Service honours those who make ultimate gift to teaching

19 May 2014

The contributions of body donors to furthering the training of science and health professionals will be honoured this month at The University of Queensland's (UQ) annual Thanksgiving Service.

Behind every person who entrusts their body to the care of UQ's Body Donor Program, there is a story of their selfless commitment to advancing research, science and medical teaching and the story of those who loved them.

UQ Body Donor Program Manager Dr Shannon Armstrong said families of donors should be proud of the role their loved ones have played in helping teach students and enabling researchers to push the frontiers of science, health and medicine.

“Body donation is necessary to provide students and researchers in the health, medical and science disciplines with training in anatomy and anatomical examination,” she said.

“Thanks to the gift bestowed by our body donors, UQ’s School of Biomedical Sciences is able to provide one of the world’s largest anatomy teaching provisions.

“There is simply no better way for students to examine the complexities and infinite variations of the structure of the human body.

“Such knowledge is essential for all members of health and allied health professions.”

The study of anatomy also includes the development of surgical skills and medical research to investigate issues that continue to perplex medical science.

The Thanksgiving Service will feature a tribute from Mrs Rowena Luck-Geary, a UQ speech pathology alumna, whose mother was very passionate about being part of the Body Donor Program.

Mrs Luck-Geary said her mother had hoped to speak at the ceremony, but she had sadly passed away before she had the chance.

 “I feel honoured to be able to express my mother’s tribute to the UQ Body Donor Program and to be able to present my mother’s thoughts, which she composed shortly before she passed away,” she said.

“My mother was dedicated to contributing to the program after she visited the anatomy laboratories at UQ many years ago.”

The UQ Thanksgiving Service is now in its 24th year and will be held at the UQ Centre on Thursday, 22 May from 5.30 - 6.30pm. It will honour the 263 donors who entered the program during 2012 and 2013.

Media: UQ School of Biomedical Sciences, Avril Johnston-Craig, 07 3365 1536, 0408 160 784,; Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Kate Gadenne, 07 3346 3036, 0438 727 895 or