Thanksgiving service marks outstanding human generosity

Final year medicine student Nick Cocks has the honour of carrying the Book of Remembrance at the third annual Griffith University thanksgiving service this Thursday (Oct 13), and the occasion is not lost on him.

The Book of Remembrance contains the names of 75 people who have bequeathed their bodies to Griffith University for anatomy teaching and research since the program started in 2006.

These people and other unnamed donors will be remembered at a memorial service at the Gold Coast Arts Centre, starting at 6pm on Thursday.

“I’ve been able to learn so well because of those who have donated their bodies,” Nick said.

Nick and his medical peers have already reaped vital education benefits from the body donation program, and he feels like he has a head start toward a career in surgery.

“Compared to reading a textbook, I’ve got much more of a real-life education,” he said.

“We can learn the names and locations of different body parts from textbooks, but knowing how these parts differ from person to person is something that cannot be learned from a textbook.

“It’s hard to know from a textbook how thick skin is or how deep a layer of tissue is but having this kind of hands-on experience is so important. I’m now confident assisting in surgery because of my laboratory experiences with 3D specimens.

“I am eternally grateful to the people who have donated their bodies. Hopefully my work in the future can do justice to their extraordinary and generous decisions.”

The service will start with a procession of students, academics and invited guests, led by Nick Cocks carrying the Book of Remembrance.

As part of the service, a minute’s silence will follow the reading of the donors’ names.

Head of the School of Anatomy, Professor Mark Forwood (pictured) said the program supports the education of health students in disciplines such as medicine, medical science, pharmacy, physiotherapy, exercise science, dentistry and oral health.

“Body donations from the local community are vitally important so our health students can receive practical training in human anatomy,” he said.

“The generosity of body donors, our state-of the-art anatomy facilities, and committed teachers ensure our students receive the very best preparation for their chosen careers.”

Over 1000 Griffith University first year students use the facility every year.

“We are very appreciative of the decisions made by these donors and the support shown by their families. This Thanksgiving Service is a public demonstration of that appreciation,” Professor Forwood said.

For more information about Griffith’s Body Bequest Program, telephone 07 5552 7700

or email [email protected]