Asbestos Diseases Research Foundation


ABN 79 121 168 867

The Asbestos Diseases Research Foundation (ADRF) was established in 2006 as a charitable, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to assist and support the research efforts into asbestos and other dust-related diseases. The Foundation established and operates the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI) a dedicated research institute. The ADRF continues to support ADRI by attracting financial support from companies and individuals.

The objects for which the Foundation is established are:

  1. to promote, sponsor and facilitate research and healthcare delivery among those individuals and communities exposed to asbestos or other dusts or suffering from asbestos-related or other dust-related diseases;
  2. to provide leadership and excellence in asbestos-related and dust-related diseases research activities;
  3. to promote awareness of the special circumstances experienced by those exposed to asbestos or other dusts which can lead to potential or actual asbestos-related or other dust-related diseases;
  4. to promote, sponsor and facilitate asbestos-related and dust-related diseases education and training in relevant health disciplines;
  5. to further knowledge of medicine and science by promoting the conduct of research in the field of asbestos-related and other dust-related diseases;
  6. to achieve a better understanding of the nature and causes of asbestos-related and dust-related human diseases and afflictions;
  7. to improve methods of preventing, diagnosing and treating those diseases and afflictions; and
  8. where possible, to apply its research and other activities, either directly or indirectly, to the development of relevant products and treatments; preventative strategies and practices; and educational programs and materials for asbestos-related and other dust-related diseases.

The Foundation must pursue its objectives principally in Australia.


Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission logoThe Board of the Foundation consists of the independent chairperson invited by the Minister for Industrial Relations, two members from the Workers Compensation Dust Diseases Board; nominees from the University of Sydney, ANZAC Health & Medical Research Foundation, Sydney Local Health District, Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia Inc., Unions NSW, and past and present manufacturers and suppliers of asbestos or dust-containing goods. In addition, the Board has appointed a further member, being the Research Director of the Institute.

The Asbestos Diseases Research Foundation is a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

Mr Peter Tighe

Independent Chair

Peter Tighe was the CEO of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA), appointed by the Minister of Employment as Statutory Officer for a period of five years until August 2018. ASEA was established to implement the first National Strategic Plan for the management and eradication of asbestos and asbestos containing material. Peter was National Secretary of the Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) and Divisional Secretary of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU). Peter was an Executive member of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and a ministerial appointee to Safe Work Australia. He has also served on a variety of vocational boards including the Central Trades Committee of Training Recognition Australia and was a committee member of the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment Apprentices Action Group.  He was also a member of the Climate Change and Energy Efficiency’s NGO Climate change roundtable. Peter was the Chair of the National Electrical and Electronic Industry Training Council and E-Profiling Pty Ltd; Chair and Deputy Chair of Connect Superannuation (now merged with C+Bus); and Trustee and Director on the Board of the Investment Committee of CBUS Superannuation.  He is currently Deputy Chair of EE-Oz Energy Skills Australia and a member of the Board of Exemplar Systems Pty Ltd and Exemplar Learning Pty Ltd.

Appointed: 25 February 2019

Ms Tanya Buchanan

Vice Chair

Invited by the Board

Tanya Buchanan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ), the peak professional body for health professionals and researchers working in respiratory health. She has extensive senior executive and governance experience in Australia and the United Kingdom. Tanya started her health career in nursing. She has a passion for, and a commitment to, improving respiratory health. In 2011 she was awarded membership of the UK Royal College of Physicians, Faculty of Public Health by Distinction and was the winner of the Leading Wales award for her commitment to leadership in the voluntary sector. Tanya holds an MBA majoring in health services administration and is currently completing a PhD in tobacco control. She has been a reviewer for academic journals and has held advisory positions on government bodies with respect to tobacco control and public health. Tanya is also an avid fencer in her spare time and enjoys competing and coaching.

Appointed 23 July 2019


Emeritus Professor Robert Lusby AM

Nominated by the ANZAC Health and Medical Research Foundation

Professor Lusby is the former Head of the Clinical School at Concord Repatriation General Hospital and also former Associate Dean of the Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. Professor Lusby was a Colonel in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, and has served in Rwanda with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force; in Bougainville with the Peace Monitoring Group and in 1999 he served with the INTERFET forces in East Timor. In addition, he was the Consultant Surgeon to the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force. Professor Lusby is Chair of the ANZAC Medical Research Institute and has previously served on the Macquarie and Northern Area Health Service boards. He is the proprietor of Tintilla Estate Hunter Valley Vineyard and Winery.

Appointed 3 August 2012

Dr Teresa Anderson AM

Nominated by the Sydney Local Health District

Dr Teresa Anderson is the Chief Executive of Sydney Local Health District, one of the leading public health services in Australia. She has more than 35 years of experience as a clinician and health service executive. She has a well-established reputation for implementing strategies to foster innovation and best practice, supporting collaboration and building partnerships. She is an internationally recognised Speech Pathologist and is passionate about developing programs and services to support and improve the health and wellbeing of all people in the community. In 2018 Dr Anderson was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). Dr Anderson is a Vice President and has been made a Fellow of the NSW Institute of Public Administration Australia, is a member of seven Medical Research, Health and PHN boards and is an active member of the Sydney Health Partners Governing Council and Executive Management Group, one of the first four centres in Australia designated by the NHMRC as an Advanced Health Research Translation Centre.

