A Diary Of A Mesowarrior Living With #Mesothelioma -#asbestos Awareness Week in Australia -Trevor Gillmeister -Launch Of A New Web Site for Bernie Banton Foundation – Company House No Plans to Reduce to 6 Years

Oh dear I can’t sleep so I have a coffee and its 2.30. Turn on my computer to see  how the Australian Asbestos Week is going and came across the name Trevor Gillmeister.

Me being me I googled his name and found Trevor Gillmeister is an Australian former rugby league player who is currently employed as a Rugby League analyst at Channel 7 Brisbane. During his playing days Gillmeister played for the Eastern Suburbs Roosters, Brisbane Broncos, Penrith Panthers and the South Queensland Crushers as well as representing Queensland and Australia.

But He is Queensland’s Asbestos Ambassador and all because he lost his dear father to mesothelioma.

He has made a video of a letter he wrote to his dad.

Dear Dad,

It’s been a while mate, but I think about you all the time.

The families are well, we all still get together for the family barbeques with Mum. I’m doing a fair bit of coaching now – the year has been a bit up and down as usual.

Do you remember my first game of footy with the Gladstone West Panthers under 9s? I always wanted to play footy, that was my main goal. I must have done alright though to be asked by the great Artie Beetson to play for the Roosters. Even though you tried to talk me out of it, you always supported me. Sydney is such a big city, I remember asking how to get to Bondi and you just told me to get over the bridge and hook a left. You were pretty spot on, I made it.

You were always such a hard worker, I think that’s why you were so well recognised in the industry. It’s thanks to you that I got my foot in the door and started my apprenticeship.

I can still remember the day you got diagnosed. It wasn’t fair. You’d just retired and gotten back from the cruise with mum.

I’d never heard of mesothelioma before. I remember saying to you, mate, you’re a strong bloke, you can beat this, there might even be a cure, but you just gave me a blank look I think you knew, they gave you six months, but you didn’t give up, you proved them wrong and we got you to almost a year.

You were a tough old bugger and I’ve always tried to be like you. I’m continuing your fight.

I’m getting out there as an asbestos awareness ambassador. I want people to be more proactive and careful around the stuff. I’m starting to notice a change too. People don’t just recognise me for my football career anymore, they see the work I’m doing and how important it is for me to have people talking about asbestos.

As tough as you think you are, asbestos is always going to be tougher.

I’m not going to stop…. I’m doing this for you.

We all miss you Dad.
Love you mate,

Gilly was an assistant coach at the Gold Coast Titans from 2006 to 2014. He walked over 1400kms from Townsville to Brisbane in October 2014 to ‘Take an Axe to Asbestos’ raising public awareness about asbestos, as well as much-needed funds for families affected by asbestos related diseases.

What a lovely man I will follow more of his work


Rod Smith was up late it was 5.30am when he messaged me ad he had been up all night finalising a new website for the Bernie Banton Foundation.

He was telling how proud he was that the 1 day conference that he had run was a great success and that it will be a yearly event from now on. I told him I surprised Karen read out my message to cheer them on and hoped all went well. Karen read it out along side one from Bob Carr (ex NSW Premier and Australian foreign affairs minister.So amazing to be linked in with such a great man.

Rod said –Mavis, it went exceptionally well, I mean exceptionally well. It would seem for once I got something right. Prof Bruce gave an amazing relatable talk on immunotherapy. You will love it.

There is a video being loaded in the next few days so I will blog it as it comes with in the Australian Awareness Week.

Here is the new web site I have found it fascinating. So full of information that even we win the UK will find so helpful. Very impressed.


Industrial Relations Minister Grace launched National Asbestos Awareness Week

With the words :-

“An estimated one-in-three homes contain asbestos in Australia, so it’s vital that tradies and DIYers alike understand how to work with the old building material safely,” said Ms. Grace.

“Raising awareness of asbestos safety is aimed squarely at keeping Queenslanders free from the terrible diseases this material can cause.

“Deaths from asbestos-related diseases remain a sad reality, as it can take many years for the symptoms to emerge and in many cases, people aren’t even aware that they’ve been working with asbestos materials.”

It is estimated that more than 25,000 Australians will die from asbestos-related diseases in the next 40 years.

“Although it’s safe if in good condition and left alone, asbestos can be very dangerous once you start drilling into it, or breaking it up,” said Ms. Grace.

