28th April, 2016 saw the Asbestos Council of Victoria/GARDS and Gippsland Trades and Labour Council “International Workers Memorial Day” event take place in the Centenary Rose Garden, Morwell. The day was perfect and the speakers were inspirational. We were so lucky to have 3 wonderful speakers who enlightened the crowd to what it means to have good OH&S in work places.
Acting Senior Sergeant Ben McWilliam from Victoria Police spoke about his personal illness and the incident of suicide, accompanied with shift work and many other demands within the work force and the pressures of a highly charged work environment. It was a truly thought provoking talk.
Allan Buhagiar work place accident representative spoke of his accident at work 10 years ago where his hand was severed in a workplace accident, at the same time Allan lost a co-worker who
died in the accident. A very tragic story. Allan spoke about his slow recovery, both mental and physical and the 15 operations that surgeons performed to try to save his hand.
Steve Dodd, Secretary Gippsland Trades & Labour Council spoke of the need for good OH&S in all workplaces and how important it is to make sure all workplaces are safe places.
Paddy O’Dowd entertained the crowd with songs and tin whistle a truly wonderful performance.
Minister Russell Jones gave a moving ecumenical service and spoke of his personal family story of his father and asbestos disease.
The bagpipes could be heard across Morwell as Bill Dunbar piped the event in and played while the wreaths were being laid – he also piped the ceremony to its conclusion. Bill traveled from Lakes Entrance to be with us – as he does twice a year for our events. It was a truly wonderful ceremony with a terrific crowd.