18 April, 2024
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Dust Diseases Board Appointments


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The NSW Government welcomes the newest appointments to the Dust Disease Board, who will give new focus and perspective to the allocation of grant funding for research and support services for people affected by dust diseases.

Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Work, Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis appointed three new Board members, Ms Kate Cole OAM, Mr Peter Tighe and Professor Emeritus Malcom Sim AM.

Minister Cotsis has reappointed Board members, Professor Sanchia Aranda, Professor David Currow FAHMS, Ms Sylvia Kidziak AM, Mr Ray Petty, Ms Natasha Flores. Ms Sherri Hayward and Mr John Walsh AO (Chair) continue their appointments to the Board.

The Dust Diseases Board, which is a scheme within icare, has been funding grants since 1983 with the aim of reducing the risk of dust diseases and improving outcomes for people who have a dust disease, and their families.

A total of 55 grants with a funded value of over $13 million were approved by the Dust Diseases Board between 2016 and 2023.

Board members include representation from: employers; employees; support, advocacy or awareness groups or organisations; persons involved in research into dust diseases or in academic matters relating to dust diseases; health professionals; and an independent chairperson.

Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Work, Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis said:

“I’m really pleased to appoint Peter Tighe to the Dust Disease Board, who has been a staunch advocate for trade workers coming into contact with asbestos. It’s important to have a broad cross-section of representation on the board.

“Kate Cole OAM is a health industry expert, who will bring further workplace prevention perspectives to the board, thanks to her work as an occupational hygienist who specialises in the prevention of dust diseases like silicosis.

“Professor Malcolm Sim AM has worked in research fields relating to dust diseases in the workplace for more than 30 years, including at Monash University’s School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine. His expertise in this field will be invaluable.

“I want to thank the re-appointed and continuing board members for their continued service to address dust diseases affecting workers in New South Wales, and for their dedication to public service.”

“Finally, I want to thank the outgoing members, Ms Abha Devasia, Ms Merylese Mercieca and Mr Barry Robson for their hard work during their tenure. Their important contribution to the administration of the board is greatly appreciated.”

Sophie Cotsis

Minister for Industrial Relations

Minister for Work Health and Safety

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