Just type and press 'enter'


Thank you for
signing up!

Your membership is appreciated


Month: March 2024

2024 Asbestos Conference – Sustaining Innovation

What does innovation look like when it comes to asbestos management? This was explored at the Asbestos 2024 Conference in Melbourne from 4 to 6 March.

Jo Morris, our Managing Director and Co-founder, journeyed east and joined others within the asbestos industry to discover new ways to manage, remove and dispose of ageing asbestos containing materials, as well as innovations in diagnosing and treating asbestos-related illnesses.

The conference, hosted by Asbestos & Silica Safety & Eradication Agency (ASSEA) and the Faculty of Asbestos Management Australia & New Zealand (FAMANZ), also looked at how the industry will identify and manage other elongated mineral particles being more widely found in the natural environment. It was a full schedule with insightful speakers and meaningful takeaways.

Here’s a short overview…

They heard from our Reflections ambassador, Professor Fraser Brims, Respiratory Physician of Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital about the Asbestos Review Program he heads and techniques being used for early lung cancer and mesothelioma detection.

Professor Steven Kao, Oncologist of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, also presented and spoke on the promising research he and the scientists at the Asbestos Dust Disease Research Institute (ADDRI) were undertaking aimed at improving treatment of mesothelioma. They also received insight as to benefit of using mesothelioma specific nurses in the healthcare system in the United Kingdom from Liz Darlinson from Mesothelioma UK.

There were also presentations from companies and State based government agencies about the volume of asbestos cement materials (“ACMs”) still in the built environment which are now being subjected to renovation works and beginning to degrade. Currently there remains 6.4 million tonnes of ACMs in the built environment, with 1 in 3 Australian homes contain asbestos. Should ACMs be removed from buildings in the next few years, 28,000 deaths could be prevented by 2100. That’s an incredible statistic, emphasising the impact of asbestos and why we strive to raise awareness to reduce these ongoing risks.

Unfortunately, asbestos continues to be used around the world including in Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia. There is significant difficulty in having mesothelioma diagnosed in these regions. And looking a bit closer to home, Thuroona Services discussed their role in the removal of the last dwellings and buildings in Wittenoom. These buildings were removed in an attempt to discourage people from visiting the region formerly renowned for the mining of blue asbestos in the 1960s. Something many West Australians are, sadly, familiar with.

From all accounts, it was incredibly valuable attending such an informative conference and catch up with those who share similar values aimed at advocating those exposed to asbestos and suffering from mesothelioma. A special mention to the Asbestos Victims Association (SA), Asbestos Disease Foundation of Australia (NSW), the Asbestos Council of Victoria (VIC) and the team at Turner Freeman Lawyers.

Unveiling Hope: Reflections launches The Hope Companion  

The Hope Companion is an innovative new support resource for the mesothelioma community, and anyone affected by asbestos-related diseases. 

Every year we gather with our community to acknowledge and appreciate the work being done to eradicate mesothelioma and provide support and hope to those affected. In a way, this year was no different, however it was extra special.  

On 29th February 2024 we hosted our annual Appreciation Breakfast. And it was a meaningful date for us for several reasons. Not just because it was a leap year, but because it was Rare Disease Day. Given mesothelioma is certainly one of those, it seemed the perfect opportunity to come together and unveil a project we have been working on for 18 months. 

We launched The Hope Companion: our ground-breaking new resource to support and guide anyone affected by mesothelioma. 

Celebrating resilience on Rare Disease Day 

Over 80 dignitaries, government members, industry leaders, medical professionals, clients, caregivers, and many more joined us at Frasers Restaurant overlooking Perth’s beautiful Kings Park.  

Our Patron, Professor Lyn Beazley AO, set the tone for the day, highlighting the significance of collaborative efforts in combating mesothelioma.  

Casey Beros, our facilitator, not only guided us with warmth, humour and humility, but she also shared a personal connection to the cause as the caregiver to her late father who died from the disease.  

The morning brimmed with heartfelt testimonies and insightful discussions as this year we held a panel discussion led by luminaries Professor Fraser Brims, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital; Tiffany Allen, CEO of our sponsor Construction Training Fund; and our client Lyn, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma seven years ago. Together, they delved into current medical research, asbestos awareness and training in the construction industry, and the arduous journey of those diagnosed with mesothelioma. 

This poignant discussion about the need for more awareness and support was the perfect ‘jumping off ‘point to unveil our new resource, The Hope Companion.  

What’s included in this new support resource? 

Crafted as a compendium of six booklets, The Hope Companion intertwines lived experiences with reliable medical information, offering a comprehensive roadmap for navigating the disease’s challenges. It is the how-to guide for living well with mesothelioma. 

As Lizz, our Support Network Coordinator, aptly puts it, “It is the guide we wish we had had”, recalling the time following her husband’s diagnosis. 

From disease-specific information to handy checklists, practical advice, useful suggestions, personal anecdotes, a resource directory, space for reflection and more, The Hope Companion helps people live well with the disease while preparing for the reality of what lies ahead. 

Why The Hope Companion is the mesothelioma must-have guide 

What sets the compendium apart from other resources is its holistic approach to support, as Professor Anna Nowak, Mesothelioma Researcher and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UWA, explains: 

The Hope Companion is a wonderful resource for people impacted by this devastating disease. Every page combines empathy, common sense, and lived experience with trustworthy medical information. 

With insights into disease progression, wellbeing strategies, caregiver support, and end-of-life planning, The Hope Companion emerges not just as a resource, but a companion on the journey towards knowledge and hope. 

To access The Hope Companion or learn more about Reflections, please get in touch.