Gift of Life


2012 – 2015


Northern Territory: Alice Springs, Barunga, Berrimah, Darwin, Katherine, Naiuyu, Nguiu (Bathurst Island), Nhulunbuy, Palmerston, Santa Teresa, Timber Creek, Pine Creek, Yirrkala

Western Australia: Broome (various locations), Bunbury, Carnarvon, Geraldton, Kwinana, Perth (various locations), Port Hedland

About the poster

Gift of Life was written for Indigenous audiences to raise awareness about organ and tissue donations. This touching theatre production took audiences on a heartfelt journey of a woman who was struggling with the end stage of kidney disease, from dialysis to receiving a kidney transplant.

A large audience of patients, visitors, staff and supporters gathered around to take in the tale. While there were quite a few laughs, there were indeed a few tears – a very moving story about the significance of organ and tissue donation.

Royal Darwin Hospital, September 2014 forecast newsletter 

As a direct result of community and partner organisation requests, Artback NT toured Gift of Life in partnership with the Federal Organ and Tissue Authority and Donate Life in 2014 to Western Australia.

The strategy for staging the play at hospitals and renal centres was to prepare clinicians and outreach staff for donation outside the metropolitan area in the future … With just three actors playing the parts of girlfriend, young footballer, doctors, mother and dialysis patients, the 25 minute play has a surprisingly powerful impact … Almost 1,000 people watched the show during the 18 Western Australian performances and many admitted they didn’t know about organ and tissue donation or transplantation before. Some were already on dialysis or facing, it, which gave the story even more meaning for them. The overall reaction from Aboriginal audiences was that they would take a registration form home and speak with family about the subject – that, was the initial object.

Sue Scrutton, Communications Officer, Donate Life WA

Watch the ‘Gift of Life’ mini-documentary that includes interviews with playwright Ben Graetz and co-director Alex Galeazzi. The documentary follows the production from Darwin Entertainment Centre to Nguiu on Bathurst Island, giving a small insight into the work and dedication that drove the project.


Playwright: Ben Graetz

Co-directors: Ben Graetz, Alex Galeazzi

Cast and Crew


Cast: Tessa Rose, Ben Graetz, Ella Watson-Russell

Tour manager:  Robyn McLean


Cast: Rachael Chisholm, Ella Watson- Russell, Travis Cardona

Tour Manager: Ben Graetz


Cast: Ella Watson-Russell, Darren Edwards, Lynette Hubbard

Tour Manager: Rosealee Pearson


Cast: Ella Watson-Russell, Darren Edwards, Ellen Hankin

‘Gift of Life’, (clockwise from front) Ella Watson-Russell, Lynette Hubbard and Darren Edwards, Royal Darwin Hospital, 2014. Photographer: Tim Terry