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

Dr Chris Colquhoun FAFOEM

Nominated by Dust Diseases Authority

Dr Chris Colquhoun is an Occupational and Environmental physician and is the Chief Medical
Officer of icare (Insurance and Care NSW). He has experience in clinical and corporate settings with proven skills across areas including clinical governance, health surveillance, hazardous substance and dust diseases health monitoring, fitness for work assessments, workplace injury prevention and management, healthcare management and leadership, strategic planning and clinical research. Dr Colquhoun was the Regional Medical Director (NSW/ACT/VIC) for Sonic HealthPlus, Australia’s leading provider of occupational health care and general medical services, from 2014–2016. He also worked for Medibank Health Solutions, the health management and telehealth services arm of the private health insurer Medibank Private from 2008–2014, becoming the Lead Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (2012–2014). He served as Senior Medical Officer of the Commonwealth, Immigration Services, Health Services Australia, from 2005–2007 and had a previous appointment as Intensive Care/Critical Care Registrar with the South Eastern Sydney Area Health Services from 2002–2004.

Appointed: 15 June 2020

Dr Teresa Anderson AM, FIPAA

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

Professor Stephen Clarke OAM

Nominated by the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia Inc.

Professor Stephen Clarke is a medical oncologist at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney and Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney. After completing his medical oncology training at RNSH, St. Leonards, Stephen undertook a PhD at the Institute of Cancer Research/Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital, before returning to Australia in 1994.  He was Professor of Medicine at Concord Hospital from 2004-2010.He has clinical and research interests in thoracic and GI cancers, including mesothelioma.  He has had 2 PhD student completions in mesothelioma including Steven Kao and Anthony Linton and has one current student (Tamkin Ahmadzada) undertaking research in microvesicles in mesothelioma. His research has achieved over $26 million in competitive grant funding that has led to over 330 publications, which have been cited 20,000 times.  Stephen is an Oncology Advisor to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and is a Member of the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Review Committee.

Appointed: 10 February 2020

Mr Paul Bastian

Nominated by Unions NSW

Paul Bastian was previously the National Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) retiring from the position in September 2020. Paul commenced his employment with the AMWU in 1981 and in 1997 was elected State Secretary of the NSW Branch. He is a shipwright by trade and completed a Law Degree while studying part-time at the University of Technology, Sydney. Paul has worked throughout the manufacturing industry, in the construction, shipbuilding and metal industries, in both metropolitan and regional areas of NSW. He represented the AMWU on a number of Boards and Committees, including ACTU Executive. Paul was a member of the Asbestos Management Review Advisory Group, as well as once being on the Boards of AustralianSuper, APHEDA, the NSW Manufacturing Council, and the NSW Workers Compensation Advisory Council. He has a long history of involvement with community and union campaigns against asbestos and has represented the AMWU and IndustriALL Global Union (previously known as the International Metalworkers Federation) at numerous international asbestos conferences.

Appointed: 10 February 2020

Professor Christine Jenkins AM

Nominated by the ANZAC Health and Medical Research Foundation

Christine is head of the Respiratory Group at The George Institute for Global Health; Clinical Professor at Concord Clinical School and University of Sydney; and Professor of Respiratory Medicine at UNSW Sydney. She is a thoracic physician with a clinical and research focus on the management of airways disease and retired from her position as staff specialist in thoracic medicine at Concord Hospital in December 2020. Christine has led many sponsored and investigator-initiated clinical trials in asthma and COPD and in her role at The George Institute she supervises a research team and PhD students, implementing several trials in asthma, COPD and pulmonary rehabilitation in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. She is active in advocacy and leadership for lung health in Australia and is a member of several global advisory boards for the pharmaceutical industry. She has previously chaired the National Asthma Campaign, the TSANZ, the National Asthma Reference Group which advised government on asthma as a National Health Priority, the Respiratory Conditions Advisory Group of AIHW, and The Thoracic and Sleep Medicine Review of the MBS. She is the current chair of the Board of the Lung Foundation of Australia and is a member of the National Dust Diseases Task Force.

Appointed: 8 February 2021

Mr Mathew Werfel

Invited by the Board

Mathew Werfel is a sufferer of mesothelioma resulting from exposure to asbestos containing materials contracted through work and home renovations in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. As a result, Mathew went through numerous invasive surgeries coupled with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Mathew was previously employed by the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) rising to this position from work as an Occupational Health and Safety Representative at the Woolworths Distribution Centre at Gepps Cross, South Australia. Mathew has completed a Graduate Certificate in Business from the University of South Australia. Mathew has been a strong patient advocate due to his own personal experiences. He continues to represent patients to asbestos related peak bodies including the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) and Parliamentary Group on Asbestos Related Disease (PGARD). Mathew engages with members of parliament at state and federal jurisdictions and trade unions, including the Australian Council of Trade Unions to raise awareness. He is Chairperson of the SA Asbestos Coalition (since 2022) and is employed as Chief of Staff within a Federal Electorate Office.

Appointed: 6 December 2021

Mr Armando Gardiman AM

Invited by the Board

Armando Gardiman AM is the Managing Partner at Turner Freeman Lawyers. He specialises and practices in the area of asbestos litigation and acts for clients suffering from mesothelioma, asbestosis and asbestos related lung cancers. He has run more successful mesothelioma cases than any other lawyer in Australia and has played a leading role in developing the largest dust diseases litigation practice in Australia. Armando prepared the submission for the NSW Trade Unions and Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia which resulted in major legislative reforms in NSW, including the removal of all time limits in dust diseases claims and the survival of damages where a victim’s death preceded the finalisation of the claim. All other States and Territories in Australia have now followed suit in preserving claims for victims. He was instrumental in the development of the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI), having prepared the submission for construction and development of the purpose-built, state of the art Bernie Banton Centre at Concord Hospital.

Appointed: 10 October 2022

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