May 26, 2015

Lung Foundation Australia to host seminar in Alice Springs

Lung Foundation Australia and the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) are running two free workshops on 29 May for the community and local health professionals about asbestos risks and the management of lung disease.

The first seminar is open to general community and guest speakers will discuss asbestos safety as well as how people can better manage their wellbeing if they are living with a lung disease.

Lung Foundation Australia CEO Heather Allan said lung disease accounted for more than 10% of the overall health burden in Australia.[i]

“One in ten people is affected by lung disease, yet many of us continue to take our lungs for granted,” Mrs Allan said i.

“There can be many reasons someone has poor lung health including genetics, poor lung health in childhood, smoking and environmental factors like exposure to dust,” she said.

Lung Foundation Australia’s Nurse Educator – Asbestos Related Disease Judy Rafferty said Australia had one of the world’s highest rates of malignant pleural mesothelioma per capita[ii] , an asbestos-related lung disease and numbers expected to rise between now and 2020.

“As a general rule, for buildings or houses built before the mid-1980s, it is highly likely that they may have some asbestos-containing materials,” Ms Rafferty said.

“It can take 20 to 40 years for asbestos-related lung disease to develop after exposure, although exposure to asbestos fibres does not always result in an asbestos-related disease.[iii]

“Our workshop will provide information on asbestos risks and safety including recommendations for do-it-yourself renovators.”

Mrs Allan said the second workshop is aimed at hospital based staff treating patients with asbestos-related disease but is also open to health professionals working in primary care.

“This national program of health professional workshops will raise awareness of potential asbestos risks and provide relevant links to available local, state and national asbestos-related resources,” Mrs Allan said.

Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency CEO Peter Tighe said it was important that the community educated itself about asbestos.

“We are excited to partner with Lung Foundation Australia to provide this opportunity to share best practice and strengthen networks to provide greater care and support to victims of asbestos disease and their families,” Mr Tighe said.

Mrs Allan said education was vital to help people be better informed and in control of their health and wellbeing.

“We know that helping people to self-manage their disease reduces hospitalisations and improves their quality of life,” she said.

“That’s why these seminars boast a fascinating educational program, delivered by presenters who are experts in their field.

“The community seminars give people the opportunity to find out more about Lung Foundation Australia’s information and resources and ask questions of our experts.”


More information

Alice Springs Community Seminar

When: Friday, 29 May 2015
Where: Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, Aboriginal Corporation, Activities Room Main Clinic
9.45am – 1.30pm

Topics covered include:

  • Asbestos Awareness and Safety in the Community – Judy Rafferty, Clinical Nurse Educator in Asbestos Related Disease for Lung Foundation Australia
  • COPD and Bronchiectasis Symptom Management – Erik Tikoft, CNC Respiratory Nurse, Alice Springs Hospital
  • Practical Techniques to Manage your Lung Disease – Lenore Block and Fiona Coyle Senior Physiotherapist’s, Alice Springs Hospital

Alice Springs Health Professional Workshop

When: Friday, 29 May 2015
Where: Alice Springs Hospital, Education Room, Gap Road, NT 0870
12.30pm – 3.00pm

Topics covered include:

  • Mesothelioma: Diagnosis and treatments – Judy Rafferty, Clinical Nurse Educator in Asbestos Related Disease for Lung Foundation Australia
  • Legal impact and compensation for ARD/MPM – Slater & Gordon
  • Psychosocial impact of an asbestos related disease – Judy Rafferty, Clinical Nurse Educator in Asbestos Related Disease for Lung Foundation Australia

RSVP: To book your place phone freecall 1800 654 301.

For more information or the event invitation visit


[i] Lung Disease in Australia, 2014, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research

[ii] Better Health Channel,

[iii] Safe Work Australia, Mesothelioma in Australia, 2013