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Month: November 2022

The real impact of asbestos on our community, Perth City lights blue in memory.

A lot of people think asbestos and asbestos disease is a thing of the past and not relevant anymore.

But for so many of us, the reality is very different. We need to keep raising awareness of the dangers to stop people dying from a disease that is preventable.

This National Asbestos Awareness Week (21-27 November), we lit Perth City blue in memory of loved ones who have died from asbestos disease and as a reminder to remain vigilant when it comes to properties where asbestos could be.

At our Steeltoes & Stilettos event on Friday 18 November, 20-year-old, Mackenzie Lighton officially lit the City blue to honour her mum who has mesothelioma, the terminal asbestos-related cancer.

In October last year, my mum was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lung pleura, caused by inhaling asbestos fibres. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this aggressive form of cancer, and over the past year, I have watched just how destructive this disease and its treatments are.

Mackenzie Lighton

We need to work together to make sure everyone is aware of the dangers of being exposed to asbestos. You can help by talking to your family and friends about asbestos and letting them know that it is still around in buildings built or renovated prior to 1990. Asbestos wasn’t banned in Australia until December 2003, which wasn’t really that long ago.

Our support team at Reflections know only too well the real impact of asbestos, having all watched someone they love die from mesothelioma. They are committed to supporting and caring for others as they go through possibly the darkest time of their life. They do all this at no cost to the client or their families, a commitment made by our founder who passed from mesothelioma in December 2016 and something we are determined to honour.

But we can only do this with your help. By making a tax-deductible donation you will be helping us reduce the impact of asbestos. If you or someone you know already benefit from these amazing services, by leaving a gift in your will you are leaving a legacy that will live on and make a real difference in the lives of others.

Steeltoes & Stilettos – Australia’s leading tradie fundraiser, bringing Asbestos Awareness to the big stage.

On Friday 18 November at the Hyatt Regency Perth, 31 brave tradies took to the runway to raise funds and awareness of the ongoing dangers of asbestos. Just over $47,000 was raised by our tradies and through raffles and a silent auction… so close to our target of $50,000. Funds that will be used to increase awareness and reduce the impact of asbestos on the next generations.

Our 3rd Steeltoes & Stilettos, over 200 attendees were highly entertained by the antics of the tradies as they strut their stuff for the cause. Paired with models who were dressed in gowns by Raimonds, the tradies competed in four trade runways – Carpentry, Masonry, Electrical, and Plumbing – hoping to be selected by our esteemed judging panel as finalists. The chosen eight were then given the chance to walk again in the grand final runway, with Lizzy ‘the Grano Girl’ Eaton, taking out the title of this year’s Steeltoes Tradie Model of the Year.

Prizes were also awarded to the highest fundraiser, Lachy ‘Strawberry Daiquiri’ Butler, and two minor prizes were awarded for fundraising efforts to Evan Turner and Noah Stafford. Well done!

A big shout-out to all our sponsors and supporters including our Runway sponsors Bunnings Trade, Colgan Industries, Electrical & Communications Association of WA, and Master Plumbers & Gasfitters Association WA/MPA Insurance along with our Footwear sponsor, Hark Yakka. Sponsorship enables us to use the funds raised by the tradies to increase asbestos awareness.

Our hosts, Dan Bailey (Tradie HQ) and Jo Morris (Reflections) welcomed everyone and our MC, Christina Morrissy, guided us through the evening. John Gelavis, spoke about why he supports the work Reflections does and the ongoing need for asbestos safety both in trades and in the broader community.

Master Builders salute the active role that Reflections plays in raising awareness of the potentially fatal risk of dealing with asbestos in the building and construction industry. Events such as this bring the asbestos message to a wider audience and help make young people aware of the terrible outcomes associated with this dangerous substance.

John Gelavis, Executive Director Master Builders and Reflections Ambassador

If you would like to get involved in Steeltoes & Stilettos next time, let us know and we will keep you informed in the lead-up. And donations can still be made if you would like to help us get to our target of $50,000. Donations are tax-deductible and will make a real difference.

Asbestos has left a devastating legacy in WA. With the highest recorded rates of mesothelioma in the world and, likely, the most in-situ asbestos of all the states.

Asbestos was used in over 3000 common products prior to being phased out by 1990 and banned in 2003. It is still in millions of homes and public and commercial buildings making it a very real and ongoing threat.

Founded in 2015 by Jo Morris and her father Barry Knowles, Reflections is a not-for-profit REDUCING THE IMPACT of asbestos and BRINGING HOPE to those affected.

My dad was the apprentice carpenter who didn’t know about the dangers of asbestos and paid the ultimate price. This event not only keeps asbestos on the radar, it also generates much-needed funds which we will use to inform the next generation of tradies. To sponsors, partners, production teams, tradies, guests and the Reflections Team – THANK YOU!! Together we ARE reducing the impact of asbestos on future generations.

Jo Morris

Pics and videos of the night will be on our Steeltoes & Stilettos Facebook page.

National Asbestos Awareness Week 2022: Think twice about asbestos disposal – do things the right way. 

In 2022, National Asbestos Awareness Week (21-27 November) reminds Australians to Think Twice About Asbestos. This year, the campaign asked home occupiers and tradespeople to ‘do things the right way’ by ensuring the proper and lawful disposal of asbestos. 

An estimated 4,000 Australians die annually from asbestos-related diseases, which is nearly four times the annual road toll. Australia still has one of the highest death rates of asbestos-related diseases per capita in the world.

Asbestos is still present in millions of homes, as well as public and commercial buildings. Many buildings constructed before 1990 still contain asbestos. In fact, across Australia, asbestos is in 1 in 3 homes.  Asbestos causes cancer and if not disposed of properly, it puts council workers, and the community’s health at risk. This is why we are asking all Australians to do things the right way when it comes to asbestos disposal.  

It is our privilege and honour to support people with asbestos disease and to be working with industry to ensure the next generation of tradies are aware of the dangers of asbestos.

Jo Morris, Co-Founder and Managing Director

Alarmingly, *research has shown that over a third of those who have encountered asbestos during a DIY project or renovation admitted to illegal and dangerous disposal – mostly in their own or a neighbour’s household bin.  Also alarming, is the illegal dumping of asbestos waste in the environment or at sites not licensed to accept asbestos waste.   

An estimated 6,000 tonnes of asbestos are illegally dumped every year costing around $11.2 million per annum to remediate.  The impact of illegal dumping extends far beyond health and the environment, costing taxpayers millions each year in clean-up costs and illegally dumped asbestos puts an unnecessary strain on public resources; resources that could be better spent on other vital community services.

Illegal asbestos disposal is a crime. There are strict laws relating to illegal disposal and heavy fines apply. This includes improper disposal of asbestos such as in kerbside or skip bins. All asbestos waste must be properly disposed of at a licensed facility. 

People working on homes built or renovated before 1990 can find out how to remove and dispose of asbestos the right way by contacting a licensed asbestos professional or seeking advice. Even tradies need to call a licensed asbestos professional if they don’t have the equipment, skills, training or a licence to handle asbestos.

By working together, we can make asbestos disease a thing of our past and not our future.

Jo Morris

Protect your household, your workmates, and your community. Find out how to safely and legally dispose of asbestos in your area.

Further information is available at www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe and www.asbestossafety.gov.au

*Research conducted by Newgate Research on behalf of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency.