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.