Asbestos Victims to be Honoured at Memorial Service

Asbestos memorial service | AMAALocal residents will come together tomorrow at the Inaugural Asbestos Memorial Service to pay tribute to the many men and women who have died as a result of asbestos exposure.

Members and friends of the Asbestosis and Mesothelioma Association of Australia (AMAA) will be joined at the Service by representatives of local community organisations and faith communities who will help honour the victims of asbestos related diseases including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.  The Service is the first of its kind for the region and members of the community are encouraged to attend from 10.00am to 11.30am at the Kirra Hill Community and Cultural Centre on Friday 10 July 2015.  A free morning tea will be served at the conclusion of the Service.

The goal of the Asbestosis and Mesothelioma Association of Australia is to increase public awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure; to raise vital funds for asbestos cancer research; to support prevention programs; and, importantly patient support and advocacy services.

Media are invited to attend for photo and interview opportunities:

What: Inaugural Asbestos Memorial Service.

Who: Asbestosis and Mesothelioma Association of Australia members, volunteers, local asbestos disease patients, industry leaders, organisations and faith representatives – including representatives from the RSL, Cancer Council Queensland, Salvation Army, Jewish, Catholic, Uniting Church communities.

When: From 10.00am to 11.30am, Friday, July 10.

Where: Kirra Hill Community and Cultural Centre, 1 Garrick Street, Coolangatta, Qld.

Contact: Nick Bos, AMAA Secretary  (0417 705 534) or Tilly Ryan, AMAA Board Member (0407 194 198).

Asbestosis and Mesothelioma Association of Australia Secretary, Mr Nick Bos, said the Association was proud to host the first asbestos service for the region to honour victims of asbestos related diseases and to indirectly promote asbestos awareness and safer building behaviours on the Gold Coast, Tweed and Northern Rivers region.

“Our members spent much of their lives in the 1950s-1980s working hard to support their families in various industries including building, construction, defence and manufacturing during which time they were exposed to asbestos.  At that time, the dangers of asbestos were not known to workers or their families.  As a result, many of these men and women developed asbestos related diseases, including asbestos related cancers such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. Even more heart breaking is the that many family members have also developed asbestos related diseases from washing their loved one’s work clothes.  Many innocent lives have been lost to asbestos and the Service is an important opportunity to come together and honour them,” Mr Bos said.

“Our message to the community is to always seek professional advice when renovating or working with suspected asbestos containing materials – there is no safe level of asbestos exposure and inhaling even one asbestos fibre can be enough to cause a person to develop an asbestos related cancer.”

“The impact of asbestos in Australia has been devastating with about 12 Australians dying of the deadliest form of asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma, each week.

“The good news is that asbestos related cancer is a preventable type of cancer. By taking the right precautions before renovating and consulting the professionals to remove and dispose of asbestos containing materials, people can minimise their likelihood of asbestos exposure.

“All you have to do is stop and think about what asbestos dangers might exist before you start any work.  If you are unsure, don’t take the risk.  Contact your local Council for asbestos safety information or visit the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency online at www.asbestossafety.gov.au to find out which professional is best for your situation.

It is important that people who have already been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease and their families know that there is support and friendship available locally through AMAA.  It is vital that the community understands the devastating impact of asbestos and people seek guidance and support through AMAA’s patient and family support services.”  Visit www.asbestosassociation.org.au  for more information about AMAA and patient support and information programs.

Asbestosis and Mesothelioma Association of Australia (AMAA) is an independent, community-based charity, that relies on the generosity of the local community to provide free patient services and community awareness programs.