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Media releases

Media enquiries: Please contact Marcia Christmas on 03 9674 4327 or email Marcia.Christmas@kidney.org.au


Kidney Health Australia - Media releases

1 September 2017: Big Red Kidney Bus pulls up in Coffs Harbour

A game-changing mobile dialysis bus which allows kidney patients to go on holiday, or enjoy a change of scene, has set up in Coffs Harbour for five weeks.

The NSW Big Red Kidney Bus is a state-of-the art mobile dialysis unit fitted with three chairs capable of providing up to 1,500 treatments a year when at full capacity.

The charity Kidney Health Australia owns and operates the bus, and Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, provides the medical staff and dialysis service. Download Media Release.

11 August 2017: First-timers join veterans to rally for kids with kidney disease

This year’s Kidney Kar Rally has attracted a record number of new teams who will be competing with some of Australia’s most seasoned rally drivers to raise funds for kids with kidney disease.

“We usually get about four new teams each year but this year we are pleased to welcome 16 first-time teams to this prestigious event,” said Kidney Health Australia’s Acting CEO, Dr Lisa Murphy.

A total of 65 teams will line up this Saturday in Griffith for the start of the rally which will wind its way through New South Wales and Victoria with a brief excursion into South Australia.

Teams will overnight in Cobar, White Cliffs, Tibooburra, Broken Hill, Renmark and Moama, before ending in Wagga Wagga on Saturday, 19 August. Download Media Release.

1 August 2017: Kidney Health Australia increases security for its online community

Kidney Health Australia has tightened security of its digital platforms after attempts by
organ traffickers to contact the charity’s clients.

“Online patient support groups are an invaluable resource for people living with kidney
disease,” said KHA’s Clinical Director, Dr Shilpa Jesudason.

“Unfortunately, there are people who use online forums to try to lure vulnerable patients
with promises of a kidney transplant overseas.” Download Media Release.

7 June 2017: Kidney Health Australia welcomes Medicare Taskforce’s recommendation for greater funding and support for young adults with chronic kidney disease

Kidney Health Australia welcomes a recommendation from the Medicare Benefits Review Taskforce,
announced today, to look at ways to better coordinate support one of the most vulnerable
demographics living with chronic kidney disease in Australia.

Kidney Health Australia’s CEO, Mikaela Stafrace, is pleased the Taskforce has called for investigation
from an inter-governmental body to resolve the issue of poor outcomes for young adults with
chronic kidney disease. Download Media Release.

7 June 2017: Kidney Health Australia welcomes Medicare Review Taskforce’s recommendation for ‘on country’ dialysis

Kidney Health Australia welcomes the recommendations contained in the Medicare Benefit Schedule Review. Of particular significance is the recommendation to provide an MBS item to support ‘on country’ dialysis for Australians living with kidney disease in remote areas.

Kidney Health Australia CEO Mikaela Stafrace congratulated Professor Alan Cass, the Chair of the Renal Clinical Committee and his team for the recommendations that focus on ensuring access to quality care on country. Download Media Release.

8 May 2017: Kidney Health Australia welcomes extension of Living Donors Support Scheme Kidney Health

Australia applauds the Federal Government’s announcement that it will continue the Supporting Leave for Living Organ Donors Program for another four years. 

The $4.1 million dollar budget injection extension of the program will also see out-of-pocket
expenses covered. 

Kidney Health Australia CEO Mikaela Stafrace said, “Living donors give the ultimate gift by donating a kidney to save someone’s life, so it is important they are supported to take time off of work for the surgery.” Download Media Release.

6 March 2017: Rising Obesity Rates tip Australia towards Kidney Disease Crisis

The growing national obesity crisis is set to lead to a significant increase in chronic conditions, such
as kidney disease, a new report released by Kidney Health Australia has highlighted.

The report, Obesity and Chronic Kidney Disease: the Hidden Impact, has been launched today to
coincide with Kidney Health Week, 5 to 11 March, and World Kidney Day, 9 March.

The report documents skyrocketing obesity rates across Australian Primary Health Networks and
highlights the link to above-average chronic kidney disease rates in many of these areas. Download Media Release

19 January 2017: Kidney Health Australia welcomes new Health and Indigenous Health Ministers

Kidney Health Australia CEO Mikaela Stafrace has welcomed the appointment of the Hon. Greg Hunt MP as the new Federal Health Minister.

