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Army September 3, 2009
By Barry Rollings
IT'S A little-known fact the blood
ADF members donate is just as
likely to aid troops in need over-
seas as it is to be used domesti-
While that is a powerful enough
incentive, it is not for that reason
alone the ADF has lent its resources
and enthusiastic support to the 2009
blood donation campaign.
It is the 80th anniversary of blood
collection services in Australia, with
the Government designating 2009 as
the Year of the Blood Donor.
Maj Gary Schulz, Strategic
Logistic Branch, said the Australian
Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS)
had been providing blood products
to Defence since it took over the
Army's blood and serum preparation
centres in 1945.
"The ADF is responsible for the
collection of blood and blood prod-
ucts from the ARCBS and distribu-
tion to the appropriate ADF health
facilities, other than where the
ARCBS agrees to deliver to a speci-
fied transfer point," Maj Schulz said.
"Blood is a class 8 item, and with-
in the joint force area of operation,
distribution of blood is the respon-
sibility of health staff at appropriate
headquarters in consultation with air
movements and logistics staff.
"Walking blood banks or the
establishment of a central blood
bank is where ADF health facilities
may collect from local ADF donors
to supplement existing stocks during
"The ADF applies very high
Blood injection needed
standards to the supply of blood and
many countries and the UN some-
times do not meet these standards."
With a requirement of about
21,000 blood donations a week,
statistics show only one in three
Australians give blood. This year
160,000 new donors are needed to
meet growing demand.
At the same time, Australia has
one of the lowest organ donation
rates in the developed world (in 2004
Australia had 10.8 donors per mil-
lion compared with 34.6 for Spain).
In Australia, there are typically 2000
or more people waiting for organs or
tissue donations, of whom 100 might
die each year.
Because you can help save
lives by registering your consent to
become an organ and tissue donor,
the Defence Blood and Organ
Donation Awareness Challenge from
September 1 to November 30 will
raise recognition in Defence of the
importance of donating blood and
registering for organ donation.
CDF ACM Angus Houston has
strongly encouraged the participa-
tion of all Defence personnel in this
"Your consent to donate you
organs in the event of your death is
the kind of selfless decision that will
help save many lives," he said.
To find out more about organ donation
go to www.organdonation.org.au and to
register go to www.medicareaustralia.gov.
Signing up: Director General Strategic Logistics Brig David Saul does
the paperwork before donating blood.
Photo by LAC Aaron Curran
THE project to meticulously excavate
the remains of some 300 Australian
and British World War I soldiers is on
track, according to Defence Personnel,
Materiel and Science Minister Greg
Speaking in Parliament recently, Mr
Combet gave a progress report on the
project under way in Fromelles, France.
"I can assure the House that on
all available advice the Government
has received, whether it is from my
Department, the Fromelles Management
Board, the Commonwealth War Graves
Commission or independent experts
overseeing the project that the project is
being conducted in a very professional
and dignified manner," Mr Combet said.
He said the decision to engage
Oxford Archaeology as the excavators
was an international one, reached using
an open and transparent tender proc-
ess in accordance with Commonwealth
"They have been methodically under-
taking the archaeological excavation of
the sets of remains layer by layer in each
grave, with due care and process and the
operation is being fully documented in
accordance with world's best practice.
More than 220 sets of remains have
now been exhumed from the site.
LGC Forensics was contracted in
June 2009, through a competitive tender
process to complete DNA analysis of
the remains and undertake a matching
program with living relatives.
Oxford Archaeology has completed
full anthropological analysis of more
than 100 sets of remains and of these,
the majority are Australian.
The Australian Army has established
a database to collect information from
people whose relatives may be among
the First Australian Imperial Force sol-
diers buried at Pheasant Wood.
This database holds contact details
for 1469 relatives of those killed at
Fromelles with no known grave. The
Army is keeping those on this list regu-
larly updated on progress.
The remains of the soldiers will be
permanently laid to rest with full mili-
tary honours in individual graves at the
new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military
The cost of the project will be shared
equally by both Britain and Australia.
In total, 5533 Australians were
recorded as killed, wounded or missing
after the 24 hours of the battle.
Progress report: Greg Combet.
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