DonateLife ACT

Donatelife second chance logosDonateLife ACT is the organ and tissue donation service for ACT and surrounding areas. We are privileged to support donors & their families through their donation journey.

Organ donation is a rare opportunity. Only 1-2% of people can become organ donors. Tissue donation is an end of life opportunity for many more people.

All major religions support organ and tissue donation.

If you want any information about organ and tissue donation please call us.

Organ & tissue donation in the ACT

  • Tissue donation is possible up to 24 hours after death
  • DonateLife ACT currently offer eye tissue donation after death. We are in the process of expanding this retrieval service to include heart valves, bone and skin
  • To be an organ donor, you must be ventilated (on a breathing machine) in Intensive Care or the Emergency Department

Donation Specialist Nurses access the Australian Organ Donor Register and assess medical suitability before a family is approached about organ donation

  • DonateLife ACT will always ask families to authorise organ & tissue donation. This is why it is so important to discuss your donation decision with your family
  • All our organ donors receive a beautiful handmade quilt which covers them on their donation journey. This quilt then goes home with their family. Quilts are donated by local quilters
  • Organ & tissue donation does not disfigure
  • Organ & tissue donation does not delay funeral plans

DonateLife ACT Bone Bank

The DonateLife ACT Bone Bank collects donated femoral heads from hip replacement surgeries which are used as bone grafts. Professor Paul Smith is the Medical Director.See DonateLife ACT Bone bank for more information.

What's happening?

Donate LIfe Week Banner

Did you know that DonateLife Week has moved? 2-9 August 2015 is the new date to remember.

The DonateLife ACT Newsletter is out now!

Donate Life Newsletter (September 2014)

Our staff

  • State Medical Director: Associate Professor Frank Van Haren
  • Manager: Kylie Downes
  • Donation Specialist Medical Officers: Dr Greg Hollis (Deputy Director), Dr Lisa Bell (Calvary), Dr Mark Oliver, Dr Sam Scanlan, Dr Godfrey Wright (Calvary).
  • Donation Specialist Nursing Coordinators: Janine Cunningham, Amy Hicks, Justine Holloway (part time), Paul McLauchlan, Tara Russell, Shakira Spiller (part time), Erin Wells (maternity leave).
  • Donor Family Support Coordinator: Sean Dicks (part time)
  • Administration: Rebecca Wells (Acting)

Contact Us

Phone 24/7: Donation Specialist Nurse via Canberra Hospital switchboard 6244 2222

Phone b/h: 6174 5625

DonateLife ACT Bone Bank: 6244 3698 during business hours. Donation Specialist Nurse a/h 6244 2222.


Main office: Canberra Hospital campus. Building 6, Level 1

At Calvary: Level 3 main building (near Infection Control)

Front office: Canberra Hospital, Building 3, Level 2 (between 11B and the Credit Union)

Donate Life Heart Logo


More organ and tissue donation information on the Donatelife website

Register your organ and tissue donation decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register.

Like DonateLife ACT on Facebook

Bone Bank

Bone Bank logo

The ACT Bone Bank has recently merged with DonateLife ACT (hyperlink) to become the DonateLife ACT Bone Bank.

DonateLife ACT Bone Bank provides the opportunity for people to donate bone during their hip replacement surgery. In hip replacements, the 'ball' part of the hip joint is removed and replaced with a prosthesis. It is this 'ball' (the femoral head), that can be donated for use as bone grafts in others.

The DonateLife ACT Bone Bank is a collection centre for Australian Biotechnologies (AusBio). AusBio is strictly regulated by Therapeutic Goods Australia (TGA).

The Medical Director of DonateLife ACT Bone Bank continues to be Professor Paul Smith.

Who needs bone?

Bone image

Donated bone is used for bone grafting in people with:

  • Trauma
  • Bone cancer
  • Spinal conditions or deformities
  • Non-healing fractures
  • Total hip or knee replacements with major bone loss
  • Sports injuries.

The bone donation process

During hip replacements, the femoral head is replaced with a prosthesis. It is the femoral head that can be donated to use as bone grafts in others.

Hip chart image

  • Bone donors can be from 15 to 90 years of age
  • If you can donate blood you can probably donate bone
  • A medical questionnaire is required to determine medical suitability. This can be done in person or over the phone
  • Consent is obtained after all aspects of the donation process is discussed
  • During surgery blood is taken for serology and the femoral head is collected
  • The femoral head is packaged and sent to AusBio in Sydney
  • Bone is released for use as bone grafts only after a lengthy quality control process.

Contact us

Phone: 6244 3698 business hours

After hours: 6244 2222 Donation Specialist Nurse on call via Canberra Hospital switch

Facebook: Post on the DonateLife ACT page (like us too!)


More organ and tissue donation information on the Donate life website