Thanksgiving Ceremony honours body donors for their ultimate gift

21 Oct 2015

The 183 people who generously donated their bodies to medical science at The University of Queensland in the past year will be honoured at a ceremony next week.

The annual UQ Body Donor Thanksgiving Ceremony will allow UQ students and staff to publicly express their appreciation for the generosity of donors and their families for their highly valued contribution to research, science and medical teaching at the University.

UQ Body Donor Program Acting Manager Ms Avril Johnston-Craig said the gifts bestowed to the program had enabled the School of Biomedical Sciences to provide one of the largest anatomy teaching and research facilities in the world.

“Donors and their families entrust such a precious gift to our care,” she said.

“We feel extremely privileged.  

“Body donation plays an essential role in teaching students anatomical skills.

“It also provokes our students and others to think about ethics, mortality, personal contribution, community obligation, and the potential for one person to make such a significant impact to benefit future generations.”

This year’s Thanksgiving Ceremony will feature a keynote address by internationally recognised anatomist  Dr Walter Wood OAM, who will reflect on his 30-year career at UQ.  

Now retired, Dr Wood said he had received a great deal of satisfaction over the decades from passing on his love of anatomy to students.

“The contribution that donors and their families make to the University is of enormous value,” he said.

“While students can look at anatomical images in atlases or on computers, it is vitally important that they also have experience with donated bodies.

“This enables them to develop an appreciation of the breadth of human variation as every individual body is different.”

The UQ Body Donor Program Thanksgiving Ceremony is in its 23rd year and will be held at the UQ Centre on Thursday, 29 October from 5.30 - 6.30pm. Members of the public are welcome, and should RSVP online.

Media: Ms Avril Johnston-Craig, +61 7 3365 2515,; Ms Lynda Flower, School of Biomedical Sciences, +61 7 3365 1536,