Ms Stafrace says the appointment comes at a critical juncture in the fight against the growing burden of chronic kidney disease in the community. In 2014-15 kidney disease was the most common single reason for admission to hospital out of a total of 10 million hospital admissions. Download media release.



8 June 2016: Kidney Health Australia Welcomes Announcement to Close the Gap
Kidney Health Australia warmly welcomes today’s announcement by the Australian Greens for $10 million in funding to address chronic kidney disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The announcement was made as part of a broader ‘Closing the Gap’ health policy, and it addresses many of the key issues Kidney Health Australia has been calling for national leadership on during the campaign. Download.

26 May 2016: Kidney Health Australia Welcomes Announcement of NSW Big Red Kidney Bus
Thousands of Australians living on dialysis will soon be able to take a holiday in New South Wales, without missing life-saving treatments.

New South Wales Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner, this morning announced the government’s
support of a partnership between national health care charity Kidney Health Australia and NSW
Health to deliver a Big Red Kidney Bus program across the state.

The announcement coincides with Kidney Health Week (May 22-28) and secures the future of
holiday dialysis in New South Wales. Download.

25 May 2016: Kidney Health Australia Welcomes National Indigenous Taskforce
Kidney Health Australia warmly welcomes today’s announcement by the Australian Labor Party indicating that if elected, it will convene a National Taskforce on kidney disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The announcement comes during Kidney Health Week 2016.

Kidney Health Australia has called for a National Taskforce to tackle the devastating rates of kidney disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities since launching its ‘Kidney Health for All’ report in 2015. Download.

23 May 2016: New Report Reveals Australia’s Kidney Disease Hot Spots
Kidney Health Australia’s annual ‘State of the Nation’ report, released today, has revealed the top 20 kidney disease hot spots around the country.

The 2016 ‘State of the Nation: Chronic Kidney Disease Hot Spots’ report, which has been released to coincide with Kidney Health Week, 22 – 28 May, has also highlighted:

  • Kidney disease is costing Australia over four billion dollars annually.
  • The ‘spiraling’ number of Australians on kidney dialysis, or living with a kidney transplant.
  • That kidney dialysis is the most common reason for admission to hospital with over 1.3 million admissions in 2014/15.
  • Indigenous Australians are still at far greater risk of developing kidney disease than nonindigenous Australians. Download.

23 May 2016: Kidney Health Week 2016
This year Kidney Health Australia is asking all Australians to join the growing number of people
across the country who ‘kidney check’. ‘I Kidney Check’ is the theme for this year’s Kidney Health Week, which will be held from May 22 to May 28. Download.

23 May 2016: New report highlights billion-dollar burden of kidney disease treatments
A new report released today by Kidney Health Australia reveals the spiraling and costly number of Australians with signs of chronic kidney disease. The ‘State of the Nation: Chronic Kidney Disease Hot Spots’ report identifies 20 areas in Australia where the burden of chronic kidney disease is high. Download.

19 May 2016: Phil Davis of Greater Western Sydney Kicks off Kidney Health Week Joining as an Ambassador
Kidney Health Australia will run the annual Kidney Health Week and what better way to launch than
with the announcement of a new team member. Phil Davis, Co-Captain of the Greater Western
Sydney Giants will join the charity as an Ambassador. Download

19 May 2016: Kidney Health Australia CEO Announces Resignation
Ms. Anne Wilson, the long-serving Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Kidney Health Australia, today announced that she will be stepping down after over 13 years at the helm.

Ms Wilson joined Kidney Health Australia as CEO in January 2003, and was appointed Managing
Director of the Board in 2009. During her time with Kidney Health Australia, Ms Wilson has
spearheaded and overseen the most significant changes in the organisation’s 48-year history,
including successfully transitioning the former Australian Kidney Foundation from a confederation of state bodies to one national organisation. Download.

5 April 2016: Home away from Home for SA Kidney Transplant Patients
Kidney Health Australia today announced its newest addition to its expanding network of Kidney Transplant Houses.

Anne Wilson Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer explained that the Kent Town Adelaide facility will join the existing Melbourne and Perth facilities providing eligible rural and regional kidney patients with secure, quality accommodation where they can rest and recover from transplant surgery or undergo dialysis training and education at no cost.

There are currently 1,083 Australians on the waiting list for a life-saving kidney transplant and in 2014 over 85 kidney transplant operations were performed in South Australia alone. Download.

10 March 2016: World Kidney Day national media - Education campaign on drink water instead
Kidney Disease and Children - Better Knowledge  Better Care.
Billy the Kidney, the big red cuddly ambassador for Kidney Health Australia is spearheading a national education and awareness campaign.

