The Australian Institute Of Occupational Hygiene Hall of Fame is an exciting initiative from the 2023 AIOH Council who recognised it was time to celebrate our history and those who inspired our purpose of worker health protection.
The inaugural inductees are from the 1980-1983 cohort. They are the ones who helped build the AIOH into what we now know as the resilient, reputable and respected peak body for occupational hygiene.
Inductees represent the best of us at the AIOH and were selected based on these attributes:-
We invite you to browse these pages, read their stories and share in the celebration of our AIOH founding fathers and mothers - the stuff legends are made of.
Tracey Bence 2023 President
Alan Rogers has been a stalwart member of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) since March 21, 1980, earning Full membership status and achieving Fellowship on November 22, 1993. His exemplary service to the AIOH includes holding significant positions such as President in 1994/1995 and 2014, as well as President Elect in 2013. Rogers, a recipient of prestigious honors such as the AIOH Pam de Silva Medal in 2005, AIHA YANT Award in 2009, and the AIOH Outstanding Service Award in 2018, has left an indelible mark on the organization.
In addition to his leadership roles, Rogers actively contributed to various AIOH committees, including Education, Membership and Qualifications, Communications, Awards and Sponsorship, Risk, Audit, Finance, Quality, and Exposure Standards. His commitment and expertise were further evident in his representation of AIOH to the Interim National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) in 1984. Following 50 years of providing occupational hygiene training and investigating exposure, controls and quantitative risk assessment in asbestos, silica and DPM , Alan was granted retirement status as a Member, Fellow and Certified Occupational Hygienist of the AIOH.
Dr. Barry Chesson AM
Distinguished figure in Occupational Hygiene with over 50 years of experience, commenced his association with the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) on March 21, 1980, initially as a Provisional member. His dedication and expertise led to his Full membership status being awarded on September 27, 1985. After an illustrious journey, he retired from his active role in the AIOH on April 1, 2016. Throughout his tenure, Dr. Chesson played pivotal roles, serving as Councillor, President-Elect, President, and State Liaison Officer for the WA Chapter. His commitment extended to chairing committees, including Communications, and contributing to External Affairs.
Beyond his AIOH involvement, Dr. Chesson held managerial positions at Alcoa and Chevron, contributing globally to teams addressing Ergonomics, Heat Stress, and Occupational Exposure Limits. His consultancy, Occupational Hygiene Solutions Pty Ltd, made significant contributions to the resource industry in Western Australia and various sectors like manufacturing, construction, and tertiary education. Holding a diverse academic background and numerous certifications, Dr. Chesson’s legacy is further underscored by his honors, including Fellowship, the Member of the Order of Australia, and the Celebration of Achievement Award. His extensive career reflects not only a profound impact on the field of Occupational Hygiene but also a commitment to shaping occupational health and safety policies at both state and international levels.
Brian Davies, a stalwart in Occupational Hygiene, began his affiliation with the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) on March 21, 1980, initially as a Provisional member, achieving Full membership on April 21, 1983. His dedicated service to the AIOH is marked by influential roles such as Secretary (1984-1985), Treasurer (1994/95), and President (1988-1989). Brian received the esteemed Fellowship on November 23, 1993, and retired from active participation in the AIOH on June 25, 2013. His remarkable contributions within the AIOH were acknowledged with the Pam de Silva Medal in 2011 and the AIOH Outstanding Service Award in 2014, recognizing his outstanding commitment to advancing the field.
Beyond his AIOH involvement, Brian’s impact extends globally, including key roles in the establishment of the MSc in Occupational Hygiene Practice at the University of Wollongong. He is currently an Honorary Professor at the university, supervising PhD students. Brian played a pivotal role in the formation of the Occupational Hygiene Training Association (OHTA) and served on the Board of the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA), earning the prestigious IOHA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. His commitment to education and training is further underscored by receiving the Yant Award in 2002 from the American Industrial Hygiene Association and the William Steiger Memorial Award from the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, recognizing his significant contributions to advancements in occupational health and safety. As the inaugural Director of the Centre for Occupational, Public, and Environmental Research in Safety & Health (COPERSH) at the University of Wollongong, Professor Davies has left an enduring legacy in shaping and promoting occupational hygiene practices worldwide.
