Bernie Goldie

Ceremony marks importance of body donations

The critical importance that body donations make in assisting students in their medical/health studies at UOW was made abundantly clear at a special ceremony today (20 November).

A Ceremony of Appreciation celebrating the generosity of people donating their bodies to the University for the advancement of science and medical education was held at the University Hall.

The University has been overwhelmed by the community response since launching the Body Donation Programme in2006 on behalf of the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences and the Graduate School of Medicine.

Speakers at the ceremony noted that to date 110 donations have been made with 845 people having joined the register.

Body Donation Programme Co-ordinator, Dr Darryl McAndrew, said overall the programme helps a total of about 1,200 students a week from Health and Behavioural Sciences and the Graduate School of Medicine.

Dr McAndrew recalled how when he was a student in his early days he had to learn his anatomy skills from plastic anatomical models.

“It was a life-changing moment for me when I was first able to learn from a donated body,” he said.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings told the audience that the gift they were making was invaluable for the next generation of medical practitioners and other health professionals.

“We have one of the best supported donor registers in the country,” he said.

Current medical student and Immediate Past President of Wollongong University Medical Students’ Society, Zachary Pancer, told those at the ceremony that their generous donation would help in the treatment of thousands of patients everywhere.

“I thank you all he said on behalf of past, present and future students.”

School of Health Sciences third year student, Laura Worthy, said that when she was able to work on a donated body within the University Anatomy Lab she was then convinced she had embarked on the right career.

Laura said that until you get a chance to work on a donated body, the complexity of the human body is not realised.

The two students lit a Flame of Remembrance to remember those who so selflessly contribute to the training of the next generation of doctors, nurses, medical and exercise scientists and other health professionals.

A special donors’ memorial garden has been established at Lakeside Memorial Park and Crematorium at Kanahooka as a permanent reminder of this contribution, and as a peaceful place where relatives and friends can remember their loved ones.


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  • Students Laura Worthy and Zachary Pancer light the Flame of Remembrance

  • Dr Darryl McAndrew addresses those at the Ceremony of Appreciation

  • Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings at the Ceremony of Appreciation

  • Todd Pischedda and Vicktor Longin provide a musical interlude