- to paraphrase the old
saying -- "the life you save may be a com-
rade" should be a powerful incentive. But
it is not for that reason alone that the ADF
has lent its considerable resources and
enthusiastic support for the Australian
Red Cross Blood Service's (ARCBS)
2009 blood donor campaign.
It is the 80th anniversary of blood
collection services in Australia, with the
Government designating 2009 as the Year
of the Blood Donor.
MAJ Gary Schulz of the Strategic
Logistics Branch said the ARCBS had
been providing blood to Defence since
it took over the Army's blood and serum
preparation centres in 1945.
"The ADF is responsible for the col-
lection of blood and blood products from
the ARCBS and distribution to the appro-
priate ADF health facilities, other than
where the ARCBS agrees to deliver to a
specified transfer point.
"Blood is a class 8 item, and within
the Joint Force Area of Operations, dis-
tribution of blood is the responsibility of
health staff at appropriate headquarters
in consultation with air movements and
"Walking blood banks or the estab-
lishment of a central blood bank is where
ADF health facilities may collect from
local ADF donors to supplement existing
stocks during surge usage," he said.
With a requirement of around 21,000
blood donations a week, statistics show
only one in three Australians give blood.
This year 160,000 new donors are needed
to meet growing demand.
At the same time, Australia has one
of the lowest organ donation rates in the
developed world (in 2004 Australia had
10.8 donors per million compared with
34.6 for Spain). In Australia, there are
typically 2000 or more people waiting
for organs or tissue donations, of whom
100 might die each year.
Because you can help save lives by
registering your consent to become an
organ and tissue donor, the Defence
Blood and Organ Donation Awareness
Challenge, which started on September
1 and continues until November 30, aims
to raise recognition in Defence of the
importance of donating blood and reg-
istering for organ donation. One organ
donor can save and improve the quality
of life of up to 10 other people.
ADF members are encouraged to tell
partners, family or friends about their
decision to donate.
CDF ACM Angus Houston has
strongly encouraged the participation of
all Defence personnel.
"Your consent to donate your organs
in the event of your death is the kind of
selfless decision that will help save many
lives," he said.
The services within each state are
being challenged to see which can give
the most donations, register the most new
blood donors and register the most on the
Australian Organ Donor Registry. The
statistics will be tallied by the ARCBS
and the Australian Organ Donor Registry.
In regard to blood donors, each ADF
member including APS, family and
friends, must indicate which service and
which state they represent. Areas, units
and organisations should contact their
local ARCBS to arrange a mobile blood
van or to participate in 'Club Red'.
"I encourage the men and women of
the ADF to rise to the challenge and give
blood if they are able," ACM Houston
"It's a wonderful gesture that helps
improve and save the lives of thousands
of Australians every day.
"You never know what the future
holds and it's nice to know that if you
or your loved ones ever need it, blood is
available due to the generosity of our fel-
John Kentish from
Branch with Lisa
Mihaljevic from ACT
Blood Bank. Members
from Air Force, Army
and Navy gave blood
at the Red Cross
mobile Blood Bank
at Russell Offices,
Photo: LAC Aaron Curran
To discover more
org.au and to reg-
The band's Sydney
Detachment will support the
Investiture Ceremonies at
Government House, NSW,
from 9.30am and 2pm. The
band will also support the
DITC International Night at
RAAF Williams, Laverton.
The Ceremonial Band will
support the Battle Of Britain
Memorial Service at the Shrine
of Remembrance, Melbourne
The Ceremonial Band will
support the 1RTU graduation
parade at RAAF Base Wagga
The Ceremonial Band will take
part in the 10SQN and 11SQN
70th Anniversary Parade at
RAAF Base Edinburgh.
Force 10 and the Concert Band
will perform at the Townsville
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