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Memorial honours bodies donated to science
Body Donation Program commemorates 10 years of operation
When Coledale craftsman Brad Montague’s mother passed away unexpectedly, there was no doubt in his mind what her wishes were.
“Mum comes from one of those generations where nothing is wasted and when she passed away her wishes were for her body to be used to benefit others,” Brad said.
“To me personally, it seems like such a wasteful process to end up in a landfill or not be used at all.”
More than 250 people have donated their body to UOW’s Body Donation Program, which is currently in its tenth year of operation. The UOW Body Donation Program is used to train health-care workers and scientists, including doctors, dieticians, medical scientists, exercise physiologists and other health-related professions.
To commemorate the ten-year anniversary of the program, and in memory of his mother and others who have selflessly donated their bodies to science, Brad was commissioned by the University to create a memorial to permanently house the UOW Body Donation Book in the UOW Library.
“I found a beautiful piece of timber that has been collecting dust on my workshop floor since land was cleared for the Wongawilli Coal Mine about nine years ago,” Brad said.
“The pieces of timber I used for the display have all been reclaimed from one source or another; off cuts laying around on the workshop floor, packing cases off the side of the road, a branch that fell from a wattle tree.
“I liked the idea of wasting nothing and recycling old pieces that would otherwise go to landfill.”
The memorial book is displayed alongside the candle that was lit at the first Ceremony of Appreciation and a framed photo of the Garden of Rest at Lakeside Memorial Park, Kanahooka, where the ashes of the donors are scattered.
Those who choose to participate in the UOW Body Donation Program are guaranteed that their remains will be treated with dignity, respect and anonymity at all times, with students made aware of the special and unique privilege that has been accorded to them.
The rights of donors are safeguarded through strict enacted laws, including the NSW Human Tissue and Anatomy Legislation Amendment Act 2003 and the Anatomy Act 1977.
More information on the UOW Body Donation Program can be found at http://smah.uow.edu.au/medicine/body-donation.