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Queen’s Birthday Honour for milestone blood donor

blood donor Robyn Murray
Lifeblood's Dean Krueger and Lyn Carpenter with Robyn Murray (middle) at her 500th donation in 2018. Photo: Contributed by Australian Red Cross Lifeblood.

Giving blood is part of everyday life for Robyn Murray, who after well over 500 donations in 58 years has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday 2020 Honours List.

The annual list was announced today, highlighting 933 outstanding Australians, including Order of Australia medal recipient Robyn, who have all made a significant contribution to the community.

The 76-year-old from Sharon said she started giving blood at Bundaberg's Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Centre when she turned 18 and it was something that she had kept up ever since.

“I have been blessed with good health all of my life but around that time I had a relative who need a blood transfusion,” she said.

“That's what made me decide to start donating and I have never looked back.”

In almost six decades, Robyn has not only given up her time for blood donations, she has also given 225 whole blood, 258 plasma and 41 platelet donations.

As an O+ donor, her blood donations alone have helped save the lives of more than 1500 people.

Robyn said donating was something that she “just did” and continuously encouraged others to get on board.

“When I received the letter that had told me I had been nominated for the Queen's Birthday Honours List, I was rather thankful not because of the praise, but because it was another way for me to encourage other people to give blood,” she said.

“It's a very worthwhile experience.”

Robyn Murray says benefits involved for all

Robyn Murray said there were so many benefits involved in donating blood, not only for the recipient but also for the donor.

“You get a free health check every time you donate, which is a big bonus,” she said.

“You also get to meet so many lovely people, from the staff to other donors.”

Robyn said times had certainly changed since the beginning of her blood donation journey, with technology making the process easier than ever.

“I remember when I first started the needles were huge and the staff had to give you a numbing needle first,” she laughed.

“Now the needles are tiny and you don't even notice a thing.

“It's a great system, you get treated with delicious snacks afterwards and the staff are some of the best people you will meet.”

blood donor Robyn Murray
Robyn Murray and Lifeblood's Veronica Jacobsen celebrate 500 donations in 2018. Photo: Contributed by Australian Red Cross Lifeblood.

With so many donations under her belt, Robyn said she considered herself an unofficial spokesperson and major advocate for Lifeblood's goal in recruiting as many donors as possible.

She has been a guest speaker at many events and makes it her purpose to help to spread the message of saving lives through blood donations.

“It is worth it for everybody to at least give it a go,” she said.

“Some people cannot donate so we really need those who can to step in.”

While plenty of changes in blood donating had taken place over time, Robyn said there was one thing that remained the same.

“No matter what, there will always be a need for blood,” she said.

If you would like to donate blood, click here to make an appointment.

Robyn's blood donation achievements

  • More than 500 total blood donations.
  • 225 whole blood donations.
  • 258 plasma donations.
  • 41 platelet donations.
  • Speaker and special guest, Donor Recognition Ceremonies, ongoing.

Awards and recognition includes:

  • Milestone Donor Recipient, Bundaberg Region, Blood Donor Awards, 2018 (and numerous other years).

Governor General His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) congratulated Robyn and the rest of the honours list recipients for their continued work and support within the Australian community.

“In this list we see all the positives that are in our community – we see the great ideas, we see the hard-work, we see the love and compassion for fellow human beings – it’s a microcosm of Australia,” the Governor-General said.

“This list recognises a group of outstanding Australians who have made a contribution to their community, to Australia globally or domestically.

“Their efforts have been noted by their peers, they’ve been nominated and assessed independently as worthy of recognition.”



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