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Transplant Australia is a charity which supports transplant recipients and their families; people on the waiting list, donor families, living donors, healthcare professionals and all those touched by organ and tissue donation.

We lead programs which encourage physical activity to increase survival rates in transplant recipients, like the Australian Transplant Games and Fit for Life.

Transplant Australia also runs life-saving awareness activities and public campaigns, to inspire Australians to join the Organ Donor Register.

We work with several universities to spread the message of organ donation to young people, and fund science and research through the annual Mark Cocks Research Scholarship, presented by the TSANZ.

Our goal is to make sure that every Australian who needs a transplant one day has access to one. Throughout its existence, Transplant Australia has contributed to an environment which has seen a sharp increase in lives saved through organ and tissue donation. The number of transplants taking place every year have doubled in the last 8 years as a result.

We could not do this without support, and we’re grateful to the Australian community who inspires us to continue with our work.

(From left) Adeline, double-lung recipient Kate Willis, double lung recipient Kate Rootsey, Molly, liver recipient Richard Hayes, John Rootsey and kidney recipient Lincoln Greaves.

Our History

Transplant Australia is a national charity representing transplant recipients, donor families, living donors and all those touched by organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

Transplant Australia originated as the Australian Transplant Sports Association which formed in the late 1980’s to provide transplant recipients the opportunity to take part in the World Transplant Games.

The driving force behind the Australian Transplant Sports Association were David Cairns and Brian Donovan, both transplant recipients. In 1988 they organised the first Australian Transplant Games to encourage recipients to take part in sports and demonstrate the wonders of organ transplantation to the community.

The Transplant Australia ‘Thank You Garden’ at Floriade in Canberra, 2010.

Another key player in the formative years was Mark Cocks OA, a kidney recipient, who played an integral part in  winning the bid to stage the 1997 World Transplant Games in Sydney.

With the growing success of the Transplant Games, the Australian Transplant Association was evolving into into an organisation that included donor families, living donors, medical personnel and others touched by organ donation and transplantation. This resulted in the formation of Transplant Australia in 1996, with Mark Cocks appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer.

Under Mark’s direction, Transplant Australia broadened its focus to include raising awareness of the need to increase organ donor rates in Australia. Mark was passionate about helping those awaiting organ transplantation so that they could have the same opportunities for improved health that he had experienced.

Mark Cocks OA held the position of CEO until late 2006, when ill health forced his retirement. The position of CEO was then taken over by Mr Chris Thomas, whose focus has been to broaden Transplant Australia to represent all facets of organ donation and transplantation.

Transplant Australia has grown from being a simple member-run organisation to a charity responsible for staging the Australian Transplant Games as well as looking after the interests of all its members through advocacy, raising awareness and support.