Speakers

2018 Conference - Asbestos: the next national plan - proactivity, prevention, planning

See the line-up of local and international speakers at the 2018 Conference 'Asbestos: the next national plan - proactivity, prevention, planning'.

Matt Peacock

Former Journalist and Author, ABC

Matt Peacock has been an award-winning journalist with the ABC for almost forty years, initially as a researcher for Australia’s first current affairs TV show This Day Tonight before switching to radio, where he became an interviewer and presenter with the ABC Science Unit.

It was as a science reporter that he broke the asbestos story in Australia with a series of radio broadcasts, a story he would later revisit in his book Killer Company, which inspired the TV mini-series Devil’s Dust.

Matt was chief political reporter in Canberra, then correspondent for ABC Radio’s AM, PM and The World Today in Washington, New York and London, after working in the Northern Territory where he co-founded an Aboriginal production house, Remote Area Media.

He also worked for ABC TV’s 7.30, Lateline and Foreign Correspondent, has written numerous newspaper and magazine articles and published three books. He was Adjunct Professor at UTS School of Journalism.

In 2013 Matt was elected by staff to the ABC Board where he served for five years.

He now works as a media consultant, speaker, trainer and writer and has also founded ABC Alumni.

Justine Ross

Justine Ross

Chief Executive Officer, Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency

Justine Ross was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the agency in August 2018 for a period of five years. Prior to this, Ms Ross was Acting Group Manager of the WHS Policy Group in the Department of Jobs and Small Business, responsible for policy development and advice on Commonwealth WHS and workers’ compensation, maritime workers’ compensation and WHS matters, asbestos matters and workplace relations issues concerning the building industry (including on the re establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission and Building Code). Ms Ross has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from Macquarie University and has completed a Master in OHS at the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation at Turin University. Ms Ross is admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor in the ACT.

Peter Tighe

Former Chief Executive Officer, Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency

Peter Tighe was appointed Chief Executive Officer in August 2013 for a period of five years. Peter was National Secretary of the Communications, Electrical, Plumbing Union from 1995 to 2013 and was also National Secretary of the Electrical Trades Union and Executive Member of the Australian Council of Trade Unions from 1991 to 2013. Mr Tighe was also chair of EE-Oz Energy Skills Australia, E-Profiling Pty Ltd, the National Electrical and Electronic Industry Training Council and trustee/board member of CBUS Superannuation. Mr Tighe has extensive experience in workplace health and safety issues and in tackling the hazards of asbestos containing materials.

Kate Lee

Executive Officer, APHEDA

Kate Lee is Executive Officer of Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, the global justice organisation of the Australian union movement. Union Aid Abroad has been working towards asbestos bans with unions, community groups and government organisations in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia and with others in the Asia-Pacific region. This work involves education, awareness, campaign and capacity-building programs. Australian unions and victims groups, Australian government agencies and embassies and individual Australians have all contributed to funding to the Union Aid Abroad program.

Dr Tim Driscoll

Professor, Epidemiology and Occupational Medicine, University of Sydney

Tim Driscoll is an occupational epidemiologist and a specialist in occupational and environmental medicine. He is a Professor in epidemiology and occupational medicine in the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, where he runs the general epidemiology teaching and is Director of the Master of Public Health. Tim's main areas of research interest include the burden of occupational disease and injury; occupational cancer and exposure to occupational carcinogens; increasing the practical application and influence of epidemiological principles and findings; and improving the communication of epidemiological principles and findings to the general public.

Rob Purcell

Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board

Rob joined the Metropolitan Fire Brigade as a Firefighter in 1989.As well as working in Operations, he has worked as a Fire Investigator and Training Officer.

He was promoted to the rank of Commander and he was appointed Chief of Staff to the Chief Fire Officer in 2009. The majority of this time was delivering initiates raised by firefighters from the response to the Black Saturday fires.

In 2010 he was promoted to Assistant Chief Officer and has managed Operational Training and is currently responsible as Regional Director and Acting Deputy Chief Officer for South East Metro Region (SEMR).

His previous portfolio included the managing of the Community Resilience Emergency Management Department and the subsequent development of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade's Community Resilience Strategic Action Plan. During this time, he also initiated and delivered Victoria's first built environment risk assessment process for fire and hazardous material and the associated technology Victorian Emergency Risk Management System (VERMS), a Victorian State finalist in the Australian Community Resilience Awards 2017.

In 2014, he was responsible for the largest asbestos identification, testing and cleaning event in the MFB's history. Rob led the project to test and clean all operational equipment and infrastructure to a state where staff could have confidence that their gear, trucks and stations were free of asbestos. He concurrently initiated the development of processes and systems to ensure firefighters maintain their safety before and after incidences where asbestos may be involved.

Dr Greg Ryan

Manager Utility Excellence, Water Services Association of Australia

Greg Ryan is the Manager Utility Excellence at the Water Services Association of Australia. He oversights a number of committees, networks and initiatives that drive better internal performance for utilities and outcomes for customers. He covers the areas of asset management, health, safety and business transformation. Greg has been in the water industry for over 25 years and worked in the areas of operations, design, research and strategy. As part of his current role Greg was on the Steering Committee for the project 'to strengthen asbestos related training materials in the utilities sector' and providing input into the ASEA case study report on management of AC pipe by water utilities.

Wayne Cullen

Asbestos Manager, Energy Queensland

Wayne is the Asbestos Manager for Energy Queensland group of companies which include, Energex and Ergon Energy, Electricity Distribution Companies that service Queensland. In this role, Wayne is accountable for the management of asbestos risk across the group, development and deployment strategies, policies and procedures including the expanded Prioritized Asbestos Removal Plan.

Wayne is a member of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) Senior Steering Committee and Technical Advisory Group for Asbestos Training in the Utility Sector.

Wayne's career extends across a range of disciplines and operations fields. He served in the Australian Infantry for over 21 years and one retirement from the Army, served as a Health and Safety Professional at a Zinc Refinery in North Queensland. He was a founding member of the then Australian Army Safety Advisory Service, that was tasked to conduct safety audits on Army Units across Australia.

Wayne was the Ergon Energy Asbestos Manager for 5 years before taking on the role of Energy Queensland Asbestos Manager in 2017.

Sebastian Bielen

Sebastian Bielen

Director, Data and Evaluation Services, Office of Industrial Relations Queensland

In 2004 Sebastian Bielen began actively researching and devising strategies to help Queensland deal with Work Health and Safety issues. In 2006, he established a dedicated research and analysis area within the Queensland Government (now part of OIR) to produce and promote information about Work Health and Safety; and its potential impact on Queensland business, and to provide the necessary resources for an informed and strategic response by government.

Sebastian's direction has seen DES establish research and information sharing partnerships with other WHS regulators across Australia including New South Wales, Victoria and Safe Work Australia. He has advised Australian Federal and State governments in developing policy and programs in this field.

Sebastian has presented to key business and employer groups around Queensland. He has a 20-year background in work health and safety; and labour market economic research and development.

James Wunsch

James Wunsch

Research Director, Colmar Brunton

James has a wealth of government and social research experience with more than 20 years’ experience as a buyer and supplier of government research. Prior to joining the supplier side of the industry in 2005, James held senior consumer and policy research & evaluation management positions with the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Employment & Workplace Relations. He is MBA qualified and is also recognised by the Australian Market & Social Research society as a Qualified Practicing Market Researcher (QPMR).

James partners with clients to  conduct insightful policy, program and service delivery research, ensuring each project delivers tangible and actionable value. He developed the initial survey Asbestos Awareness Survey in partnership with the ASEA back in 2014 and is delighted to share and discuss the findings from this third iteration of the study at this year’s conference. 

Geoffrey Rutledge

Geoffrey Rutledge

Deputy Director-General, Sustainability and the Built Environment, Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate, ACT Government

Geoffrey Rutledge joined the ACT Government over 14 years ago and is currently the Deputy Director-General, Sustainability and the Built Environment, for the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate, ACT Government.

As part of the leadership team, Geoffrey provides strategic advice and support to three Ministers. The Minister for Planning and Land Management; Minister for Housing; and Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability.

His current responsibilities include Energy policy, Climate Change policy and programs, all built form planning approvals, Urban Renewal including public housing renewal, and the ACT Government’s asbestos response.

Geoffrey has also held a number of Senior Executive roles in the ACT Government, across a number of portfolios including Chief Ministers, Capital Metro, Community Services and Education.

Prior to joining the ACTPS he provided research and advice to elected representatives in the NSW Parliament, the Senate and the ACT Legislative Assembly.

Geoffrey holds qualifications in Psychology, Politics, Public Sector Management, a Masters degree in Policy Analysis, and an Executive Masters in Public Administration.

Gene Tunny

Gene Tunny

Principal, Adept Economics

Gene Tunny is the Principal of Adept Economics, a consultancy firm specialising in cost-benefit analysis and economic modelling. He is a former Australian Treasury official. Prior to Treasury, Gene was employed by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. In recent years, in addition to undertaking assignments for a wide range of private and public sector clients, Gene has been a course leader and expert presenter for courses delivered by University of Queensland International Development to Indonesian economic officials. Gene is a current Vice President of the Economic Society of Australia (Qld) and a Director of Early Childhood Intervention Australia.

Kate Clark

Kate Clark

Deputy Registrar, Common Law Division, Supreme Court of Victoria

Kate is the Deputy Registrar responsible for the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria’s torts based specialist lists, including the Dust Diseases List, within which asbestos-related claims for damages are managed. She is part of a team of judicial officers, lawyers and court administrators whose aim is to ensure that these claims are dealt with as expeditiously as possible, particularly where terminally ill plaintiffs are involved. Before joining the Court in July 2015, Kate practised in civil litigation and insurance law for 29 years. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Commercial Law from the University of Melbourne and is an accredited mediator.

Dr Elaine Stone

Dr Elaine Stone

Assistant Director, Public Health Section , National Health & Medical Research Council

Dr Elaine Stone is Assistant Director in the Public Health section at the National Health and Medical Research Council. She is responsible for working with expert committees to develop evidence based environmental health guidelines including the rolling review of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. Her background is in public health, microbiology and biochemistry. She has previously worked for the Department of Health (England), UK Food Standards Agency and World Cancer Research Fund. Elaine has over 15 years' experience of working with both national and international expert advisory committees to develop evidence based public and environmental health advice and guidelines.

Joe Buffone

Joe Buffone

Acting Assistant Secretary, Crisis Management Branch, Emergency Mangement Australia, Infrastructure Transport Security and Customs, Department of Home Affairs

Joe is the Acting Assistant Secretary, Crisis Management Branch within Emergency Management Australia. He has been with EMA since December 2016. In this role he is responsible for the Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre, Coordination of Australian Government Disaster Assistance (non-financial), Physical Security for Australian Holders of High Office and Major Events Security. 

He was previously the Chief Officer of the Country Fire Authority in Victoria and has more than 25 years’ experience in Emergency/Disaster and Security Management.
Joe Has held a number of key senior positions including:
• Deputy Emergency Management Commissioner
• Deputy Chief Officer  County Fire Authority
• Deputy Emergency Services Commissioner
• State Marine Pollution Controller
• Emergency & Security Coordinator for Department of Infrastructure.

Joe was the lead for two major national projects
1. National Project Director for Emergency Alert –National Telephone Warning System Project post Black Saturday. $60m nationally led from concept to operationalization in 7 months.
2. Development of the road map for the Next Generation National Fire danger Rating System.

Joe has had direct involvement in coordinating and responding to major emergencies in Australia and internationally, at the Strategic, Operational and Tactical levels. Some examples are; Cyclone Debbie 2017, Tasmanian Bushfires 2016, Wye River Bushfires 2016, Nepal Earth Quake 2015, Somerton Building Waste Fire 2015, Hazelwood Mine Fire 2014. NSW Bushfires 2014, 2011 Victorian Floods, 2009 Black Saturday Fires in Victoria. Joe has also served in the Australian Defence Force.
 

