Vale Tony Medina

Tony Medina, asbestos campaigner, trade union and Occupational health and safety activist, soccer coach, father of five, partner and husband to Matea, died from mesothelioma, an asbestos related disease, on 23 December 2008.   He was 43 years old.

Tony arrived in Australia from Chile with his family in the 1970s.   His first job after leaving school was removing asbestos.   At that time, regulations for the safe removal of asbestos were lacking - leading to many workers being exposed to lethal asbestos fibres.  Tony lost his life because of this. 

In 1998, when Tony worked as an Organiser for the then Building Workers Industrial Union, he was involved in campaigning for the introduction of better asbestos removal regulations.   Later he donated his time to the CFMEU Training Unit in instructing on the safe removal of asbestos.

Despite his diagnosis with mesothelioma in 2007, Tony continued to campaign on asbestos related matters and for asbestos victims.   Alongside Bernie Banton, he successfully campaigned for the chemotherapy drug, Alimta to be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, allowing it to be available to all mesothelioma sufferers.   He is seen in the photo on the left, with Bernie at the rally outside the office of the then Health Minister, Tony Abbott.

As part of this campaign, and to urge WorkSafe Victoria to amend Victorian Asbestos Regulations to include "dust" in the definition of "friable asbestos", Tony spoke at the 2007 VTHC Annual OHS Representatives Conference. Tony was also special guest at the Ballarat and Melbourne seasons of Donna Jackson's production of Dust in November 2008, as well as a contributor to the show.   Dust deals with the effects of asbestos on individuals, families and communities as well as the history of use of asbestos by companies such as James Hardy.   Tony was awarded life membership of the CFMEU in December 2008.

He will be missed by all who have known him, worked with him, campaigned with him and been his friend or comrade.   Our condolences to all his family at this time.

More Items

  • Marg Howard: 2011 OHS Rep of the Year

    Read more about Marg Howard, HSR at Nestle Uncle Tobys and member of the NUW....read more

  • Glen Barber: 2010 OHS Rep of the Year

    What makes Glen a great rep? What advice does he have for others?...read more

  • Derek Jones: 2008 OHS Rep of the Year (co-winner)

    Derek Jones is one of the joint winners of the 2008 OHS Rep of the Year. We spoke with him about winning the award and some of the important lessons he has learned over his six years as an occupational health and safety rep...read more

  • Tarek Soueid: 2007 OHS Rep of the Year

    Tarek Soueid was awarded the Health and Safety Representative of the Year for 2007....read more

  • Brodene Wardley: 2006 OHS Rep of the Year

    At the 2006 WorkSafe Awards Brodene Wardley was nominated Occupational Health and Safety Representative of the year.  Brodene is a CFMEU member who believes that standing up and speaking out are very important on sites like the one she worked at: the Hamilton Sands Project....read more

  • Vale Bernie Banton, a true Australian hero

    The tireless anti-asbestos campaigner, Bernie Banton, passed away peacefully in his sleep at 1am Tuesday November 27th, 2007. ...read more

  • Pat Preston - OHS Manager CFMEU

    Pat Preston, the 2005 recipient of the Award for Outstanding Leadership and Contribution to Health and Safety, is well known throughout Victoria's construction industry as the previous Manager of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union's OHS & Environmental Unit. ...read more

  • Professor Harry Glasbeek - Corporate Crime Fighter

    Professor Harry Glasbeek has been described as 'one of several almost unsung heroes of the Canadian occupational health and safety movement'....read more

  • Peter Gordon: Fighting for asbestos victims' rights

    Peter Gordon is a Senior Partner with the well-known labour law firm Slater & Gordon, who has for over 20 years sought justice and compensation for thousands of workers exposed to the deadly fibre, asbestos. He spoke with SafetyNet about 2 asbestos-related matters that are currently engaging his attention....read more

  • Owen Tudor - Unions and OHS

    Owen Tudor, then the director of the Occupational Health and Safety Unit at the UK Trade Union Congress was in Australia in May 2003. Owen spoke at a number of OHS related forums, including the ceremony at VTHC for International Workers Memorial Day, at the ACTU and at WorkSafe Victoria. SafetyNet asked Owen a few questions on OHS generally, and the role of reps and unions in particular....read more

  • "Have a Look Mate"

    A previous HSR on the docks, now a WorkSafe inspector, writes about his experiences......read more

AskRenata

Please send in your occupational health and safety questions to Renata. We will respond within a few days.

Ask a question

Safetynet

Please complete the form below to subscribe to the SafetyNET Journal email newsletter.

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

Your details

BE TRADES HALL TRAINED

Have you had your initial training yet? Want to do a refresher course? Register online!

OHS Training