Medical advances in surgeries meant that demand for blood was higher than ever and this demand quickly outgrew our supplies

Post war, our purpose shifted to growing our donations and supplies to meet increasing civilian demand.

The 1950s was also an exciting time in the medical and research space. We collected donations that made ground-breaking surgeries possible, and provided the plasma for gamma globulin and immunoglobulin treatments for people who have been exposed to diseases such as chickenpox and measles. We worked on research to save the lives of babies with Rh incompatibility and offered aid overseas.

Australia was still reeling from the financial impacts of World War II and was an uncertain time for our state divisions who each had different funding arrangements. Towards the end of the decade, our lobbying resulted in greater financial stability for our services around Australia, with a funding model of Commonwealth 30%, states 60% and Red Cross 10%. This model has essentially become the foundation of how our funding works today.


  • Medical advances in surgeries saw a higher demand for blood, with supplies rapidly being outgrown
  • Groundbreaking surgeries and research were made possible through the collection of blood and plasma
  • Lifesaving research was undertaken into babies with Rh incompatibility
  • A funding model was implemented across each state transfusion service, with costs split between the Commonwealth, states and Red Cross, to provide greater financial stability