Pierina Otness

Pierina Otness

Senior Toxicologist, Environmental Health Directorate, Department of Health WA

Mrs Pierina Otness, Senior Toxicologist, currently works at Department of Health WA within the Environmental Health Directorate. Pierina has over 20 years professional experience in occupational and environmental health in government and industry. Pierina is a member of ALGA and is a full professional member of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygiene (MAIOH). Pierina researched and drafted the enHealth Management of asbestos in the non-occupational environment, which was published in 2005 and has contributed to the development of public health guidelines for asbestos in soil.

Catherine Dunkerley

Catherine Dunkerley

Senior Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Standards Australia

Catherine started with Standards Australia in 2017 and is the Senior Stakeholder Engagement Manager responsible for the Standards Portfolio covering Public Safety, Public Administration, Business and Management, and Health and Community Services and ICT. She currently works with a wide variety of stakeholders from industry to government, research and academia, professional and technical associations to consumer groups. In the last nine months Catherine has facilitated two stakeholder Forums to identify the a future standards-based approach for asbestos identification that will help keep Australian’s safe – an approach that is clear, functional, technically appropriate, and most particularly relevant to Australia’s legal and physical environment.

Catherine has nearly 20 years’ professional experience in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Europe and the Middle East working with industry and visitor-focused public and non-profit bodies. As an experienced strategic development, stakeholder engagement, customer experience and project management professional, Catherine’s successes stem from her passion and commitment to identifying and supporting customer and partner focused outcomes.

Joe Pickin

Joe Pickin

Director, Blue Environment

Joe Pickin is a director of Blue Environment strategic environmental consultants. He is a waste specialist with a PhD on the environmental economics of waste and a 20-year track record as a researcher, analyst and consultant. He is the primary author of the soon-to-be-released National Waste Report 2018 and has investigated and advised ASEA on asbestos stocks, waste practices and waste policy.

Alec Farquhar

Alec Farquhar

Former Director, Office of the Worker Adviser, Canada

Alec Farquhar is a lawyer with a long career involved with asbestos disease compensation and prevention. He is currently the coordinator of Asbestos Free Canada. Previously, Alec was Director of the Office of the Worker Adviser (OWA), an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Labour which advises and represents non-unionized workers in their workers’ compensation claims and appeals. This included involvement in hundreds of asbestos disease cases. Alec came to the OWA from the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers where he was Managing Director, and before that from the Ontario Ministry of Labour where he was the Director of the Occupational Health and Safety Branch. In both of these positions, Alec was extensively involved in detection and prevention of asbestos disease as well as related regulatory enforcement.

Alec has extensive experience in both workers' compensation and occupational health and safety. He has a long history of working with vulnerable worker communities including immigrant workers, women and young workers. He has also worked extensively on partnerships with the employer community around dispute resolution, health and safety and return to work. This includes innovative joint return to work partnerships. He is fluent in Italian and French which has helped him connect directly with the francophone and Italian-Canadian communities. A graduate of Princeton University, Alec also has an L.L.B. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He has served on the Executive of the Ontario Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Section and has received the section’s Ron Ellis award for excellence.

Image of Adrian Breen

Adrian Breen

Branch Manager of the Work Health and Safety Policy Branch , Department of Jobs and Small Business

Adrian Breen is Branch Manager of the Work Health and Safety Policy Branch in the Department of Jobs and Small Business.  In his current role, he is responsible for policy development and advice on Commonwealth Work Health and Safety, asbestos matters.  Mr Breen has expertise in workplace relations law including WHS and workers’ compensation matters.  Mr Breen is also a member of the Safe Work Australia.

Dr. Ken Takahashi

Dr. Ken Takahashi

Director, Asbestos Diseases Research Institute

Ken 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, and after residency in surgery, he received a PhD from UOEH and MPH from the University of Pittsburgh. He 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 an Executive Council Member of the Collegium Ramazzini. He received the Jorma Rantanen Award in 2011 and the Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. He is Director of the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute since 2017.

Brett Bassett

Brett Bassett

Commissioner, Queensland Building and Construction Commission

Mr Brett Bassett was appointed as the QBCC Commissioner on 30 May 2016.
Prior to commencing at the QBCC, Mr Bassett was the Queensland Regional Commissioner for the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).  He developed and implemented ASIC’s small business strategy with a specific focus on education, engagement and regulation of the building and construction industry and chaired the inaugural Federal Government Building and Construction roundtable that now occurs annually.
Mr Bassett has a regulatory background, having held positions with the Queensland Police Service, NSW Department of Fair Trading, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Mr Bassett holds a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Business Administration and is a fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a certified fraud examiner.

