The Australian Defence Force today launched a challenge to its personnel to donate enough blood for the Australian Red Cross Blood Service to potentially save the lives of more than 18,000 Australians.
The 2015 Defence Challenge was launched by Director-General Health Capability Commodore Elizabeth Rushbrook and Australian Red Cross Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Williams, at the Red Cross Canberra Donor Centre.
CDRE Rushbrook said this annual event challenged Navy, Army and Air Force members and Defence public servants to compete to make the greatest number of blood donations between 1 September and 8 December.
“Defence force personnel last year gave more than 5400 blood donations, enough to potentially save 16,200 lives,” she said.
“This year we are aiming for even more blood donations from Defence personnel because Australian Red Cross blood products save lives in the Australian community including ADF members.”
The ADF and Red Cross have collaborated over the past three years on the development and supply of frozen blood products for use by Australian troops wounded in combat or injured in accidents while serving overseas.
Defence Blood Challenge Army Ambassador Private Natalie Dajski said she donated blood “because it’s my core belief that we should help people whenever we are able to”.
“Donating blood is one of the easiest ways for us to do that,” she said.
This year the Australian Red Cross Blood Service has introduced Red25 as a unique giving program, uniting with groups and organisations around Australia to save lives through blood donation. Red25 has a clear and concise mission – to achieve 25 per cent of Australia’s blood donations.
Imagery of the 2015 Defence Blood Challenge launch will be available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20152288
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999