Am I On The List?

Kidney Transplant Waitlist for Indigenous Australians

Indigenous Australians, Kim and Trent share their stories about receiving a kidney transplant. If you have kidney disease, ask your doctor: Am I On The List? 

Kim's story

Kim received a kidney transplant in 2015 after being on dialysis for more than three years.

She’s currently living in South Australia, and her kidney is still functioning today.

Trent's story

Trent received a kidney transplant in 2006 and six years of dialysis.

Now, he’s living in Bendigo where he works in an active role without the need for dialysis. 

Frequently asked questions

Why is it important to be on the kidney transplant list?

Transplantation provides Indigenous Australians with the opportunity to live a longer, more active, dialysis free life. 

On average, people who need to receive a kidney are on the transplant waiting list for three to four years. Some people only wait one year, while others may wait for more than five years.

The sooner you’re on the transplant waiting list, the sooner you can be offered a kidney transplant and come off dialysis. 

If you have kidney disease, ask your doctor: Am I on the list?

Kidney disease is more common in Indigenous Australians.
  • Some 13 per cent of patients receiving dialysis treatment in Australia are Indigenous.
  • Only 2.3 per cent of people who receive a kidney transplant in Australia are Indigenous.
  • In Australia, 1,100 people are waiting for a kidney transplant, but only five per cent of these people are Indigenous.  

Am I eligible to be on the kidney transplant list?

To be considered for the transplant waiting list, you must:

  • Have completed the transplant work-up tests.
  • Have no untreated infections.
  • Have no other major health problems such as severe heart, lung disease, or cancer.
  • Have the ability to cope with management and ongoing treatment that is required for life.


While transplantation is a good option for many, it is not suitable and safe for everyone.

The first step is to speak to your kidney doctor to see if you might be a suitable candidate for a transplant. 

Ask your doctor: Am I on the list?

How do I get on the kidney transplant list?

To be placed on a transplant waiting list, there are a number of tests you will need to undertake to ensure you are fit and healthy to receive a new kidney.

Speak with your kidney doctor who can guide you through the transplant work-up or refer you to a specialist kidney transplant clinic to complete the tests. 

Ask your doctor: Am I on the list?

What happens when I am on the kidney transplant list?

Your doctor or transplant nurse will inform you when you are accepted on the transplant waiting list.

Through this time you maintain regular contact with your doctors, a healthy lifestyle, and your dialysis routine to ensure you stay on the transplant waiting list.

If you ever feel uncertain, don’t be afraid to ask for support.   

What support is in place for Indigenous Australians with kidney disease?

There are a wide range of support services available for Indigenous Australians with kidney disease.

On your transplant journey, be sure to seek out your hospital’s Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer, transplant nurse, and kidney doctor.

Your local Aboriginal Medical Service will also be able to support you.

Further information and resources:

Australian Indigenous Health InfoNet

Relevant, accessible information on kidney disease.

Kidney Health Australia

Information on kidney transplants. 

Indigenous resources library.

Free phone service with additional support from trained health professionals: 1800 454 363.

Transplant Australia

Information to gain an understanding of organ donation and the transplant journey.