• To produce a documentary of the real-life story of an Indigenous man facing kidney failure and considering with his family the implications of a live kidney donor transplant.
  • To capture the sensitive discussions between family members and health professionals around the impact of a live donor transplant
  • To raise awareness of organ donation and transplantation and the processes associated with donor assessment and acceptance for Indigenous people
  • To shed light on how improvements in care and increases in Indigenous donor transplant rates can be achieved.

Transplant Story: A Personal Journey is a 52 minute film of the real-life story of an Indigenous family living with kidney disease. The documentary closely follows a young man, who had a living donor transplant when he was a child and which lasted 24 years.

In an unprecedented act of generosity, the young man and his family invited Menzies to make a film of their journey as they work through the complex issues of organ donation. Award winning film maker Brendan Fletcher, who has a long standing relationship with the family will produce the film.

Filming commenced in early 2013 and will follow the family as they negotiate the health system and cover the sensitive discussions between family members and health professionals; the transplant operation; recovery of the donor and recipient; and the patient’s return home to the Kimberley.

Implications for policy and practice:

There are many reasons for low transplant rates including that Aboriginal people are less likely to be healthy donors and the possibility that they might be less willing to consider donation. However, the story of transplantation is more complex than that and current take home information for patients unintentionally simplifies the transplant workup creating unrealistic expectations of the process and time frames.
Documenting this journey serves two key kidney education purposes: it will provide a resource that enables patients to explore key concepts with healthcare providers; and will provide the backbone on which to develop useful educational resources that address any identified shortcomings.

Our research has found:  

A kidney transplant offers the best quality of life for a person with kidney disease. It is the lowest cost option and offers the best result of all treatment options. Even though Indigenous Australians are many times more likely to suffer kidney failure, less than one in 20 transplants are allocated to Indigenous Australians.

Chief investigator and project manager:
Contact information:
Project dates:

The project will run from 2013 - 2015.

  • Amgen Australia