Body Donor Program


Western Sydney University’s Anatomy Facility (Campbelltown Campus) is licensed to accept body donations made by members of the public who wish to make this unique contribution for the purposes of anatomical examination and the teaching and study of anatomy.

Donors that have been accepted to the program are used in the education and training of future surgeons, physicians, general practitioners, medical scientists, sports and exercise scientists and allied health professionals in the Anatomy laboratories within the facility.

Every donor is treated with great care and respect our students are made aware of the generosity of donors and their families who have become part of the Body Donor Program. On completion of our studies, donors will be cremated and relatives who have requested the return of ashes are able to retrieve them for commemorative purposes, or ashes can be scattered in the memorial garden at the Wonderfully Made Memorial Garden at Woronora Memorial Park, Sutherland .

Body Donation is an extremely personal choice and can be distressful for your family at the time of your death. To minimise stress during this time we ask that you please ensure you and your family have read the Body Donor Information Sheet prior to applying.

More Information

Members of the public may apply to donate their bodies through our Body Donor Program which complies with all legal requirements that govern the conduct of anatomical examinations in NSW facilities.

All prospective donors should read and agree to the information set out in the Body Donor Information Sheet (PDF, 254.11 KB) (opens in a new window)

Consent Form

Donors will not be considered for the program without the completion of our online Consent Form (opens in a new window). Upon completion of your online application, please download your Consent Form, sign and return via email to

Once your registration has been verified, you will be sent a donor card to keep in your wallet/purse.

You should also inform your family, nurse, doctor in attendance or nursing home administrator of your intentions and provide them with copies of your signed documentation.

Contact Us

For further information or enquiries in relation to our program please email the Body Donor Program at or by mail to:

Body Donor Program
Western Sydney University
Locked Bag 1797
Penrith NSW 2751

To notify of Donor death, please contact the Body Donor Program Coordinator as soon as possible:

Body Donor Program Coordinator
Western Sydney University
02 9852 5095

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a body donation?

Body donation is where a person’s body is given to the University for anatomical examination and teaching purposes following the donor’s death.

What is anatomical examination?

Anatomical examination is where a body or parts of a body, such as organs, are cut apart to allow a person to look at the inside of the body or body part. Anatomical examination may take place as part of research, education, or training for health professionals. Our Body Donor Program complies with the NSW Anatomy Act (1977) and the Human Tissue Act (2003).

Can a person be too old to donate his or her body?

No. Age is not a consideration in body donation. However, donors must be over 18 years of age to register with the Program.

Who may serve as a witness to my donation?

Any person 18 years or older, preferably someone expected to survive you, may act as your witness. That person is deemed to be your Senior Next of Kin. The signature of at least one such witness is required on the Donor Consent Form to ensure that person is aware of your intention to donate and is willing, when contacted about your donation, to abide by your wish to donate when the time comes.

How long will the University keep my body?

Under the NSW Anatomy Act (1977) and the Human Tissue Act (2003), the University is legally allowed to retain your body for teaching and research purposes for four (4) years. The University may apply to the Anatomy Inspector (NSW Department of Health) for an extension of the retention period up to a maximum of a further four (4) years. The University may apply for the extension of the retention period to maximise the use of such a valuable donation. The University will cremate of your body at a time no longer than eight (8) years (4 + 4 extension) from your date of death. You are encouraged to inform your family as to the length of the donation period.

Can the Body Donor Program reject my body?

Yes. There are many reasons a donor may not be accepted into the program. All donated bodies will be assessed against a series of screening questions to ensure there are no immediate risks to staff and students.

Reasons for rejection may include:

  • the body is unsuitable for the purpose for which it would be used.
  • it has been too long since death.
  • it is not feasible to transport the body to the program location.
  • the facility is full at the current time.
  • the body is not medically suitable for donation.

What expenses are involved upon the death of the donor?

After your death and only when your donation meets all screening requirements and is officially accepted into the Body Donor Program, the University will cover all expenses in relation to mortuary transportation and cremation. If the University is unable to accept your donation for any reason, your next-of-kin / executor will be responsible for all funeral costs.

Do I need to have alternative funeral arrangements in place if I am a registered donor?

Yes. Registration with the Body Donor Program is no guarantee you will be accepted at time of death. The suitability of a donor for the Program can only be determined at time of death, and the circumstances or condition of your body at that time may preclude you being accepted into the Program. We strongly recommend that donors ensure they have alternative funeral arrangements in place and that they discuss this fully with their next of kin.

When I am registered with your body donor program, what happens at the time of my death?

When you die, your surviving partner, Senior Next of Kin, Power of Attorney, or medical staff member should notify the Body Donor Program Coordinator as soon as possible by calling 02 9852 5095.  It is important these people have been provided with copies of your Body Donor Program consent documentation.

Is it possible for an ambulance service or even a family member to deliver my body to the University?

No. NSW state law requires a licensed mortuary service to conduct all body transportations. All donors are transported in a professional and ethical manner in vehicles equipped with proper mortuary transportation systems.

Will the University accept my body if I die outside of the Western Sydney University catchment radius?

No. NSW state law requires a licensed mortuary service to conduct all body transportations. All donors are transported in a professional and ethical manner in vehicles equipped with proper mortuary transportation systems.

What if I should die on a weekend or outside business hours?

Your family should still contact the Body Donor Program Coordinator as soon as possible by calling 02 9852 5095. The University will not accept body donations on public holidays or extended University holidays.

Donating your body to science is one of the greatest gifts one can give to make a lasting contribution to the education and training of our current and future health professionals and to advance science through research. Western Sydney University is extremely grateful to people who decide to donate.