Christian Dupressoir has been an active member of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) since March 21, 1980, achieving Full membership status. His dedicated service within the AIOH spanned several years until his retirement on September 25, 2007. Dupressoir’s commitment to professional excellence is reflected not only in his association with the AIOH but also in his significant contributions to occupational hygiene standards and safety practices.
Throughout his career, Dupressoir played a key role in shaping industry standards, contributing to the determination of lead in blood for several standards and actively participating in initiatives such as the safety of vapor degreasing plants, safe working in confined spaces, and welding safety concerning fumes. His involvement in the development of standards for various occupational hazards showcases his dedication to promoting safety and best practices in diverse work environments. Christian Dupressoir’s multifaceted contributions, both within the AIOH and in shaping industry standards, underscore his enduring commitment to advancing occupational hygiene practices and standards in Australia.
David Grantham embarked on his career in 1969 at the Queensland Government Chemical Laboratory (GCL), immersing himself in various facets of chemistry. Within the GCL, a dedicated section specialized in occupational hygiene, where David’s journey took a fortuitous turn with the utilization of cutting-edge technology like the Diffraction Size Analyser (DISA). This led to the expansion of occupational hygiene endeavors, creating a new laboratory within the GCL. His work covered a spectrum of occupational hygiene areas, excluding radiation, which had distinct organizational structures and legislation. Involved in committees for the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), David pursued economic and doctoral studies focusing on lung diseases and environmental exposures in the Queensland coal mining industry.
During a pivotal period around 1991, David transitioned to the Division of Workplace Health and Safety, contributing to a new Occupational Health Unit. Recognizing the surge in health and safety activities nationwide, he played a crucial role in developing and teaching occupational hygiene courses at the Queensland University of Technology. Notably, David authored an introductory guide to occupational health and hygiene, a precursor to the widely acclaimed “Principles of Occupational Health and Hygiene.” His dedication to the field earned him a lifetime achievement award from the International Occupational Hygiene Association in 2004, and subsequent accolades include the AIOH-supported Public Service Medal in 2004 and an AM as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2013. Throughout his career, David remained an active member of the AIOH, serving on the council, taking on roles like President, and contributing significantly to the growth and knowledge dissemination within the field of occupational hygiene. His enduring impact is evident in the lasting educational resources and international outreach initiatives facilitated by his efforts. David Grantham retired on September 4, 2020, leaving a remarkable legacy in occupational hygiene education and practice.
David Hamilton, a stalwart in the field of occupational hygiene, has been an integral part of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) since his provisional joining on July 8, 1980, eventually achieving full membership on October 27, 1983. His unwavering commitment to the AIOH is evident through his multifaceted roles, including serving as Treasurer in 1992/93, Council member in 1982, and contributing to crucial committees like the Ethics Committee and Constitution Committee. His enduring presence on the AIOH Steering Committee since 1979 highlights his continuous dedication to the institute.
David’s career journey, rooted in physics education at the Universities of Queensland and Adelaide, unfolded with diverse experiences in government, consulting, and industry. Notably, his pioneering work in occupational hygiene began in 1976 at the South Australian Department of Public Health, where he introduced modern air sampling and analysis methods for asbestos and respirable crystalline silica. His career trajectory involved significant contributions to legislation, including the development of regulations under the Radiation Protection and Control Bill 1982 in the South Australian Parliament. David’s career subsequently flourished in Melbourne, encompassing roles as an occupational hygienist in a coal liquefaction pilot plant and later leading hygiene efforts for Esso Australia’s operations. His leadership extended to ExxonMobil, where he served as the lead hygienist for the Asia-Pacific region. David Hamilton’s career exemplifies a harmonious blend of professional excellence and dedicated service to the AIOH community, leaving a lasting impact on the field of occupational hygiene.