The resources supporting this campaign are suitable for children aged from five to sixteen with a range of activities, from colouring and drawing to engage five to eight year olds, to teaching resources and activities that expose the risks of sugar in drinks and foods for older students. Any child drinking a 600ml bottle of soft drink consumes sixteen teaspoons of sugar. As a regular behaviour, this raises major health concerns and exposures to health problems including high risk factors for chronic kidney disease. Download.

9 March 2016: A joint Communique  for World Kidney Day  on 10 March 2016.
Kidney Disease and Children - Better Knowledge  Better Care.
In a joint national communique for 2016 World Kidney Day, Chairman of the Australian and New Zealand Paediatric Nephrology Association Dr Joshua Kausman and Managing Director of Kidney Health Australia Anne Wilson said there is a need to improve kidney health knowledge, patient care and also to reduce risk factors. The education campaign highlights to both children and parents the importance of choosing water over sugar laden drinks, healthy food and physical activity daily. Download.

10 March 2016:  World Kidney Day Victorian - Healthy lifestyle fcus for students .
The students of Albert Park Primary School in Melbourne today will have a special visitor -  “Billy the Kidney” - as part of World Kidney Day activities when Kidney Health Australia will be teaching students about the importance of developing a healthy lifestyle in childhood. Download.

9 March 2016:  World Kidney Day Western Australia - Healthy lifestyle focus for students on World Kidney Day.
The Halls Head Primary School in Western Australia will be the focus of World Kidney Day today when WA Health Minister Kim Hames and Managing Director of Kidney Health Australia Anne Wilson join students for learning about the importance of developing a healthy lifestyle in childhood. Download.

8 March 2016: World Kidney Day Northern Territory  -Health Minister joins students for healthy lifestyle learning to help prevent kidney disease.
St Mary’s Catholic Primary school in Darwin will be the focus of World Kidney Day education at 12 noon on Wednesday 9 March 2016 with a visit to the classroom from Health Minister Hon John Wessel Elferink, to talk with students about the importance of developing a healthy lifestyle in childhood. Download.

7 March 2016:   World Kidney Day South Australia - Health Minister meets young patients with kidney disease World Kidney Day. 
Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide will be the focus of World Kidney Day at 8.30am on Tuesday 8 March 2016 with a visit from Health Minister Hon Jack Snelling to talk with children and their families about their experiences with kidney disease and the importance of World Kidney Day.  Download.

1 March 2016: World Kidney Day - Schools Activity Campaign
Kidney Disease and Children. Better Knowledge. Better Care.
This year's campaign highlights to both children and parents the importance of choosing water over sugary drinks, healthy food and physical activity daily. Teachers across Australia will be raising awareness about the importance of developing healthy lifestyles in childhood for taking into later life and preventing risk factors for chronic kidney disease. Download.

To access Australian resources and information onsite, go to World Kidney Day

28 January 2016: Operation 2590 targets early detection of Silent Killer.
This year over 20,000 Australians will die with kidney related disease. One Australian is dying every 25 minutes with kidney related disease which has become known as the Silent Killer. People can lose up to 90% of their kidney function before experiencing any symptoms. Kidney Health Australia has therefore launched OPERATION 2590Download.

28 January 2016: One Australian dying with kidney-related disease every 25 minutes.
Early detection and prevention of kidney disease needs to become one of the national ‘Big Ideas’ of 2016, according to Kidney Health Australia. 

Anne Wilson, CEO and Managing Director of Kidney Health Australia (KHA) said, “One Australian is dying with a kidney related disease every twenty five minutes. Kidney Health Australia is urging awareness of the fact that you can lose up to 90% of kidney function before experiencing any symptoms, which is why kidney disease is known as the Silent Killer, Ms Wilson said. Download.

13 January 2016: Big Red Kidney Bus breaks down barrier to holiday for patients.
The joint project by Monash Health, Kidney Health Australia and Latrobe Bus Lines, is a first of its kind and allows the Big Red Kidney Bus to act as a travelling dialysis service that visits various holiday destinations around the State. Download.


21 December 2015: USA 'Dancing with the Stars’ choreographer and professional dancer, Sharna Burgess shines a light on kidney disease.
Sharna Burgess has been appointed a global ambassador for Kidney Health Australia, it was
announced today. Download.