Dr Peta Miller

Dr. Peta Miller

Work Health and Safety, Consultant,

Peta is a human factors consultant and researcher. She is Chartered Generalist OHS Professional (SIA). She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy, Post Graduate Diploma in Ergonomics and her PhD investigated the effects of high workload on WHS, satisfaction and performance.

Peta has over thirty-five years’ experience in the public and private sectors in the WHS and workers’ compensation arena. As well as running her own consultancy, Peta is a senior lecturer-practitioner at UNSW, Canberra undertaking health and safety research. 

Peta worked for 17 years at Safe Work Australia in a range of research and policy leadership roles. She led the development of the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022, model WHS regulations, Codes of Practice and guidance material. She was always and remains a passionate advocate for the need for better hazard exposure surveillance, and national action to support the prevention of occupational diseases. 

Dr. George Quezada

Dr. George Quezada

Research Scientist, CSIRO DATA 61

Dr George Quezada is an innovation scientist with the CSIRO Data 61, researching digital disruption and the future of cities, infrastructure and essential service provision. This research is developing strategies that enable economic opportunity and rapid transitions to a sustainable, resilient and resource efficient future. George’s past research explored disruptive innovation in the energy and water sectors. He led the Urban Edge Partnership, a collaborative research project with the property sector to explore the role of greenfield developments in helping the industry and urban areas meet 21st Century challenges and opportunities. This research led to the establishment CSIRO’s Urban Living Lab initiative. More recently, George has led scenario planning projects that tackle complex societal transition issues related to rapid technological change, with implications for Australian business, the economy, construction industry and asbestos safety.

Mary Dickie

Mary Dickie

Managing Director, Quay Connection

With more than 12 years in business Mary has worked with a broad cross section of government and non-government clients developing and delivering some of the most complex and controversial social issue and public interest campaigns in Australia.

With academic credentials in psychology, industrial relations and media communications, she is also an experienced facilitator and public speaker. Prior to establishing Quay, Mary held a number of government positions including Director of the Centre for Education and Information on Drugs and Alcohol, adviser to the Government of Papua New Guinea on small business development and education and a member of the Australian National Council on AIDS.

She has a strong commitment to the application of marketing best practice to the implementation of government programs and policy initiatives.

Mary has developed Quay into an agency with a strong national practice and a robust understanding of the social and political context in which public interest issues are developing.

Karyn Davidson

Karyn Davidson

Manager, Asbestos and Demolition Services, Construction, SafeWork NSW

Karyn Davidson is the Manager, Asbestos & Demolition Services, SafeWork NSW, which is part of the Better Regulation Division within the Department of Finance, Services & Innovation. 

Karyn brings to the role over 12 years of experience and service to industry, workers and the NSW community in the field of work health and safety.

Karyn has gained extensive knowledge and experience in asbestos related matters and has played a pivotal role in the NSW Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities, the development and implementation of the NSW State-wide Asbestos Plan and the NSW Asbestos Education Committee.
 

Philip Hibbs

Philip Hibbs

Principal Consultant, Hibbs & Associates Pty Ltd

Philip is an occupational hygienist with more than 35 years’ experience. He has worked as a consultant for most of his career providing advice in the construction, manufacturing, and maritime industries on hazards related to asbestos, dusts, and chemicals, confined spaces, heat stress, and indoor air quality. He established Hibbs & Associates Pty Ltd in 1994 to provide specialist risk management consulting services in the areas of occupational health and safety, and environmental management.
He holds a Bachelor of Science, from the University of Melbourne and Graduate Diploma of Occupational Hygiene, Deakin University. Philip is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists, a Certified Occupational Hygienist, and the immediate Past President of the AIOH.

