On May 3, 2012, I had the honor to present “20 Years of Making the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) work for business’ in Massachusetts” at the Cancer Council Autralia’s (CCA) Cancer in the Workplace – A forum on practical solutions for prevention. I was amazed at the feedback I received and of the hope my presentation gave to the attendees. I was even more amazed at the great research and presentations that I was asked to be part of. The presentations opened my eyes to Australia’s biggest occupational health issues of mesothelioma (working with/mining asbestos) and melanoma (sun exposure).
I was able to attend a strategic planning meeting with the CCA. When I was about to leave they asked me to give my two cents of advice on how to get a TURA-like law rolling. I reminded CCA that TURA was first ignited by Ken Geiser (then at Tufts) and Mike Ellenbecker (then at U Mass Lowell) who were from acadamia…not the legislature. Maybe the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology could be the starting point. Also, that starting off with Victoria, one state, rather than going country-wide would have a greater chance of success. Lastly, I said don’t forget TURA’s secret sauce…mandatory reporting/planning…voluntary implementation based on a viable business case.
When saying good byes and giving hugs Terry Slevin, CCA said to me that they weren’t sure what they were going to get when we they asked me to come down to speak, but one minute into my speech they knew we had asked the right person…I remarked, “Did the cape frighten you?” He replied, “Not at all.” His only fear was that Dr. Tim Driscoll, Professor at University of Sidney, would start wearing one.
For those of you who have never wore a cape when making a presention, I would highly recommend it…it did make me feel like I could do or say anything!