Transplant talent on both sides of the camera in new campaign to light the lives of others

Ahead of the World Transplant Games, Transplant Australia has launched a new television campaign exploring the potential of donation if every Australian was registered on the Australian Organ Donor Register.

A new campaign, airing in the lead up to the World Transplant Games in Perth (April 15-21, 2023), is inspiring Australians to register as organ donors – and light the lives of others.

Ahead of the World Transplant Games, Transplant Australia has launched a new television campaign exploring the potential of donation if every Australian was registered on the Australian Organ Donor Register.

Currently only 36 per cent of Australians have registered their donation decision and Transplant Australia, the national charity for organ donation and transplantation, is on a mission to double those rates.

Registration is critical because families, who have the final say on donating a loved one’s organs, are twice as likely to agree to donation if that person had recorded their decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register.

During 2022, 454 Australians became organ donors, saving the lives of 1,224 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Nationally the overall consent rate was just 54 per cent, meaning almost one in two families are still declining donation. Transplant Australia wants to change that.

The campaign is anchored by a TVC produced by Perth’s Sandbox Productions and Media Junction & Interact Digital, with transplant recipients featuring both in front of, and behind, the camera.

Highlighting that just a single organ donor can save the lives of up to seven people, the TVC features seven recipients, whose gifted heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas transplants have given them a second chance at life and the opportunity to represent Australia at the 2023 World Transplant Games in Perth.

Heart and lung recipient Dwight O’Neil said: “It was a thrill to be a part of the filming especially on the hallowed turf of Optus Stadium, where we will be celebrating the opening ceremony of the 2023 Games.

“Sharing the experience with six other transplant recipients was very special. We all know what it takes to wait for a transplant and the emotion of receiving the all-important phone call. I hope our participation in this campaign gives hope to the 1,800 Australians still waiting for a transplant.”

Featuring alongside the recipients is Perth actor Isabella Ziino who said: “I was so inspired meeting seven people whose lives have been saved by the gift of life and to hear of their amazing journeys and aspirations for the World Transplant Games. I am humbled to have played the role of someone who left such an incredible legacy by giving the gift of life”. 

Jason Pearce, Director of Perth agency Media Junction & Interact Digital, who developed the campaign, has a strong motivation for supporting the cause: “As a heart recipient who received a second chance at life five years ago, I was inspired to develop a campaign for the Games which will drive organ donor registrations and save more lives. The Games will cast a spotlight on the living proof of donation and the people whose lives have been saved, as shown in the campaign. It has been an honour to develop this campaign for Transplant Australia and our team are really proud.”

Sandbox Productions Director Jack Connell said: “It’s been great to direct a commercial that encourages everyday Australians to realize how they can positively affect others with a single decision. Throughout the production, we spoke a lot about the idea of legacy, and the effect one person can have on so many others when they pass. Tying this theme into the concept of lighting the lives of others, we connected each scene with light, to visually represent the reach one person can have as an organ donor.

“The talent in this advert are all organ recipients. Hearing their stories and learning what they’ve gone on to achieve post-transplant is inspiring and makes me proud to have worked on this campaign. If we can encourage just one person to register as a donor, then we’ve done our job. Or, if you’re already registered as a donor – I hope we’ve been able to validate your decision, because without people like you we cannot continue to light the lives of others.”

Chris Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Transplant Australia said: “We are incredibly excited by the campaign. The team has dealt with donation in a sensitive and dignified way. The inclusion of Isabella and her realisation that so many more lives could be saved if we all registered as donors, is a simply-awe-inspiring moment using the lights and grandstands of Optus Stadium to amplify the point.

“We are very grateful to our seven recipients. By having transplants, they have been given an extra 72 years. At the World Transplant Games, with more than 1,500 competitors, the extra years of live will be in the thousands. All because someone, or their family, said yes to donation,” Mr Thomas said.

The campaign is supported by Seven West Media, Tonic Media and Media Planet who have signed up to promote the message throughout Australia.  To register as a donor today at

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