Australia’s new organ and tissue donation stamp

Nigel Buchanan organ donor australia post stamp

The Australia Post released this stamp in early February to coincide with Australian Organ Donor Awareness Week. Australia has one of the lowest organ donation rates in the developed world and it is hoped that this beautifully designed stamp will help raise awareness of organ and tissue donation.

The stamp was design by Sydney-based illustrator, Nigel Buchanan.

He uses colour in the design to illustrate the interface between life and death. The heart held out on the figure’s palm represents the extraordinary act of giving.

I love the style, it reminds me of the Spanish pharmaceutical ads from the 60s and 70s.  I also enjoy how the figure looks as if he’s taking his heart from the dead side of his body (blue) out to the living side (yellow). Very nice treatment of a sensitive subject.

Big thanks to Matt for sending me the link.



8 thoughts on “Australia’s new organ and tissue donation stamp”

  1. Australia has one of the most successful transplant survival rate in the world and every person who donates saves on average 2 to 6 lives or makes a significant difference. I should know I have had my heart transplant for ten years now and I have been incredibly lucky to have such a good match and having one of the best transplant support teams in the world. Please say that you will donate as it is something of a gift that no amount of words will ever be able to thank my “other” family for or recognise the sacrifice that they made in the most difficult times of there lives. If this stamp helps to make people more aware and WILLING to donate then it will be worth every penny spent to bring it into exsistance.
    Give the gift of life….become a donor.

  2. Porque la colonia, inglesa, francesa, alemana,que existe residiendo fija en Espa?±a tiene casi las misma tasa de donacion que la poblaci??n espa?±ola?en cambio en sus paises respectivos estan en una tasa muy baja,habria que preguntarse porque… yo creo que es la confianza que merece el modelo de donacion de organos de Espa?±a.
    mas informacion en

  3. Your stamp post is terrifically well timed. I’m currently working on a research paper on the use of images in patient education material – specifically on kidney donation material, and the importance of cross-cultural differences in the interpretation of images.

    Your post inspired me to check Ebay – to see if there might be other examples out there right now, and I was able to find a couple from the 1990’s. I’ve included them in a post on my blog, linked to this one.

    Thanks !

  4. Australia has a low donation rate for several reasons:
    – Our laws are an ‘opt-in’ system, where you need to explicitly consent to organ donation, and register this consent with the Australian Organ Donor Registry. This change has only been in place since 2000.
    – Any person’s family, in the event of their death, still (usually) has the right of veto over that person’s choice to donate.
    – Generally speaking knowledge of the organ donation process is minimal and often polluted by hearsay.
    Slowly our system and laws are changing though. There is discussion at the moment of an ‘opt-out’ system, as much of Europe uses, where individuals would have to explicitly demand exemption from organ donation.
    Our health system, and organ donation included, is a free system (though it’s sadly going the way of the American system). Organs may not be traded in any way outside of normal channels.

  5. Sophie – I’m not exactly sure why Australia has the lowest organ donation rate. They do have the highest transplant success rate in the world though.

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