Jill Gallagher

Jill Gallagher

Manager Asbestos Coordination, NSW Environmental Protection Authority

Jill Gallagher is the Manager Asbestos Coordination within the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). She is responsible for leading a team that has been created to coordinate asbestos regulation and management across NSW (the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities function, formerly conducted by SafeWork).
Jill has over 20 years’ experience as a regulator within the NSW Government, having held positions within the EPA (Contaminated Sites, Waste and other areas), Department of Community Services, and Roads and Maritime Services. During that time she has led a number of projects involving significant regulatory reform.
Jill has also worked with local government through Local Government NSW and has a good understanding of the challenges faced by councils and other local government authorities.
 

Julie Kuralsoy

Julie Kuralsoy

Manager Compensation and Health Care Services, icare Dust Diseases Care

Julie Kuralsoy has been working for Dust Diseases Care for over 20 years and is currently the Manager for the Compensation and Health Care Services Team. Julie won a scholarship to complete her Masters of Management (Personal Injury) from Deakin University, Victoria and graduated in 2015. Julie has been instrumental in her leadership, winning the icare 2017 Hall of Fame Award for Leader of the Year. She also won the General Managers Outstanding Contribution Award in 2011 from CASD staff awards NSW Government. Julie has lead several projects across icare by implementing a Human Centred design approach putting the customer at the forefront.

Robert Birse

Robert Birse

Technical Specialist, Construction, Plant & Equipment, Worksafe New Zealand

Robert is a Health and Safety assessment manager in the Operations and Support area of WorkSafe New Zealand. He has worked in health and safety for 20 years and has been a key business adviser on a number of national and international projects.

Working as a business advisor, Robert developed an asbestos management programme for NZAID on Niue Island follow cyclone damage in 2004. He was also the project manager for the implementation for the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 and is currently presenting to industry on the new asbestos regulations. Robert was also involved in the development and implementation of an asbestos liaison protocol involving WorkSafe New Zealand and local territorial authorities that is currently being rolled out across New Zealand.
 

Stephen Hledik

Stephen Hledik

Superintendent, Director Trade and Goods Operational Policy, ABF Governance Branch|Strategic Border Command, Support Group, Australian Border Force

Stephen Hledik currently has responsibility for ensuring that Border Force officers achieve enforcement and facilitation outcomes lawfully and to the expectations of government and industry. He has been involved in a breadth of contemporary issues concerning the effective and compliant movement of trade and goods across Australia’s border. Stephen has previously worked in maritime security and aviation sectors, as well as serving in Australia and overseas as an Army officer.

Deb Vallance

Deb Vallance

Health and Safety Officer, Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union

Deb is part of the team at the AMWU which has been at the forefront of campaigns to ban asbestos use in Australia and internationally; to support those with asbestos related disease; establishment of the Asbestos Safety Eradication Agency and fair compensation for those exposed to James Hardies products.

Samuel Jackson

Samuel Jackson

Director, Projects | Senior Hazardous Materials Supervisor, Thuroona Services

Samuel is an experienced Projects Director and Senior Hazardous Materials Supervisor with a demonstrated history of working in the environmental services industry. Extensive experience in contaminated site remediation and risk assessments, Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) project management, HAZMAT emergency response and community consultation. . Samuel holds a Bachelor of Policing, Advanced Diploma in Work Health Safety, Certificate IV in Workplace Training & Assessment along with many other qualifications relating to Hazardous Materials with a focus on Asbestos, Lead, Clandestine Laboratories and Chemical Decontamination. Samuel is also the Thuroona Services nominated Class A (unrestricted) asbestos, Controlled Waste, Dangerous Goods and Explosives licence holder throughout Australia. Samuel has a strong interest in naturally occurring asbestos and has project managed / supervised several related remediation projects across Australia. Samuel also sits on the Australian Lands & Groundwater(ALGA) Asbestos steering Committee. 

Dr Matthew Soeberg

Dr Matthew Soeberg

Epidemiologist, Asbestos Diseases Research Institute

Dr Matthew Soeberg is an epidemiologist with the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute. His work focuses on accurately describing the asbestos-related disease epidemic in Australia. Matthew has published a number of studies including a paper on trends on incidence and survival for malignant mesothelioma in Australia. Matthew has also taken part as a public health asbestos-related disease research expert on ARD prevention activities in Vietnam, Laos and Fiji.  Matthew also works at Sustainability Victoria working on residential energy efficiency programs, including a first in Australia randomised controlled trial looking at the health benefits of improved warmth in low income households. Matthew has also previously worked for the World Health Organization’s European Centre for Environment and Health.

