We were sad to be advised of Jock’s passing earlier this year, but feel very privileged to have known Jock and been able to spend time with him.
Jock visited us here in Gippsland in 2005 to hear our stories on asbestos and how it affected our community and the workers who were exposed to asbestos in our power stations and of course their families. Then later that year Vicki Hamilton CEO/Secretary travelled to Redfern in Sydney with Jock to catch up and visit with the last remaining families of those who were related to the 300 mine workers that made a living from the Baryulgil James Hardie Asbestos Mine. The plight of the asbestos mine workers, near Grafton was first broadcast on the ABC program called Broadband 30th of Sept 1977 by our other dear friend, Matt Peacock, who won second prize in the Sir William McKell award for environmental journalism. The programs were a part of an overall series on occupational health called “Work As a Health Hazard” designed to increase public awareness of the dangers, which are ever present at the workplace. Jock was always trying to help those who were marginalized in communities and this was just another story of workers exploited by companies – Jock had seen this sort of treatment to workers all over the world with asbestos and other mineral mining.
Vicki stated that she was very pleased to meet Ted Mundine, Elsie Gordon, Rita Freeburn, Lily & Chicka Madden and their granddaughters to hear their stories and to try and help where we could. It was a pleasure to meet such stoic people. For many years after that meeting we kept in touch.
Please read the attached Tribute to Jock McCulloch compiled by Gill Nelson – Editor-in –Chief, Occupational Health Southern Africa