16 December 2015: New report confirms dialysis patient transport woes.
The ‘Challenges in methods and availability of transport for dialysis patients’ report, new research conducted by Kidney Health Australia published in the current issue of Renal Society of Australasia (RSA) Journal, highlights that patients living with kidney disease often suffer from inadequate transport support. Download.

18 November 2015:  Kidney community mourns Jonah Lomu.
Australia’s peak kidney health organisation, Kidney Health Australia, has paid tribute to New Zealand rugby union legend, Jonah Lomu, following his sudden passing last night at the age of 40. Download.

6 November 2015: Kidney Health Australia launches new website.
National health care charity, Kidney Health Australia, has today launched its eagerly anticipated new website boasting a range of new features, rebranded design, and educational resources packaged in a clear, concise, and engaging format. CEO and Managing Director of Kidney Health Australia, Anne Wilson, is thrilled with the new kidney.org.au website and said it will help to increase awareness about the full range of kidney health conditions and organ donation issues, as well as raising vital funds. Download.

8 September 2015: Kidney Specialists Honoured at Parliament House.
Two of Australia’s leading and researchers received the award in recognition of their outstanding achievements in patient care, and contribution to research into the treatment of kidney disease. Presented at the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology Annual Scientific Meeting Conference dinner at Parliament House, medals were presented to Professor John Agar OAM and Associate Professor Tim Mathew AM, who have dedicated their careers to the care and treatment of people with kidney disease while advocating for changes that positively impact the lives of affected patients and families. Download.

31 July 2015: Funding boost for renal in Central Australia welcomed.
Kidney Health Australia welcomes the announcements by Federal Assistant Minister Fiona Nash and Northern Territory Housing Minister Bess Price which significantly increases funding for Central Australia’s renal infrastructure and services to the tune of $25.3 million over 3 years. Download.

25 July 2015: Kidney Health Australia pays tribute to founder Professor Priscilla Kincaid-Smith CB
Kidney Health Australia has paid tribute to its founding member Emeritus Professor Priscilla Kincaid‐Smith, who passed away earlier this month, aged 88. Kincaid‐Smith was a pioneer in the field of renal medicine and one of Australia’s foremost kidney specialists. Download.

28 May 2015: Kidney Health Australia's State of the Nation  2015 - Chronic kidney disease in Australia.
A new report paints a striking picture of Australia’s kidney health, highlighting kidney disease as a silent killer which goes largely undiagnosed, and often works in partnership with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The report highlights two confronting facts: less than 10% of Australians with chronic kidney disease (CKD) realise they have it; and 51% of people with CKD also have cardiovascular disease or diabetes. The report highlights that 6 out of 10 people with CKD have hypertension, but sadly 96% of Australian adults are unaware of the link between high blood pressure and kidney disease. Download.

26 May 2015: Reps’ inquiry must translate to real change if health system to remain sustainable.

Australia’s health system will be more sustainable if a new government inquiry into chronic disease prevention translates into best practice, the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance (ACDPA) said today. ACDPA Chair, Dr Erin Lalor, said the alliance welcomed the House of Representatives inquiry into chronic disease prevention and management in primary care, provided its recommendations were evidence-based and adopted by government. Download.

13 May 2015: Improved support for living donors welcomed.
Kidney Health Australia welcomes the Federal Government’s commitment to continue to fund the Supporting Leave for Living Organ Donors Program for a further two years, and congratulates the Government on its decision to extend the leave period from six to nine weeks. Download.

29 March 2015: Key announcements made to tackle kidney issues.

Kidney Health Australia is celebrating to significant announcements made last week – the same week that Australia used World Kidney Day to focus on the critical issue of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Kidney Health. The announcements indicate both an ongoing commitment to support for living donors, and an increased focus on funding critical research. Download.

26 March 2015: Kidney disease is a silent killer of Indigenous Australians.
Kidney disease impacts regardless of locality and people often have few symptoms until they need to have dialysis. At a Parliament House event this morning to mark World Kidney Day, Kidney Health Australia was joined by the Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology (ANZSN), to highlight the critical impact of chronic kidney disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Download.

10 February 2015: Kidney Health Australia welcomes today’s latest statistics from the Australian Government highlighting 2014 as a milestone year for living organ donations.

Last year 1,117 Australians received an organ transplant due to the generosity of 378 deceased donors and their families. Overall, there was a 3% drop in the number of deceased organ donors in 2013 to 2014, whilst living kidney donors increased in the same timeframe. Download.

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