Appointed 21 May 2018

Mr Barry Robson

Nominated by the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia Inc.

Barry Robson is the President of the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia (ADFA) and President of the Blacktown and Mt Druitt Cardiac Support Group. He is a life member of the Maritime Union of Australia and the St Mary’s Baseball Club. Member of the National Taskforce Asbestos in Telstra Pits and Member of the Council for the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency.

Reappointed: 8 October 2014

Nominated by Unions NSW



Professor Laurent Rivory

Nominated by The University of Sydney

Professor Rivory is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Sydney. His role focuses on the areas where cross-faculty engagement and external partnerships are integral to the academic enterprise. His responsibilities include large-scale collaborations such as the Charles Perkins Centre and the Brain and Mind Centre, the Core Research Facilities and the management of external partnerships, particularly in health. Professor Rivory is widely recognised for his research in cancer drug pharmacology and has extensive experience in the management of key research programmes in virology, immunology, cancer, RNA therapeutics and diagnostics. He has served as Senior Research Director, Research and Development, at Johnson and Johnson Research and was Director of the Research Strategy Office at the University of New South Wales. He has also had previous appointments as Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney and as Head of the Pharmacology Laboratory, Sydney Cancer Centre at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Appointed: 7 December 2018


Dr Christopher Clarke

Invited by the Board

Christopher Clarke commenced practice as a Consultant Thoracic Physician in 1976. His special interest has been occupational lung disease. He has held appointments at a number of public hospitals in Sydney including Visiting Medical Officer in the Department of Thoracic Medicine at Concord Hospital until December 2008. Dr Clarke visited Aboriginal Medical Centres in far western NSW until 2016 under the MSOAP-ICD program as a thoracic physician. He was the employee nominated member on the Medical Authority of the DDA as it is now known until December 2018. He is an Authorised Medical Specialist for the NSW Workers Compensation Commission. He is a past President of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand. He now has a Marine Engine Drivers 2 Certificate of Competency (steam) and is a Chief Engineer on ST Waratah one of the vessels run by the Sydney Heritage Fleet. This has given him first-hand experience of the trades and processes that exposed workers to occupational hazards. He did not expect to see the reoccurrence of some occupational lung diseases, the cause and prevention of which were well known when he commenced practice.

Appointed: 13 March 2014

Dr Andrew Penman AM

Invited by the Board

Andrew Penman is a public health physician whose career has been focussed on the application of health and medical research in effective public policy and health programs. From 1984 to 1998 he held a succession, of senior positions as Regional Director of Public health, Pilbara Health Region, Assistant Commissioner and Chief Health Officer, WA Health Department, Director of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, and Deputy Chief Health Officer, NSW Health. In these positions he initiated or led campaigns for example in control of sexually transmitted diseases, environmental health improvement in indigenous communities, expansion of hereditary disease services, improved parenting to reduce conduct disorder, alcohol harm minimisation, and expanded vaccination. Since 1996, he has been Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Council NSW. In this position he has grown the organisation’s revenue, and scale and scope of programs, and initiated innovative programs in liver cancer prevention, tobacco control among disadvantaged people, tobacco retail reform and expanded support services for cancer patients. He was Chair of the Steering Committee to develop guidelines for the management of malignant mesothelioma under the auspices of the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute. His work in cancer control was recognised by his appointment as a Member in the Order of Australia in 2010. His writing has been largely in the realm of departmental or organisational policy and strategy papers, and advocacy documents such as Health Goals and Targets for Western Australia and improving Radiotherapy services. These interests are reflected in his publication record.

Appointed: 8 October 2014

Professor Ken Takahashi

Research Director

Ken Takahashi was Professor of Environmental Epidemiology and Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health at the University of Occupational and Environmental Health (UOEH), Japan. Ken graduated from the School of Medicine, Keio University in 1983 (MD), and after completing a 2-year residency in surgery, he received a PhD from UOEH and MPH from the University of Pittsburgh. He engages in epidemiologic research of occupational diseases, with special interest on occupational lung diseases, and asbestos-related diseases in particular. He served as consultant/advisor to the WHO and ILO on a number of occasions, examiner/advisor to academic institutes in several Asian countries, is a former Board Member of the International Commission of Occupational Health and former President of the Asian Association for Occupational Health. He currently serves as the WHO Expert on Chemical Safety/Environmental Epidemiology (International Health Regulations) and is a Fellow and Executive Council Member of the Collegium Ramazzini. He received the Jorma Rantanen Award from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in 2011 and the Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award from the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (NGO in USA) in 2014. In February 2017 the Asbestos Diseases Research Foundation and The University of Sydney recruited Ken Takahashi to the position of ADRI Director and Professor, Sydney Medical School.

Appointed: 1 February 2017