ADDRI Newsletter – Dec 2023

Happy holidays from the ADDRI team

It has been a big year at ADDRI! We have bookended 2023 with the formal announcement of our new name and scope in recognition of the significant impact that dust-related diseases pose to Australians – launching our new name as the: Asbestos and Dust Diseases Research Institute (ADDRI). And this week, to wrap up the year, we welcome the decisive action by government to ban engineered stone, which causes silicosis.

Most Australian states and territories have publicly supported a ban on engineered stone over the course of 2023, along with major retail chains like Bunnings, Ikea and Mitre 10 – and the snowball effect has culminated with the Federal Governments’ decision to impose a ban at a national level – protecting all Australians. We can’t think of a better way to end the year!

From our team to you, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season and thank you sincerely for your support of our work.

Annual Report 2022-23

To read about ADDRI’s broad ranging activities across the financial year and the increased scope of our research, we invite you to read our Annual Report 2022-23, available on our website here. Our work is only made possible by the dedication and expertise of our team and the strength of our networks as we continue to strive towards our mission of improving patient outcomes and to ultimately finding a cure for mesothelioma.

New incoming Academic and Research Director (interim)

Welcome Dr Anthony Linton

We are delighted to announce the appointment in December of Dr Anthony Linton as ADDRI’s new Academic and Research Director(interim). Dr Linton is a Medical Oncologist at Concord Repatriation Hospital and Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Sydney. He specialises in mesothelioma, undertaking his PhD at ADDRI on the prognosis and treatment of this asbestos cancer between 2011 – 2014. His work is widely published and he is a long-standing advisor to ADDRI.

With a strong passion and focus to translate research into clinical outcomes to improve patient outcomes, his stewardship and vision will guide our research team to achieve our mission of uncovering better diagnosis, treatment and care for people with asbestos and dust-related diseases.

You can read more about Dr Anthony Linton here.

Listen to Anthony’s conversation with James O’Loghlin, where he discusses the challenges and rewards encountered in the pursuit of better treatment and care for patients with mesothelioma. You can listen to the Podcast episode here.

International Collaboration

Our Australian Research has far-reaching impact, and our World Health Organization Collaborating Centre designation remains central to our work. We have delivered crucial training in Indonesia, shared our research and knowledge at international events and forums, hosted International doctors and developed materials to aid developing countries bridge the knowledge gap. It is testimony to our expertise and reflects the global caution over the escalating dangers of asbestos and dust-diseases.

With thanks to our Supporters

Our ability to advance our research is only made possible through the generosity of our supporters, and we thank each and every one of them for the donations, grants, bequests and sponsorship we receive.

NSW Government support

Earlier this year ADDRI welcomed a $5 million commitment by the NSW government to support research at ADDRI into treatment options for silicosis, and to support silicosis patients and their families.

The Biaggio Signorelli Foundation

The Signorelli family have dedicated their lives to raising funds for awareness and research into asbestos-related diseases. In July, we had the privilege to unveil the Biaggio Signorelli Laboratory in honour of Biaggio Signorelli who lost his life to mesothelioma on the 30th May 2018. The Signorelli Family have been steadfast and unwavering in their support of our research, contributing over $1 million to our work to date. We were honoured to have The Hon. Mark Butler, Minster for Health and Aged Care Australia attend the official opening and support our shared mission to end asbestos related diseases

Turner Freeman Lawyers and Western Sydney Wanderers FC – Cash for goals

We are deeply grateful for the ongoing support of Turner Freeman Lawyers and Western Sydney Wanderers FC who have now extended the Cash for Goals initiative into a third season. Since launching this program, Turner Freeman have donated $36,500 to ADDRI to date. We are excited and proud to be part of this powerful alliance – and grateful for this support this channelled directly into our labs.

You can read more about the initiative here.

National Asbestos Awareness Week November 2023

We hosted two very special mornings at ADDRI during NAAW 2023. The legal teams and their clients from Turner Freeman Lawyers and Slater and Gordon Lawyers visited ADDRI to meet our team and tour our labs. It was wonderful to connect patients with our researchers and nurses to discuss our initiatives and ways to offer them support. We look forward to hosting many more of these events in 2024.

Dust Diseases Diaries: Real Lives, Real Stories of Asbestos & Beyond

Hearing people’s stories is incredibly powerful and we are so proud to have launched this podcast series during National Asbestos Awareness Week.  The heart of this podcast lies in profound conversations with patients, specialist nurses, doctors, and caregivers, offering invaluable insight and support derived from their personal journeys. We will be releasing a new episode each fortnight from January 2024 – and we hope these conversations inform and inspire, and provide another way to access information and support.

You can listen to the series here.

Penrith Panthers Signed and Framed Away Jersey. Bidding is now open!

Thanks to our incredible partnership with Turner Freeman Lawyers and their sponsorship of the NSW NRL superstar team and back-to-back NRL Premiers Penrith Panthers, we were offered this fabulous 2023 Signed and Framed Away Jersey to auction. If you are a passionate Panthers fan – or know someone who is – this could be the best Christmas present ever! Bidding is open until 11.00am Tuesday 19 December.

You can bid online here.


Did you know?

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December 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the asbestos ban in Australia. Despite this, over 4,000 Australians continue to die from an asbestos-related disease each year.