Defence Blood Challenge launches for 2013

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Location(s): Australian Red Cross Blood Service Donation Centre, Canberra

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

Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin with Australian Red Cross Blood Service CEO Jennifer Williams and Defence Force Blood Ambassadors Warrant Officer 2 Graeme Reynolds,  Petty Officer Cartrena Skinner, and Joe Guarnieri. (photo: David McClenaghan)
Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin with Australian Red Cross Blood Service CEO Jennifer Williams and Defence Force Blood Ambassadors Warrant Officer 2 Graeme Reynolds, Petty Officer Cartrena Skinner, and Joe Guarnieri.

Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin, joined Australian Red Cross Blood Service CEO Jennifer Williams today to launch Australia’s largest blood donation event at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Donation Centre in Canberra.

The 2013 Defence Organisation Blood Challenge, which brings together the Defence Community and the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, helps thousands of people in need of blood products.

Air Marshal Binskin said the Australian Defence Force had been a supporter of Australian Red Cross Blood Service for many years.

“We already make a significant contribution and it is pleasing to see our people extend the spirit of our service to support the Australian Red Cross Blood Service,” he said.

“This is the fifth year of the Defence Blood Challenge and I encourage all Defence members, employees and families to donate during the challenge.”

Between 1 September and 30 November, Navy, Army, Air Force and Defence civilians will vie to see who can make the greatest number of blood donations.

With the use of an ambassador for each service, competition is strong for which arm of the Defence Force will take the title each year.

Last years Ambassador, Leading Seaman Iain Swinton of HMAS Waterhen, handed over this year’s Navy Blood Drive Ambassador duties to Petty Officer Cartrena Skinner.

PO Skinner of NUSHIP Canberra is a regular contributor, with over 30 donations under her belt already.

Attaining an impressive 553 donations last year ranked Navy third behind the Army and Air Force.

Using the healthy competition between each ship in the fleet combined with a proactive attitude from shore establishments, Navy is prepared to challenge Army for the 2013 title.

Lieutenant Commander Stuart Hillam demonstrated Navy’s enthusiasm today by providing his 50th donation at the launch of the Defence Blood Challenge.

Last year Defence recorded a total of 3295 donations and it is this year’s goal is to encourage 4000 people to donate during the three month challenge. 

Australian Red Cross blood products save lives in the Australian community including our service personnel.