The ACV/GARDS organisation would like to welcome a new member to the committee of management, Sharyn Fenech. Sharyn has taken a position on the committee as Ordinary Committee member and will be a wonderful asset to the organisation with her wealth of knowledge. Sharyn’s background is in banking, where she spent a number of years before retiring to care for her husband Peter, to help him battle with mesothelioma. Peter sadly passed away last year in March 2015. We congratulate Dorothy Roberts on being re-elected as President and David Fairbairn being re-elected as Treasurer. We wish all the members of the committee every success in 2016.
Members and the community are invited to the ACV/GARDS AGM.
Date: Saturday 30 January 2016
Venue: 41 Monash Road, Newborough
Further information please contact the ACV/GARDS office on 5127 7744.
New drugs and Medication, and dealing with death
Come to our first support group meetings for 2016 to hear speakers discuss these important and very real topics.
Date and time:
Tuesday 23 February at 1.30pm
Luke Prust – Chemist
Luke will speak about new drugs on the market and how to handle your medications
Date and time:
Tuesday 29 March at 1.30pm
John Bottomley – Minister, Uniting Church Australia
John will be coming to talk about a report he prepared called “Our system isn’t geared for death”
You’re invited to stay after our meetings for afternoon tea.
International Workers Memorial Day Event
Date and time:
Thursday 28th April at 11am
Centenary Rose Garden, Commercial Road, Morwell
Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony to honour those who have lost their lives through workplace
accidents and illness
Danny Boothman (Member of the Strzelecki String Busters singing ballads)
Paddy O’Dowd (Musican and singer)
Minister Russell Jones conducting an ecumenical service
Bill Dunbar Scottish bagpiper
Free community BBQ at the conclusion of the event with the compliments of
Gippsland Trades and Labour Council
Date and time:
Tuesday 31st May at 1.30pm
Bus Excursion to Darnum Musical Village
Date and time:
Tuesday 28th June at 9.30am – leaving the ACV/GARDS office – 41 Monash Road, Newborough
returning approx 2.30pm
Total cost $30 payable prior to day of trip. The cost is for lunch
Lunch will be:
5 points of sandwiches
Tea and Coffee
Date and time:
Tuesday 26th July at 1.30pm
Davin Nicholas – Teacher Federation Training GippsTAFE
Painting and Decorating
Davin will be speaking about volunteering his time as a part of Project Klic in Cambodia. The project facilitated the reconstruction of the Klic School in the Ratanakiri Province, which enables 140 students from the area to go to school in the North East of Cambodia. Project Klic is funded by the Bryn Hendry Foundation, a grass root’s charity which raises money to build schools in poverty stricken regions around the world. The foundation was initiated by the family of Bryn Hendry; who at just 16 years of age made the tragic decision to end his life. In honour of Bryn’s memory, his family now aim to build 16 schools, one for each year of Bryn’s life. A large scope of work was carried out by the 8 volunteers over 10 days to help improve the Primary School. Whilst in Cambodia, Davin assisted with a range of tasks including; painting, building a hut for the caretaker and her 3 children, dismantle the old teachers hut, using recycled material and relocated the chicken house and fencing.
11/1/1949 – 28/11/2015 – On the 28th of November the world lost a truly amazing man. Here are some excerpts from the eulogy Vicki gave at his celebration of his life on the 9th December.
I and the ACV/GARDS organisation feel very honoured and privileged to have worked alongside him – I personally became very close to John and he was like the big brother I never had. A good friend that I adored and loved. John was our Treasurer on the committee of ACV/GARDS for 4 years and he was made a Life Member of our Association in March of this year, to show how much he meant to us all.
I first met John when he came to the Valley to head up the Gippsland Trades and Labour Council – I viewed John with some scepticism as our relationship with unions at that point had not been all that flash and we were not trusting of many people and associations. In fact you might say we were very GARDED – excuse the pun!
