Blood Challenge accepted

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Peta Magorian (author), LSIS Richard Cordell (photographer), LSIS Kylie Jagiello (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Stirling, WA

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling, Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Defence Blood Challenge

Sailors and Officers gather with Red Cross staff and Red Cross mascot Billy the Blood Drop at HMAS Stirling to mark the launch of the 2019 Australian Red Cross Blood Service Defence Blood Challenge, Red25. (photo: LSIS Richard Cordell)
Sailors and Officers gather with Red Cross staff and Red Cross mascot Billy the Blood Drop at HMAS Stirling to mark the launch of the 2019 Australian Red Cross Blood Service Defence Blood Challenge, Red25.

Officers, sailors, civilian personnel and family members from HMAS Stirling have once again accepted the challenge to compete against the Army and Air Force to take part in the 2019 Australian Red Cross Blood Service Defence Blood Challenge.

The annual event is now underway and runs until 8 December.

It challenges all Australian Defence Force personnel to see which group can achieve the greatest number of blood donations and subsequently save the most lives.

Since the Defence Challenge began in 2009, thousands of personnel across Australia have contributed 110,332 donations - equating to an amazing 330,966 lives saved.

To launch the 11th year of the Defence Red25 Challenge in Western Australia, HMAS Stirling hosted the Australian Red Cross Red25 team to educate and sign personnel up for the first round of donations, while Billy the Blood Drop entertained the crowd.

Australian Red Cross Blood Service Partnerships Group Account Manager Gina Tracey said the importance of having a regular and reliable blood supply in Australia couldn’t be underestimated.

“Every donation can save up to three lives,” she said.

The Red25 concept is a program which sees various groups and workplaces organise themselves into regular donors who work towards providing 25 percent of the country’s blood donations.

Currently, Stirling’s Red25 group holds the top spot for the highest amount of group donations by Navy across Australia.

Navy proudly took two national awards in the 2018 Defence Challenge, which will be presented to Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO in Canberra this week by Red Cross Blood Service Chief Executive Officer, Shelly Park.

To prove Navy still has what it takes to come out on top, the blood got pumping at the Rockingham Donor Centre as nine new donors rolled up their sleeves to kick off the 2019 challenge.

Warrant Officer Mark Karslake said he was happy to be part of the challenge and give back to the local and national community.

“This could mean the difference between life and death for some people - it’s an important cause and it feels great to be involved,” he said.

To make an appointment to donate blood visit www.donateblood.com.au or call 13 14 95.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: https://images.navy.gov.au/S20192103.