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

the ANZAC Health and Medical Research Foundation -vacant

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

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 appointed National Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union in March 2012, having previously held the position of National President since January 2010.  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 metals industries, in both metropolitan and regional areas of the state. He represents the AMWU on a number of Boards/Committees including ACTU Executive. Paul was on 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 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

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

Ms Victoria Keena

Company Secretary - Interim

Ms Victoria Keena is the Executive Officer of the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute and has extensive work experience in medical research institutes, and assists the Director in the management and development of the Institute in order to achieve the strategic and operational objectives. She was the General Manager of the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research until 2007. Victoria is also the interim Company Secretary of Asbestos Diseases Research Foundation.

Appointed: 15 April 2019