Today Vicki had lunch and a chat with the staff at the Education Department in Moe – we talked about all things asbestos. Many questions were asked – we want to thank Nadine for helping to make this happen – Nadine’s family has been touched by asbestos disease. Thank you to all the staff for getting behind Nadine and donating to us – it was a wonderful surprise. A lovely lunch with a great bunch of people.
Today our members were very excited to travel by chartered bus to the Olivia Newton John Wellness Centre to meet with Dr Tom John, Consultant Medical Oncologist and his dedicated team, who are doing some ground breaking work in the area of mesothelioma research. It was a real privilege and honor to be shown around the centre and the research facilities.
The Austin Health’s Medical Oncology Unit boasts integrated quality patient care with global cancer research. For those who do not know a medical oncologist is a doctor who specialises in cancer and oversees your chemotherapy and other medical treatments.
The medical oncologists work as part of a larger multidisciplinary team that includes radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and specialized cancer nurses. In consultation with their patients, the team plans and oversees patient treatments to help achieve the best possible outcome.
The Medical Oncology Unit works collaboratively with the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute. This relationship means the latest in cancer research is quickly translated into better care with patients having access to the latest treatments and clinical trials.
The Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Center is also home to a number of cancer research laboratories. Their research is patient-focused and patients are encouraged to participate in the research to find new treatments for cancers.
Melanoma and Cancer Vaccines – Prof Jonathan Cebon
Tumor Targeting and Imaging – Prof Andrew Scott
Molecular Diagnostics and Cancer Genetics – A/Prof Alex Dobrovic
Cancer Epigenetics – Prof John Mariadasen
Translational Lung Cancer – Dr Tom John
The Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre also includes a Wellness Centre on site. The unique facility offers cancer information to patients, comfortable rooms for group education or peer support and a patient sanctuary for quiet reflection. Wellness therapies to complement medical treatment are also conducted – such as meditation, acupuncture, massage, art and music therapy.
A bit of information on Dr Tom John he is a consultant medical oncologist recognized both nationally and internationally as an expert in cancers of the thoracic cavity, which includes lung cancers, thymus cancers and mesothelioma. He also has an interest in genetics and cancers that may run in some families.
He trained at Monash University in Melbourne from 1991 – 1996 (MBBS). He obtained his Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Physicians in 2004 (FRACP). He completed a PhD through the University of Melbourne in 2008. He undertook a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto and under the mentorship of Professors Ming-Sound Tsao and Frances Shepherd, two internationally acclaimed lung cancer researchers. He moved back to Australia in 2010 and is heavily involved in both basic research within a laboratory and clinical trials. He is the head of the Lung Oncology Clinic at the Austin Hospital.
It was a truly magical day and we appreciated all the time he and his fellow co-workers took to explain the research they are doing and the positive outcomes they are trying to achieve for mesothelioma sufferers – thank you so much from all our members.
ACV/GARDS crew attended the Newborough campus of Federation Training to deliver an asbestos awareness session to Trade Teachers who came from various TAFES around Victoria in the Painting & Decorating Depts. We were also privileged to have in attendance the Master Painters Australia (MPA)- Victoria/Tasmania Chief Executive Officer, Mark Amos. It was a great get together with much discussion on the current situation with imports and how this effects their profession. We were thrilled to catch up and have a chat with the Dept Heads for an exchange of information on this very import issue that will, and is, effecting everyone in trades across Australia. Below is some of those in attendance with our ACV/GARDS crew. Thanks for a great morning together I think we all got a lot out of the chat.
ACV/GARDS gang were down at Chisholm TAFE Berwick today delivering an Asbestos Awareness session to 60 apprentice plumbers. Great to see a female amongst the males taking on plumbing as a profession – good on her. Some great questions asked by the apprentices. It was a really enjoyable session with the apprentices and their trade teachers. We have been asked to come back next year for the new intake of apprentices. We are very honored to be given this role again in 2017. It is important that apprentices are aware! Thank you to all at Berwick TAFE for the wonderful support. A special thank you to Trevor for your friendship and dedication to helping make apprentices asbestos aware.
Minister Dutton needs to give this issue high priority. Penalties need to be strong and enforced, lets get real about this. Minister Dutton you need to give this the same attention as shipments of illegal drugs get at the border. We will have wave after wave of asbestos disease if this problem of asbestos imports is not dealt with at our border. People in the community think that asbestos in products is a thing of the past – it is not! – it is real and happening now! Come on Australian Government get your head out of the sand and start managing this very real carcinogen for the sake of future generations of Australians. : (
KGH Border Services Asbestos Review report handed down to Minister Dutton five months ago – only just released to the public today. At the blinding speed that the government is moving on this issue Australia will be awash with asbestos products being imported from overseas. Keep in mind that 12 Australians die each week from mesothelioma and in 2014 – according to the AMR – 641 people died of mesothelioma in Australia. For every mesothelioma there are 10 other asbestos related diseases such as pleural plaque, lung cancer, asbestosis etc.
Report link included for your information
ACV/GARDS organisation alerted the Federal Government and the Australian community to asbestos in crayons last year and asked ACCC and Border Force to investigate and track down all crayons from all suppliers and find out which ones in Australia contained asbestos and take action. We wanted a compulsory recall of all crayons and our government agencies in their wisdom gave us a voluntary recall. They said they posed only a “small risk” and we say if children put the crayons in their mouths and chew them then they are potentially exposing themselves to the ingestion of asbestos fibres. Wouldn’t it have been nice to think that the ACCC would have continued testing crayons that came into our country for a considerable time and not relied on any more “credible reports” from the community or else where to conduct testing – random tests on crayons coming in over the last 10 months would have been, we think, a sensible safe guard for our most precious and vulnerable little Aussies “Our Kids”.
This year we have seen all sorts of products coming into this country with asbestos in them – roof panels, cement fibre board panels, gaskets, brakes and many more products that haven’t been identified yet. This is a disgrace these products are getting past our border protection and into the Australian community. We need the Federal Government to do more in this space – we need to see prosecutions for violating the Australian law which incur large fines and maybe tougher laws to send a message that we mean business. We need the Australian Government to say anyone who thinks they are going to bring asbestos tainted products into this country could face jail time – there needs to be fairdinkum consequences for those who think they can ignore our laws and get away with just a pat on the hand. This is a carcinogen and it kills people – maybe not straight away, but who wants to play Russian Roulette with their life or the life of their loved ones. Get serious and deal with monumental problem – otherwise generations to come will suffer the fate of those who have gone before. All of this is preventable if you act.
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ACV/GARDS crew travelled up to Bendigo on Wed 27th July & spent Thurs at Bendigo TAFE delivering asbestos awareness sessions to around 80 apprentice Plumbers, Electricians, Carpentry and Painting & Decorating. Great bunch of apprentices – we had two very productive sessions. Terrific questions and discussions in both sessions. Lots of awareness was happening. Thank you to all the TAFE trade teachers for all their support and friendship. It was good to catch up with everyone at Bendigo TAFE. Looking forward to more sessions there in the future. Making apprentices aware of asbestos in their workplaces and in the domestic scene. All in all a successful experience and trip.