Roll up, roll up, and be part of Navy’s life-saving record attempt

Published on Mr Josh Williams (author), LSIS James McDougall (photographer)

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

Leading Seaman Liz McCallum signs up Able Seaman Emma Davies for a blood donation, with Billy the Blood Drop at Navy Headquarters, Canberra. (photo: LSIS James McDougall)
Leading Seaman Liz McCallum signs up Able Seaman Emma Davies for a blood donation, with Billy the Blood Drop at Navy Headquarters, Canberra.

The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, has called for volunteers to participate in Navy’s record-breaking attempt as part of the 2019 Defence Blood Challenge.

Vice Admiral Noonan’s message follows a call from Navy’s 2019 Blood Challenge Ambassador, Petty Officer Jaylene ‘JD’ Byrne, for Navy people to roll up their sleeves and donate.

On 9 September Navy will attempt to set a record for the most donations in a day.

The record was set last year, with 74 Navy members contributing to the record of most plasma donations in a single day in the NSW/ACT area, with additional civilian donations taking the day’s tally to 130 donations recorded.

The Australian Red Cross Plasma Donor Centre in Canberra City has the capacity to take 188 donors in any one day and Vice Admiral Noonan believes Navy can do better.

“I encourage all Navy people to donate this coming Monday, 9 September and to donate regularly to help secure Australia’s blood supply.

“It doesn’t take long to donate and in that short amount of time you are helping to save up to three people’s lives.

“I want to see all Navy people helping to support the great work by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service by helping to contribute to another record donation day,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

The 2019 Defence Blood Challenge runs from 1 September to 8 December with Navy looking to improve on last year’s total donation tally of 2015.

The national record for most plasma donations in a single day is currently held by a Melbourne donation centre, with 185 donations.

Navy members are encouraged to join the Navy Red25 team and invite their family and friends. For Defence members, details on how to join and book time to donate blood or plasma in your area are available at https://www.donateblood.com.au/red25/defence.