He held the hand of friendship out and said that the GTLC wanted to work hand in glove with community groups like ours to make Gippsland a better place for all. I am so glad that we took that plunge with him and the trust and bond that grew up from that point onwards became links in a chain that has now spanned more than a decade and so many issues.
I was always ringing John up for his opinion on asbestos situations as we were dealing with them on a day to day basis from the community. John’s opinions and the wealth of knowledge that John had taught me so much- I was an integration aide working at Newborough Primary School when I first met him and I was trying to juggle my work commitments with the demand on us from the community to help with all things Asbestos – as most of you here would know now – this was a mammoth job on its own. John inspired me to be the very best advocate I could be for asbestos sufferers and their families. He reassured me and supported me when those in the community were not so supportive of the work our organisation was trying to achieve for sufferers and their families. Thank goodness times have gotten better in recent years around support from the community and starting to understand the issues that our area and the nation face into the future – he helped us wherever he could and joined us in meetings with whomever it took to make change. He was our rock and if anyone dared to down us John was there to stand up for us. A truly great CFMEU organiser – one of the best – some of John’s sayings to me included he was the feather duster not the rooster – lets go deal with those who can make the change – another of his sayings was I am just the oily rag not the engine driver – lets go see who can take this forward for us. He had a wonderful ability to clear away the bullshit so the problem could be seen clearly by everyone. He empowered so many people and organisations to deal with their problems and make change for the better. This is a great legacy he has left Gippsland with a very big foot print on all of us.
John never crowed about his achievements – but he derived so much satisfaction knowing that he had helped to bring about that change.
I know that all the ACV/GARDS members join with me in saying the world has lost a truly special person who will be sadly missed by all of us. He was a visionary, an honest bloke who told it like it is, selfless, caring and compassionate for his fellow human being, he was always trying to right the wrongs of others – man of integrity and a sense of justice compared to none. A true community leader that we admired greatly. He was a warm, gentle and a passionate fighter for Gippsland workers and their families. He use to call himself the scrapper! – because he never shied away from a battle if that is what it took.
He had many sides to his very being – he was like an onion that you could peel back the layers on and if you were lucky enough to be close to John some of John’s other interest shone through such as his love for wood and the carving he did with just the right piece of wood that he would go out and scout for and some here today may have had the privilege to see him carving and the wonderful things he created with his magic hands and keen eye – his love of painting – and the magic he created on canvas – his interest and love of rock collecting that he was passionate about – maybe something that you did not know was John could knit, sew and do needle point – for a tuff union organiser the inner layers of this onion would astound you. He was a true gentleman and he has left Gippsland with a wonderful legacy of all that he has loved and been involved in – it is up to us to keep up the standard John has set.
Again lastly I want to thank Alison and her family for sharing the truly amazing man we called John, Friend, mate and comrade with us – we are so grateful to the Parker family for allowing us to have our piece of John Parker to keep and remember. We had some laughs along the way and many cherished memories to go over in our minds and I know I will always look back on the times I had with John and cherish them.
Our annual Asbestos Awareness Day event was well attended on Friday 27th November at 11am in the Centenary Rose Garden, Morwell.
Great speakers, amongst them were:
- Peter Tighe, CEO – Asbestos Safety & Eradication Agency
- George Davis – living with mesothelioma
- Steve Dodd, Secretary – Gippsland Trades & Labour Council
Minister David Howie performed our Ecumenical service and we had terrific performances by the Coal Valley Male Chorus, Newborough Primary School Choir, Paddy O’Dowd singer/musician and our ACV/GARDS bagpiper Bill Dunbar.
Thank you to all our families who came along and all the workers who could take time off to come – it meant a lot to our families that you were there supporting them.
Thank you to the Gippsland Trades & Labour Council for the wonderful community BBQ that they cooked and to Maurice Blackburn for funding the meat for that BBQ. It is all of the community who make this event a success.
Please visit our Facebook page to see some of the photos taken on the day. A truly memorable event for all who attended.