Defence Bleeds for Australia

Published on Department of Defence (author), CPL Bill Solomou (photographer)

Location(s): Canberra

Topic(s): Navy Headquarters, Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Defence Blood Challenge

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, with other members of the Australian Defence Force at the launch of the Red 25 Blood Bank Defence Force Challenge. (photo: CPL Vasilis Bill Solomou)
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, with other members of the Australian Defence Force at the launch of the Red 25 Blood Bank Defence Force Challenge.
The 2017 Defence Blood Challenge is now underway, with a three-month competition pitting the Army, Navy, Air Force and Defence Public Servants against each other in an effort to strengthen Australia’s blood supplies and support the Australian community. 
 
From 1 September to 8 December, the four groups will compete to collect the greatest number of whole blood, plasma and platelet donations, and representatives donated at the launch on Friday, held at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service ACT headquarters.
 
The Challenge is in its ninth year,  and Defence personnel, their friends and families are encouraged to roll up their sleeves to support the Red Cross Blood Service. Defence will aim to exceed the target of 7,000 donations in 2017.
 
This year’s challenge was launched by the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett representing the Chief of the Defence Force, and the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Executive Director, Dr Frances Guyett. 
 
“Blood donation is vitally important to Defence as blood supplies are critical to Defence personnel on operations, exercises and to all members of the Defence community in their daily life,” Vice Admiral Barrett said.
 
Dr Guyett called on Defence personnel and their families to ensure every donation counts by registering to a Defence Red25 group such as Army, Navy, Air Force and Defence Public Servants.
 
“We hope, this year’s Defence Blood Challenge will be the most successful yet, so I encourage all eligible personnel to roll up their sleeves, donate and register their donation with Red25 to ensure your donation counts,” Dr Guyett said. 
 
The Defence Blood Challenge is one of Australia’s largest annual blood donation activities in support of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, and Dr Guyett praised the ongoing support from Defence for making each Challenge a huge success.
 
“The strong relationship that has developed over time between Defence and the Blood Service can be found grounded in several common values: pride in helping others, duty felt toward Australians in need, and a genuine understanding of the life-changing difference the gift of blood can make,” Dr Guyett said.
 
A cumulative total in excess of 30,000 donations have been made by Defence personnel during blood challenges since 2009; saving more than 90,000 lives.
 
For more information on the Defence Blood Challenge visit the blood service Defence Blood Challenge 2017 page: https://www.donateblood.com.au/red25/defence