Asbestos Diseases Research Institute


Australia has the world’s highest incidence of malignant mesothelioma per capita, with more than 600 new cases diagnosed each year, which is due to the widespread use of the known carcinogen, asbestos.

As a response to the incidence of malignant mesothelioma in Australia, the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI) located in the Bernie Banton Centre, was opened in January 2009 by the then Prime Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd. The ADRI was established by the Asbestos Diseases Research Foundation (ADRF), a charitable, not-for-profit foundation dedicated to assist and support the research efforts of ADRI into asbestos-related diseases.

Before his death in 2007, Bernie Banton campaigned vigorously for the rights of those who suffered, like himself, from asbestos-related diseases. This state-of-the-art research facility on the Concord Hospital Campus was named in his honour and consists of six wet laboratories and two dry laboratories.

The design of the Centre successfully achieved a complementary scale adjacent to the ANZAC Research Institute while clearly articulating the building’s functions and public address. The building easily fulfils the ecologically sustainable development requirements of the Building Code of Australia. The construction of the state-of-the-art research facilities with a fitting physical presence has the cultural benefit of attracting research-orientated clinicians to the public hospital site. Mr Mark Willett, an innovative architect and Director with McConnel Smith & Johnson, was very much dedicated to this project. He assisted with the art selection and donated an artwork to complement the Boardroom.