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Spotlight on small agencies - Organ and Tissue Authority

Amanda Nicol from the Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) in Canberra, says the work done at her agency really does change and save lives.

“OTA’s a small but fantastic agency that works with states and territories through the DonateLife network, clinicians, the community sector and the general public to deliver the national program to improve organ and tissue donation and transplantation outcomes,” Amanda said.

 Amanda is a project officer on the Australian Paired Kidney Exchange Program (AKX), a program run out of the Royal Melbourne Hospital to increase living donor kidney transplants.

“They identify matches for patients who are eligible for a kidney transplant, and have a living donor who is willing but unable to donate because they’re incompatible,” said Amanda. “We’re busy at the moment as the program is expanding to include pairs from New Zealand to hopefully increase the number of transplants, and improve the lives of people in Australia and New Zealand.”

Amanda also works with the DonateLife Network that maintains an organ and tissue service in hospitals in each state and territory.

Amanda has had a varied career so far, though always with a health focus. After joining the APS through the Department of Health’s graduate program, Amanda left to study nursing in Sydney. She later re-joined the public service, this time at the OTA.

“I believe my clinical background has a positive impact on understanding the ins and outs of the work I do,” she said.

 3 reasons the lives of Australians are better because of the OTA:

  1. For someone seriously ill, an organ or tissue transplant can mean the difference between life and death. By encouraging people to register to be an organ and tissue donor at donatelife.gov.au they can one day save lives. It takes less than a minute to register! There are more people alive in Australia today because of organ donation.
  2. The national program includes support for grieving families who are given an opportunity for their loved one to help others through the precious gift of organ and tissue donation.   
  3. People needing a kidney transplant with a willing donor who isn’t a compatible match can still have a living kidney transplant through the AKX program.
Last reviewed: 
1 July 2019