COMMUNITY SPIRIT IN THEIR VEINS: Bob Walker and his daughter Sarah King, ready to give blood for the Australia Day long weekend.
COMMUNITY SPIRIT IN THEIR VEINS: Bob Walker and his daughter Sarah King, ready to give blood for the Australia Day long weekend. Warren Lynam

Father and daughter are bloody legends this Australia Day

IT'S not every day you come across a father and daughter so relaxed about being true-blue Aussie heroes, saving hundreds of lives regularly.

Bob Walker, 69, has donated blood 125 times and his daughter Sarah King, 39, is catching up with 100 donations.

And they're so relaxed because they can lie down while they do it.

Bob lives in Hervey Bay, but made a special trip to Maroochydore on Thursday, January 24, to donate blood with his daughter Sarah, who was celebrating her 100th donation.

He said he had started donating blood when he was 18, and would visit the blood-collection centre every four weeks.

"I got out of the habit for a while when I worked remotely," he said.

"When I retired, I moved to Hervey Bay. My daughter came to visit and it coincided with the date she was donating.

"She got me back into giving blood."

Bob laughs as he reassures people it's not a competition, "but we do have a bit of fun with it".

"We like to see who's going to finish first," he said.

"I might message that it took me 35 minutes to donate and she'll reply 36.

"In the old days, you could only donate every four weeks.

"Now you can donate fortnightly - that's how she caught up to me.

"Really, it's just about doing something good for other people.

"Then you get a sausage roll or a Kit-Kat or something for doing it."

Sarah was inspired to become a donor by her father's job as a medical scientist in pathology.

She started donating blood when she was in Year 12.

"Myself and a friend organised for the blood donor van to come to the school," she said.

"We got all our schoolmates to donate.

"My daughter Hannah wants me to bring her to donate on her 18th birthday.

"She's keen to follow in her mum and grandad Bob's footsteps."

The dynamic duo have friends and family who need blood, and are keen to continue donating.

"My Mum has had quite a few operations, and I lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer in 2014," Sarah said.

"It doesn't matter how rich or poor you are, anyone can do it.

"If you need blood, you need blood.

"You can't pay for it. It's something that people have to donate for you.

"It's easy and doesn't cost anything."

Red Cross spokeswoman Rebecca Ind said it was wonderful to see generations of families coming in to donate.

"You'll meet people who become donors because their parents or grandparents are donors, and it becomes one of those family traditions passed on," she said.

Rebecca said nine million Australians were eligible to give blood, but only half a million did.

"There are still eight-and-a-half million Australians yet to come in and have a go at being a blood donor," she said.

"We understand that for lots of different reasons people aren't able to give blood.

"But for most people, it's one of those things that once they do it the first time, they realise it's much easier than expected."



* Donor centres are at Level 1, 144 Horton Pde, Maroochydore, and 19 Mapleton Rd, Nambour. Visit


* 100 donors are needed in Maroochydore and Nambour on Saturday, January 26, and Monday, January 28.


* Cancer patients, trauma victims and those with bleeding disorders will need blood this Australia Day long weekend.


* New mums and newborn babies could need blood.


* It only takes an hour to donate.


* Refreshments are available after.