“The Ultimate Altruism”

The Life Project: Raising Awareness in WA

“Being an organ donor is not about what it does for you, but what it says about you.”

Michael O’Reilly.

7 years ago, I started at DonateLife in Western Australia.

The job of State Medical Director was a much maligned, thankless task that clinicians didn’t really fancy. It was a highly regulated, politically sensitive area of health with considerable practical challenges for a state the size of Western Europe.

As a newbie, the chance to lead a statewide, high profile service was a unique privilege. Nothing so important, or complex would ever come my way in the United Kingdom.

The DonateLife teams across Australia are remarkable organisations. Such tireless professional commitment to donors and their families was humbling to be a part of. Thanks to their graft and attention to detail, I was able to work on innovative ideas and projects, trying to connect our community upon whom we relied for our life-saving organs and tissues.

The Life Project at City Beach was the culmination of 4 years work. Collaboration with Town of Cambridge Council, WA Health, our donor family community and Simon Youngelson the sculptor, led to the beautiful installation that graces the foreshore to this day.

I’d like to think that all those people and all those organisations across Australia, have led to the remarkable increase in donor registrations that we have seen over the last 2 years.

Organ donation is the ultimate act of altruism and it speaks volumes of the Australian spirit that despite COVID, we remain willing to offer the gift of life to others.

Sure, we have a way to go to match the best, but each step is a crucial one in the right direction.

Thank you!

Thank you John





Published by Dr Bruce Powell

Bruce Powell’s 30 years of medical expertise and professional experience are uniquely broad and varied. He was Australia’s longest-serving State Director of Organ Donation and a highly successful specialist anaesthetist, having previously led the Intensive care Unit at Rockingham Hospital, Western Australia. Bruce served five years as a Medical Officer in the Royal Navy, before specialising in Medicine and Nephrology, attaining Membership of the Royal College of Physicians. He then trained in Intensive Care and Anaesthesia, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. A catastrophic cycling accident ended his clinical career in 2018, affording him the opportunity to further explore and exploit his creative, strategic, communication skills. Bruce has been a leader inside and outside health, creating innovative projects for organ donation and private hospitals. His current interests include writing and the optimisation of health systems through digital simulation and artificial intelligence. He is an advocate for shared leadership and individual empowerment and has a particular passion for conversations around identity, resilience, organ donation and topical controversies in the world of health.

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