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Archive

Month: April 2022

What motivates me? – on our 7th anniversary our Co-Founder reflects on how it all began and where we are today

I’m often asked questions like “Are you doing this for your Dad?” or told, “Your Dad would be so proud.” As much as I appreciate the sentiment and know that he would be, this is bigger than us.

As we reach our seventh anniversary, I’ve taken the time to reflect on how it all began and where Reflections is now. 

Our motives were simple. Dad was driven to encourage others struggling with asbestos disease and raise funds for research into a cure, even though he realised it would come too late to save him. My motivation was around preventing others from going through what we were. 

It was a proud moment when we handed over the big cheque to Professor Bruce Robinson on Dad’s birthday in 2016, only weeks before he passed. With ongoing ties to the National Centre for Asbestos Related Disease and the world-class medical research being undertaken, it was exciting to hear the recent announcement of the WA Comprehensive Cancer Centre that will benefit so many.

Knowing what I know now about asbestos, every time I see or hear of a natural disaster; devastating bushfires; the mishandling of or complacency around asbestos materials, my thoughts go straight to the potential impact in years to come. As a new diagnosis causes them to look back and the realisation dawns. The fact that it was avoidable. The ‘if only’s. The inevitable loss and sadness. 

It was good to hear of the recent closure of Wittenoom, but I’m concerned this only reinforces the misconception that asbestos is a thing of our past. The legacy of asbestos will be with us for a long time and there is still a lot to do to ensure people understand the risk and do what they can to prevent exposure. Working with a dedicated team of people who share my vision, is invigorating.

“The past seven years have been a culmination of good times and bad. From overwhelming sadness to elation and joy. But none of it would have happened without YOU… the people who support the work we do in reducing the impact of asbestos on the community. “

The past couple of years have brought so much growth to Reflections along with the inevitable highs and lows. The development of our Strategic Plan – our Mission, Vision and Values, all reinforcing our original intent; the announcement that WA is the first state with mandatory asbestos awareness training for trainees; the privilege of walking alongside and bringing hope to people facing a seemingly hopeless situation as they come to terms with a mesothelioma diagnosis, and the honour of standing by their side as they say goodbye to their soulmate.  

Together we ARE making a real difference… and that is what motivates me. Thank you! 

If you would like to know more or find out how you can get involved, I would love to hear from you.

Jo Morris – Reflections’ Co-Founder and Managing Director

All donations over $2 are tax deductible and will be used to reduce the impact of asbestos and bring hope to those affected.

What a difference it makes – a year on, our Support Network Coordinator provides insight

There is no way to positively spin a terminal cancer diagnosis, especially when people haven’t heard of it and struggle to pronounce it.

Providing accurate, up-to-date information, in the context of an individual diagnosis can help people understand the reality of their mesothelioma diagnosis and avoid the often contradictory, inaccurate, and disheartening information pitfalls of the internet. 

Mesothelioma rates in Western Australia are among the highest in the world. Affecting both men and women with ages ranging from 25 to 90+ years old, no one is immune from the effects of asbestos.

I walk alongside, offering support and guidance to alleviate anxiety, and the isolation felt when coming to terms with the loss of health, independence, income, intimacy, and future. It is still hard sometimes and that is okay. Being authentic is important, it gives people permission to be real and messy in tough times. 

“I’ve walked in those shoes, fallen through the cracks, felt those losses, experienced anxiety and survived to come out the other side.”

Working with the mesothelioma community honours my husband and keeps him a part of our everyday life. My role with Reflections enables me to use my nursing skills and lived-experience in a way that aligns with my values. Be kind, make a difference, do good things, laugh often and eat cake! It is a view shared by the whole team. 

Our not-for-profit structure allows us to prioritise taking the time to understand individual needs and challenges. We work closely with families, health providers and agencies across Australia and the world to ensure safe, easy, and affective relationships. Our facilitated, fortnightly support groups provide opportunities to share experiences, reassurance, and community. This is especially important as colleagues, family and friends, although well intended, can understandably stumble with what to say or do.

The Reflections community is like a lighthouse. Shining a light for people in their darkest times, letting them know they are not alone, helping them to weather this storm and highlighting the ongoing risk of asbestos to protect future generations.  

If you, or someone you know, are impacted by an asbestos disease and would like to know more or find community with people who truly understand, do not hesitate to get in touch.

Lizz Clarke – Reflections Support Network Co-ordinator

Lizz and Tracey

Steeltoes & Stilettos will return to the runway later this year

The moment we have all been waiting for has finally arrived! We are excited to announce STEELTOES & STILETTOS will be returning to the runway as we once again bring the risk of asbestos to the big stage.

Asbestos has left a devastating legacy in Western Australia with the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world and the most in-situ asbestos of all states. Asbestos can still be found in 1 in 3 Australian homes and every year in Australia there are an estimated 4,000 deaths from past exposure to the deadly material. This landmark event not only increases awareness within industry, but also spreads the message to the wider community.

Tradies register and raise funds for the opportunity to walk the catwalk with a model at the main event to be held in the heart of Perth’s CBD. There are several runway categories representing different trades including electrical, carpentry, masonry, plumbing and finishes. On the night, the red carpet will be rolled out and guests will enjoy drinks and canapés as the top ten fundraising tradies in each category strut their stuff in the hope of being named this year’s Model Tradie of the Year!

Are you a busines owner?
Do you align with the message of asbestos safety?
Few events offer this kind of brand exposure.
If you would like to see your company name up in lights, contact us to find out more. There are a range of opportunities, and we are happy to tailor a package to suit.

Follow the event on Facebook and Instagram and keep an eye out for more information.

Here are some pics from our last event…

“There remains an ongoing danger to our tradies and everyone working on sites where materials containing asbestos are present. Too many people have the impression that asbestos is a thing of the past, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There needs to be greater awareness and education as to the risks involved. Only through ongoing focus in this area will we truly reduce the impact of asbestos-related deaths in our community.”

Dale Alcock – REFLECTIONS AMBASSADOR, Managing Director ABN Group