WA Health Minister John Day and Education Minister Peter Collier congratulated the winners of Western Australia’s inaugural Writing for Life competition.
“More than 70 entries were received in what is an important first step in the quest to lift the number of young West Australians registered for organ donation,” Mr Day said.
“High school entrants had just 300 words to make an impact by telling a story of someone touched by organ or tissue donation, and the judges say they excelled.”
Mr Collier said two winners – Naing Lin and Julia Naw – were from Cyril Jackson Senior Campus and three winners – Elizabeth Marsh, Ping Yap and Eva Marsh – were from Presbyterian Ladies College.
“The students from Presbyterian Ladies College were affected by the experience of one of the school’s teachers, John Stillitano, who had become very sick with lung problems and received a transplant earlier in 2016,” he said.
“The students took his illness to heart, one even writing about receiving new lungs.”
Mr Stillitano spoke at the prize-giving ceremony, along with his daughter Mathilda, who told the audience how thankful she was to have her father well again.
“Doctors said Mr Stillitano was only weeks from death when he received his double lung transplant from a generous donor family,” Mr Day said.
“His situation highlights the importance of donation. Without more donors registering, more people will die.”
Mr Day said he hoped organ and tissue donation recipients would participate in Thank You Day November 20.
“Recipients and their families are encouraged to thank their donors on social media, in the media or by writing to their donor family through DonateLife,” he said.
Mr Collier welcomed plans to continue the Writing for Life competition 2017.