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Defence sets blood donation record

Blood Bank Nurse Lisa Pilley monitors Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin, as he donates blood during the 2012 Defence Organisation Blood Challenge.

The Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) Blood Challenge has ended with a record number of donations with the potential to save thousands of lives.

The ADO Blood Challenge is Australia’s largest annual blood donation event.

Each year Navy, Army, Air Force and Defence civilians compete to make the most donations to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

At the conclusion of the three month challenge 3,295 donations had been made, an increase of more than 1100 on last year’s event.

Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin, said the number of donations between 1 September and 30 November had exceeded expectations.

“The goal was 3000 donations and this was well and truly surpassed. This is an extraordinary result and is a wonderful reflection on the men and women in Defence who stepped up to the challenge. I’m really proud of this achievement and I thank everyone who was involved,” Air Marshal Binskin said.

“Ultimately the winner of the Blood Challenge is the Australian community. Defence’s contributions will potentially save more than 9800 lives in the community.”
Australian Red Cross Blood Service chief executive, Jennifer Williams, thanked the Australian Defence Organisation for its continued generosity.

"All staff and personnel should be extremely proud of their record-breaking achievement this year.

"As always, they have led by example and provided a great inspiration to other Australians, showing that even in their busy schedules they can still find an hour of their time to give blood, which could mean a lifetime to a fellow Australian," Ms Williams said.

Army won the title for the greatest number of donations with 1191. On a per capita basis, Air Force took the honours with 919.

Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison said he was proud of Army personnel and their families and friends for rolling up their sleeves to donate.

“Taking out the top spot for the second year in a row demonstrates Army’s commitment in times of need, not only in a domestic capacity, but as members of the community too,” he said.
Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown, also expressed his pride in Air Force’s contribution to the challenge.
“Blood donation is a cause that’s important to me, as it directly benefits our members,” he said.
“I am proud of the donations made by Air Force – we certainly donated at the highest rate.”