“These are just the kind of jobs that electricians, renovators, home handymen or builders might do.”

Asbestos Safety Advocates Julie and Don Sager also joined the occasion. The couple lost their 25-year-old son Adam to mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos during a home renovation.

Ms. Grace also praised Queensland’s Asbestos Ambassador, Trevor Gillmeister for spreading the asbestos safety message.

“Gilly works hard all year-round to get asbestos safety messages to people in communities across the state,” she said.

“For him, raising awareness is a personal commitment – a few years ago he lost his father to an asbestos-related disease, which he contracted through his work as a boilermaker.”

This month, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland met local councils and hardware stores to put on workshops and safety demonstrations across the state for tradies and DIY enthusiasts.

More information about working safely with asbestos is available on www.deir.qld.gov.au/asbestos or by calling 13 QGOV (13 7468).



I have also had the great news that the day we went to the Lords with The question was raised about Company House and the disposing of Company Records that had been proposed.

Ian Lavery MP said  they didn’t understand just what that would mean to people and information so yes he had noted this and will action as the Police have also made it known they use the records as well when investigating Fraud etc.

Well true to his word We won here it is in black and white Thank you Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK, the British Lung Foundation and other relevant bodies We asked and we got – The Government has no current plans to bring forward proposals to reduce the period of time that Companies House retains records of dissolved companies. http://www.parliament.uk/…/written…/Lords/2016-10-31/HL2863/

The Government has no current plans to bring forward proposals to reduce the period of time that Companies House retains records of dissolved companies.

We will continue to keep the retention period under review. Any future proposal to change the retention period would be subject to public consultation.————-

The records are saved and will carry-on being used when Mesowarriors need to find Companies to sue for the misery Asbestos has caused.

Harminder Baines Of Leigh Day has written a great report https://www.leighday.co.uk/News/News-2016/November-2016/Lawyer-for-asbestos-victims-welcomes-Government-U

24 November 2016

Leading asbestos lawyer Harminder Bains has welcomed the announcement by the Government to scrap plans to dispose of the records of companies which are no longer in existence.

The Guardian reported in August this year that Companies House was planning to destroy the records of companies that had been dissolved for longer than six years; this would have overturned their current policy of retaining records for at least 20 years.

Responding to Parliamentary questions[1], Margot James MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), confirmed that not only would there be no reduction in the length of time Companies House retained these records but that there would now be no destruction of any records currently held on dissolved companies until and unless there is an agreed change of policy.

She also confirmed there would be no change in this policy without a full public consultation[2].

Harminder Bains from the law firm Leigh Day had planned to take legal action against the Government, on behalf of the Asbestos Victims Support Groups’ Forum UK, had the proposal to dispose of the records taken place.

She said: “It is essential that victims of asbestos exposure are able to access historic records so that they, and their lawyers, can trace companies, former employers, and the insurance company responsible for their liabilities.

“We are pleased that the Government has taken this step so that we, on behalf of our clients, will no longer have to challenge these proposals in the High Court as these proposals would have seen thousands of victims of asbestos exposure denied justice.

“We are especially pleased that the Minister has confirmed that there would now be no destruction of any records currently held on dissolved companies. This is important to our clients as asbestos diseases can take decades to develop[3], sometimes as long as 60 years following exposure.”

Graham Dring, Chair of the Asbestos Victims Support Groups’ Forum UK said:

“This decision is good news for victims of mesothelioma and other long-tail industrial diseases who already face an uphill struggle securing justice in the courts. If these proposals had gone ahead it would have denied access to justice to many asbestos victims unable to pursue a negligent employer or their insurer.

“It is also reassuring to hear the Minister confirm that no records will now be destroyed as even the 20 year retention period is inadequate in protecting the interests of terminally ill asbestos victims who may have been exposed to asbestos 40 or 50 years before.

“There is no way of predicting which records may be needed in the future. Storage should not be an issue with the technology available to us today and we expect Companies House to maintain its commitment to those suffering from mesothelioma now and the thousands more predicted in the future by retaining records of all dissolved companies.”


[1] Martin Docherty-Hughes MP, West Dunbartonshire, 14 November 2016
[2] Ministerial reply to Martin Docherty-Hughes MP, 17 November 2016
[3] Average latency period for mesothelioma is 34 years.

The legal team from Leigh Day was led by Harminder Bains instructing Jeremy Hyam QC from One Crown Office Row and Kate Beattie from Doughty Street

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