Do you have the right stuff?

Published on SBLT James Tew (author), LSIS Lee-Anne Mack (author and photographer)

Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Jessica Hall at the Australian Red Cross, Canberra Donor Centre, Garran, ACT. (photo: ABIS Lee-Anne Mack)
Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Jessica Hall at the Australian Red Cross, Canberra Donor Centre, Garran, ACT.

The annual Australian Defence Force Blood Challenge in support of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service is underway and the Royal Australian Navy is aiming to reach a record for donations to the lifesaving cause.

Between 1 September and 30 November, Navy is competing against Army, Air Force and Defence Public Servants to see who can donate the most blood.

One member of the Navy who is encouraging others to participate is Able Seaman Jessica Hall. Able Seaman Hall has type A+ blood. That means that she shares the same blood group as 31% of the population.

Able Seaman Hall has donated five times previously and said everyone should think about donating blood.

“I continue to donate because I know where my blood is going,” Able Seaman Hall said.

The Red Cross Blood Service has a constant demand for type A blood, as it is the most commonly required and can be used to help people in need of A or AB blood types.

Encouraged by her father, a Northern Territory policeman, Able Seaman Hall believes that it is important to try and make time to donate whenever possible.

“Life in the Navy can be demanding but, after all, one day it may be you that needs the blood,” Able Seaman Hall said.

Navy is encouraging all members to roll up their sleeves and donate. However, it is not just serving members that can participate. Friends and families of Navy members can join in and contribute to the Navy total.

To participate in the 2014 Defence Blood Challenge, simply register your donations at http://www.donateblood.com.au/who-can-give/club-red/join-group - just type ‘Navy’ into the organisation or group field.

What blood type are you?


Knowing your blood type and the blood type of your family is important for each and every person.

Blood type B
  • 10% of Australians have B blood type.
  • As type B is one of the rarest blood types, B type blood donors are always needed, particularly for plasma donations.
  • By giving plasma regularly, you can help people with B and O blood types.
Blood type A
  • 38% of Australians have type A blood.
  • By giving blood regularly you can help other As and also people with AB blood types.
Blood type O
  • 49% of Australians have type O blood.
  • As type O blood is the most common, it is in constant demand and more is always needed.
  • By giving blood regularly you can help other Os and also people with AB, A and B blood types.
Blood type AB
  • Just 3% of Australians have type AB blood.
  • Even though type AB is the rarest blood type, type AB plasma can help people with any blood type. So, more type AB plasma donors are always needed.
  • By giving plasma regularly you can help people with AB, O, B and A blood types.