Giving the Gift of Life
A highlight of last week’s Parliamentary sitting period was participating in the 2020 Gift of Life Walk, which raises the profile of the importance of registering as an organ donor.
As Minister responsible for the Organ and Tissue Authority, I was proud to participate.
The lives of 1,683 Australians were saved last year by organ transplants made possible through the generosity of 787 organ donors. This is shown in new data released by the Authority.
I took the opportunity during this special event to say thank you to those who so generously donate.
Australians are a nation of givers, and we help people in need. I’m calling on those in my electorate to take a minute and register as an organ and tissue donor at donatelife.gov.au and, importantly, tell your families.
There are only about 1,300 Australians a year who make up this precious cohort of organ donors, and there are around 1,600 Australians currently on waitlists for a transplant. A further 12,000 people on dialysis could benefit from a transplant.
Therefore, it’s absolutely critical that every Australian who supports organ donation registers to be a donor. By being registered, and importantly telling your family, you are giving a fellow Australian a fighting chance at life.
Photo Caption: Federal Member for Parkes and Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton participated in the 2020 Gift of Life Walk last week, pictured with David O’Leary (Gift Of Life President) and Cindy Barry (DonateLife CEO).
Uni grads delivering
University graduates are making a good first impression with 84 per cent of employers highly rating the graduates they employ.
According to the 2019 Employer Satisfaction Survey, 4,700 direct supervisors of recent graduates employers expressed:
• 93 per cent satisfaction with general literacy, numeracy and communication skills;
• 93 per cent satisfaction with application of professional and technical knowledge;
• Highest satisfaction with graduates with vocational degrees: Engineering graduates (90%) and Health (90%).
We want our university graduates to achieve more from what they learn.
That means graduates who are job-ready with the skills to succeed in their chosen profession. A higher education system that produces high-quality graduates is good for students, good for the economy and ultimately good for the country.
The Country Universities Centre Far West Regional Study Hub in Broken Hill will be expanded following my announcement in 2018 of $870,000 in extra funding. The North West Study Hub for the Moree and Narrabri areas also benefitted from an $829,000 investment by the Federal Government.
These Study Hubs provide campus-like facilities for students studying via distance at partner universities, including education support and mentors, as well as a network of fellow students.
The cost of moving to study can be a significant burden on students and families and a barrier to going to university. Ultimately, we want our students to have the opportunity to live at home and stay in their communities while still getting a tertiary education.
Spotlight on feral pig management
Dr Heather Channon has been appointed as Australia’s first national feral pig management coordinator to tackle Australia’s feral pig population.
This role will coordinate reliable methods and work on the ground with landholders and the states and territories to manage feral pig numbers.
This is an important announcement, particularly for the landholders in my electorate who know just how horribly damaging feral pigs are to the natural environment.
There are an estimated 24 million feral pigs in our country, costing the national agricultural sector about $14.5 million a year.
A roundtable will be held in Canberra in late March to bring together industry, governments, researchers and other stakeholder to deliver a national approach to feral pig management.
This $1.4 million was announced in November last year to fund Australian Pork Limited (APL) to support a coordinator to tackle the problem.
Dr Channon will also work to reduce the risk feral pigs pose to the spread of diseases including African Swine Fever (ASF) if the disease ever occurred in Australia.