Jenny Kee’s latest iconic design a celebration of giving
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has teamed up with trailblazing and iconic Australian artist and designer Jenny Kee ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8 to celebrate those who give blood.
Kee, who is one of the country’s most inspiring female artists and designers, first witnessed the power of blood donation in 1977, when the train she and her two-year-old daughter were travelling on crashed, killing 83 passengers.
In the aftermath of the accident, which became known as the Granville train disaster, Kee has never forgotten the thousands of Australians who came together to donate blood to save the lives of those who had been injured.
“It was a truly horrible event, but I later found out over 2,000 people donated blood for those injured passengers. I just think there’s something inspiring about that,” Kee said.
“Complete strangers coming together to give a part of themselves to try and save the lives of someone they’ve never even met. It was a glimmer of hope in what was a very dark day,” she said.
Every week, 33,000 Australians take the time to donate blood and plasma to help save the lives of people they have never met. Just one blood donation can save up to three lives.
To celebrate the generosity of these remarkable Australians, Kee has created an iconic, limited-edition bandage, which will be wrapped around the arms of donors who roll up their sleeves to donate throughout March.
Inspired by International Women’s Day, Kee says the bold bandage, which is emblazoned with some of her signature motifs, including doves, hearts and waratahs, also pays tribute to the generous and giving women of Australia who change lives.
“The bandage is my homage to all women. The dove represents universal peace, heart for the love it never stops giving, and the Waratah – she is the ultimate queen of the bush. Bringing these three beautiful symbols together in one image makes for a powerful visual statement for the empowerment of women,” she said.
Lifeblood Executive Director of Donor Services, Cath Stone said Lifeblood was thrilled to work with pioneering Australian designer Jenny Kee to acknowledge Australia’s generous donors and raise awareness of their life-saving contributions.
“We are excited to work with such an iconic and inspirational Australian artist and designer to celebrate the generosity of Australia’s blood donors,” Ms Stone said.
“This stunning bandage is a reminder that by giving up your time to donate blood you can save up to three lives,” she said.
One donation is needed every 18 seconds in Australia and a new blood donor is needed every four minutes. Currently 55% of new donors in Australia are women.
In addition to recognising women who give blood, Ms Stone said International Women’s Day was also an opportunity to thank Lifeblood’s breast milk donors.
“In the past year, Lifeblood delivered 3,493 litres of breast milk to 35 hospitals in South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia,” Ms Stone said.
“Thanks to the generosity of 360 breastfeeding mums we were able to help more than 1,500 of Australia’s youngest and most vulnerable premature babies.”
The Jenny Kee-designed bandage is part of Lifeblood’s 2023 True Colours campaign. The campaign sees Lifeblood partner with Australian artists and designers to create limited-edition bandages to help boost blood donations while ensuring donors look and feel great while donating.
Kee said: “Giving blood is the ultimate act of kindness and it costs nothing but your time. Your generosity might just save a life.”
The Jenny Kee bandages will be available at Lifeblood donor centres nationwide from March 6, including International Women’s Day on March 8, and while stocks last.
To book a donation, call 13 14 95, visit lifeblood.com.au, or download the free Donate Blood app.