This year’s Asbestos Diseases Society Walk was dedicated to former Australind builder Rod Triplett.
Like so many other builders, carpenters, plumbers, trades assistants, and apprentices, Mr Triplett was exposed to asbestos cement products that were commonly used to build houses in WA.
Tragically he succumbed to mesothelioma in March, as a result of his exposure to asbestos.
The third annual ADSA Walk, under the guidance of the group’s South West representative, Harvey’s Gary van Burgel, left from Pemberton last Monday.
The middle point of the walk was highlighted at Australind on Wednesday with a special Rod Triplett Tribute Breakfast before walkers headed to Collie, Quindanning, Boddington, Dwellingup and Pinjarra, finishing at Parliament House in West Perth at noon on Friday.
The Rod Triplett Tribute Breakfast in Australind was arranged and prepared by family, friends, and volunteers.
About 150 people attended the breakfast where Harvey Shire Councillor Peter Monagle handed over a donation from the council.
ADSA president Robert Vojakovic said the breakfast was an occasion for everyone to get together and remember Mr Triplett, who was described as “a pillar of the Australind community”.
“We are very grateful that the Australind community has got behind this important event to raise lifesaving funds for medical research towards a cure for asbestos-caused cancers, ” Mr Vojakovic said.
“Rod Triplett was immensely respected.
“We fought many battles to save lives.
“By going out and telling about the dangers of asbestos we walk with Rod Triplett.”
Mr Vojakovic said the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia was a caring, charitable organisation that had for more than 35 years provided a valuable service to asbestos diseases sufferers, their families, and the WA community on the many issues arising out of exposure to asbestos and its devastating consequences.
“The worsening epidemic of asbestos diseases in WA is affecting members of the community from all walks of life in greater numbers as each year passes.
“In 2013 we recorded 305 asbestos caused deaths.
"Asbestos diseases sufferers can include anyone who has had only a minimal asbestos exposure in a domestic setting to workers who have been exposed to asbestos in their occupations.
“It was thought that the number of people contracting diseases from exposure to killer asbestos would fall after mining ceased, however, the reverse is true.
“The killer product asbestos was used in both the construction industry and as a regular household product.
“Most people have been exposed to asbestos fibres without even knowing it and that is why the death toll continues to grow in epidemic proportions.
Mr Vojakovic said the asbestos epidemic required a strong and consistent approach to the funding of medical research towards a cure and treatment for asbestos caused cancers.
“The walk for research and awareness raise funds for this vital medical research which goes directly to Professor Anna Nowak’s world leading medical research team at the QEII Medical Centre.”
To make a donation, call 9344 4077 or 1800 646 690 or go to the website at www.asbestosdiseases.org. au.