Asbestos support groups, unions, lawyers and community organisations will be involved in a range of activities next week to mark National Asbestos Disease Awareness Week, 24-30 November.
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, which represents the victims of asbestos related diseases, is supporting a number of events (see below) and is also providing financial support to fund a specialist Lung Foundation education program for mesothelioma nurses to be launched in Canberra on 28th November.
Theodora Ahilas, the firm's national asbestos practice group leader said a new category of asbestos case was now starting to dominate - people who have been exposed in their community or homes.
"This new wave of asbestos disease is different to the past industrial exposure where workers could often identify the time and place of exposure. Given the latency period is between 30 and 50 years, and the exposure could have taken place in any number of places, at home or in the community, the path to diagnosis and identification of the point of exposure can be challenging.
"The activities this week remind us that Australia has a long history with asbestos and there are many people who may still be exposed to the deadly dust because it is so prevalent in houses, public buildings and workplaces," said Ms Ahilas.
"Every day at least two people are diagnosed with mesothelioma - the fatal asbestos-related cancer and many more are living with debilitating asbestos-related diseases.
"At events around the country people can learn about how best to manage the ongoing asbestos risks in the community and can remember those that have died.
"We also want to improve support to those who are living with asbestos-related diseases and alert people to their legal rights if they become sick after exposure to asbestos at work or in the community."
Wednesday Nov 27th
AEU forum: asbestos in schools and public buildings
AEU office, 112 Trenerry Crescent, Abbotsford
Asbestoswise and Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre seminar Asbestos and the Plumbing Industry: Challenges and History
PICAC,306 Albert Street, Brunswick
GARDS morning tea
Moe RSL, Moe
GARDS Asbestos Awareness Day Ceremony
Centenary Rose Garden, Morwell
Asbestoswise Commemoration Service
The Deakin Edge Theatre, Federation Square, Melbourne
ARDSSQ Flag Raising
St Stephens Cathedral, Brisbane
Pullman Hotel, Brisbane
NEW SOUTH WALES
Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency and Comcare National Asbestos Forum
Hilton Hotel, Sydney
Asbestos Awareness day & vigil
Maritime Museum Darling Harbour
Thursday 28th November
Launch of Lung Foundation Australia's Mesothelioma Nurse Special Interest Group (SIG) and the graduation of the first ten Mesothelioma Nurse SIG members.
Commonwealth Club, 25 Forster Crescent, Yarralumla 2pm
ADSSA Asbestos Victims Memorial Day Service
Memorial Park, Kilburn
ADSA Ecumenical Memorial Service
Redemptorist Monastery, Vincent Street, North Perth