LOCALS are being urged to consider giving the gift of life during National Donate Life Week.
The annual event encourages locals to discuss becoming organ and tissue donors in the hopes of helping others in the future.
Parkes MP and federal Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton said National Donate Life Week was the perfect time for family members to have important conversations about organ donation.
"With around 1,700 Australians on the wait list for a lifesaving transplant at any time, and a further 12,000 on dialysis, the demand for donors has never been greater," Mr Coulton said.
"I encourage every Australian to have that all-important conversation with their family about becoming a donor and to get online this week and register.
"It takes less than a minute to sign up and give yourself the chance to save a life; less time than it takes to make a cup of tea.
"The reality is that no country in the world has ever had enough donated organs to meet demand for transplantation, so it is critical that more Australians register to be donors, and talk to their family about it, so we can help save more Australian lives."
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most face-to-face National Donate Life Week events to be cancelled.
However, a digital campaign has been launched to help encourage locals to join the Australian Organ Donor Register.
Organ and Tissue Authority chief executive officer Lucinda Barry said the campaign would not only thank current organ donors, but would also debunk a lot myths surrounding organ donation.
"Don't rule yourself out, even if you think you've lived an unhealthy life or have suffered illness; let doctors make that decision if and when the time comes," Ms Barry said.
"If you are unable to donate organs, you could still transform the lives of others by donating tissue, such as bone, skin or corneas, which could help someone suffering burns, a limb amputation or facing blindness."
Mr Coulton said people of all levels of health and fitness can become donors.
"Despite the huge support for donation among Australians, many people have not taken that important next step to register to be a donor," Mr Coulton said.
"Being on the register, and having your family know you want to be a donor, could mean the difference between life and death for someone desperately needing a new heart, kidney, lungs, liver, pancreas or tissue."
National Donate Life Week runs from July 26 to August 2.
To register to become an organ and tissue donor, visit donatelife.gov.au.