Dr Yuen Cheng

Dr Yuen Cheng

Molecular Biologist, Asbestos Diseases Research Institute

Dr Yuen Yee Cheng is a molecular biologist with specialised knowledge of epigenetic alterations in various cancers. Dr Cheng joined the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI) in 2010 and has established a research theme based on epigenetic gene regulation of tumour suppressors in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM). She has substantial contribution to the “TargomiR” project resulted in the world’s first clinical trial of microRNA replacement in mesothelioma. Dr Cheng has been promoted to Senior lecturer of the University of Sydney in 2015 where she trains higher degree research students in a wide array of molecular and cellular techniques. Her current role at ADRI involves supervising Honours, Masters and PhD students, she is the consultant scientist of the NSW (Australia) licensed Biobank where she curated MPM samples, which enabled ADRI to contribute to The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project.

Malcolm Burgin

Malcolm Burgin

Managing Director, OccSafe Australia

Malcolm Burgin I the Managing Director of OccSafe Australia Pty Ltd and also a Director of FreshAir East Coast Training, Malcolm is a Licenced Asbestos Assessor and currently has offices in Australia, New Zealand, Lebanon, China, America and PNG.  Malcolm Specialises in pre inspection and testing of building products from a number of manufactures from China, South East Asia and Vietnam prior to importation as well as undertaking asbestos surveys, assessments and developing registers and Management Plans.  The OccSafe Australia Group are also actively involved with the identification and Remediation of other HAZMAT materials such as Mould, Lead, Drugs, and PCBs.

Jason Wall

Jason Wall

Acting State Inspector, Asbestos & Demolition Services, SafeWork NSW

Jason Wall currently has responsibility to provide leadership and expert advice on prevention and response activities relating to asbestos and demolition within the construction industry.  He has 12 years’ experience working as an Inspector for SafeWork NSW, along with residential and commercial construction experience operating a small business.  Jason also previously worked for the NSW Police Force.

Edward Emmett

Edward Emmett

Professor and Director, Superfund Research Center, University of Pennysylvania

Edward A. Emmett is Professor and Director of Academic Programs in Occupational Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.  He is active in clinical practice, research and education in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Dr. Emmett has been Vice Chairman of the Joint ILO/WHO Committee on Occupational Health, Chairman of the Regional Working Group on Occupational Health for WHO, a member the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health and also Chairman of the State of Maryland Hazardous Toxic Substances Study Commission, among other appointments.

Dr. Emmett’s current research activities include studies of the role of toxic occupational and environmental exposures in causing disease, and of the relationship between health and productivity.  He is also working with the United Auto Workers Union (UAW), General Motors Corporation and Delphi Corporation in a new role as the “Risk Communicator” to better translate research results into preventive actions by management and workers at the workplace.

Leone Leyshon

Leone Leyshon

Health and Safety Professional, Lawyer

Leone Leyshon has a Law Degree and Science Degree majoring in Psychology, Post Graduate qualifications in Law, Occupational Health and Safety and Mental Health and is a Registered Nurse with generalist and mental health experience. She was also involved in a published progress report ‘Evaluation and Needs Assessment of Canberra Schizophrenia Fellowship Vocational Rehabilitation Workplaces’ testing work outcomes for workers with mental illness and disorders.  She is a practising lawyer and has over 35 years’ experience in health and safety.

Leone’s experience extends to management of the occupational health and safety unit at the University of Canberra overseeing OHS, workers compensation, rehabilitation and return to work programs with practical experience in implementing the ACT and Commonwealth laws. Her employment at Comcare was specifically to either develop or redraft and then compile the 21 (25 Parts) Commonwealth Codes of Practice.

At Safe Work Australia she developed and coordinated the asbestos removal units of competency for the issue of the asbestos licences. Prior to joining the Public Service she owned and managed an aviation training and charter business developing an Aviation Degree with the University of Western Sydney and an Aviation Science unit for the High School Certificate which articulated into this Aviation Degree.