Australia has the world’s highest incidence of malignant mesothelioma per capita, with more than 600 new cases diagnosed each year, which is due to the widespread use of the known carcinogen, asbestos.
As a response to the incidence of malignant mesothelioma in Australia, the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI) located in the Bernie Banton Centre, was opened in January 2009 by the then Prime Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd. The ADRI was established by the Asbestos Diseases Research Foundation (ADRF), a charitable, not-for-profit foundation dedicated to assist and support the research efforts of ADRI into asbestos-related diseases.
Before his death in 2007, Bernie Banton campaigned vigorously for the rights of those who suffered, like himself, from asbestos-related diseases. This state-of-the-art research facility on the Concord Hospital Campus was named in his honour.