James Cook University has shown the capital cities what the North is made of by winning both the National Tertiary Challenge and the Australian Medical Student Association Vampire Cup blood donation challenges.
And it’s not just the other universities that JCU is beating. Since the start of 2020, JCU has welcomed 180 new donors, the nation’s best result for all Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Teams.
JCU students, staff, alumni and friends have taken out the 2020 National Tertiary Challenge with 1,189 donations of blood and plasma between 1 March and 31 May, comfortably ahead of the University of Melbourne with 1,046 donations and the University of Queensland with 1,033.
JCU Chancellor Bill Tweddell is a regular plasma donor and says he’s glad to see the University come out on top.
“I’ve been donating since 1968, when I was a student at JCU,” he said. “It’s great to see the University get behind the need for precious blood and plasma, and it really shows how much it means to JCU to be an integral, contributing part of our community.”
The University also won the Vampire Cup for the third year in a row with the JCU Medical Students Association (JCUMSA) recording 569 donations between 15 March and 9 May, well ahead of second-placed Griffith University with 310 donations, and the University of Newcastle with 290.
4th-year medicine student and JCUMSA Vampire Cup organiser Bianca Johnson said the result shows the passion of JCU’s medical students.
“In 2017 JCU was last place in the Vampire Cup but we turned around and have now won three years in a row with records in 2018 and 2019,” she said. “While we didn’t set a new record again this year we still did a great job with the added challenge of COVID-19.”
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood spokesperson Ben Payne said the result shows the North recognises the importance of donating blood and plasma.
“Through their donations they are saving lives and will hopefully encourage others to roll up their sleeves as well,” he said. “For those entering the medical and health workforces, they have started saving lives even before they graduate.”
The challenges were part of the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Teams group donation program. To donate call 131495 or visit lifeblood.com.au