David and wife Catherine were unable to attend the evening with 2023 Secretary Neil Goulding accepting the award on David’s behalf.
A dedicated member of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) since March 21, 1980, achieving Full membership, continues to actively contribute to the field of occupational hygiene as of 2023. His noteworthy service to the AIOH includes holding the positions of Treasurer in 1986/87, Secretary in 1994/95, and serving on the Membership and Qualifications Committee. Geoff’s extensive career spans over 50 years, with roles as an Engineering Scientist and Occupational Hygienist. After working in the industry until 1989, he established a successful private consultancy.
Geoff Pickford’s technical expertise is particularly evident in his contributions to national committees and the drafting of crucial methodologies related to airborne asbestos dust sampling and analysis. Notably, he played a pivotal role in developing methods applicable until recent years, such as the Membrane Filter Method for airborne asbestos dust sampling and analysis for the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in 1976 and the subsequent 1988 method for the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC). His impact extends to the analytical methods for asbestos identification in bulk materials, including AS 4964 in 2004, and the ongoing revision resulting in AS 5370. Geoff’s commitment to advancing industry standards is exemplified by his involvement in the revision of AS 4964 and AS 5370. Additionally, his instrumental role in accreditation programs, such as the National Asbestos Program (NAP) for airborne asbestos laboratories, showcases his dedication to maintaining high standards in occupational hygiene practices. Pro bono technical advice provided to Proficiency Testing Australia (PTA) further exemplifies Geoff’s ongoing commitment to the advancement of occupational hygiene practices in Australia and New Zealand.
Dr. Glenys Goricane
Dr. Glenys Goricane has been an active member of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) since 1980, achieving full membership in 1986 and continuing her involvement as of 2023. With a career spanning over 30 years, she has made significant contributions to occupational health, safety, and environment (OHSE) in multinational corporations like Telstra Corporation Ltd, Monash University, CSIRO, Boral Ltd, and La Trobe University. During her 17-year tenure at Telstra, served as the State Occupational Hygienist, overseeing national programs and research projects related to asbestos, indoor air quality, and polychlorinated biphenyls.
Following her corporate career, Glenys transitioned to become an Occupational Hygiene Consultant and further pursued a Ph.D. in Medicine with a focus on Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. Despite funding challenges leading to the withdrawal from the Ph.D. program, she continued her impactful career with a focus on education, contributing to tertiary-level teaching and promoting diversity in STEM fields. Her dedication to addressing gender imbalances is evident in her Ph.D. research on female engineers’ participation and retention, showcasing her commitment to professional standards and diversity in the occupational hygiene profession.
Jan Gardner joined the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) in 1981 as an Associate, earning full membership in 1989 and being recognized with Fellowship in 2005. With a degree in Agricultural Science, her career journey began in microbiology research on foot rot in sheep. Transitioning to a role in respiratory protection technical support, Jan provided guidance to industry and government for over 15 years, conducting site evaluations and offering control recommendations.
Jan’s significant contribution lies in her over two-decade involvement with the AS1715 and AS1716 standards committees, where she served as Chairperson for four years. Recognized by Standards Australia for exceptional service, her work facilitated the alignment of Australian standards with EU respiratory protection standards. In 1995, Jan moved to corporate roles within 3M ANZ, focusing on Product Regulatory Compliance, Health & Safety, Quality, Environment, and Technical Management. Over her 37-year tenure with 3M, she achieved notable accomplishments, including establishing the 3M ANZ Toxicology Department, ensuring compliance with various regulations, and managing acquisitions. Jan’s extensive and diverse career in Occupational Hygiene earned her Fellow status in AIOH and certifications from both AIOH (COH) and ABIH (CIH – Comprehensive Practice).
Janet Sowden became a full member of the AIOH on February 20, 1981, achieving Fellowship on January 28, 2001. Throughout her distinguished career, she made significant contributions to occupational hygiene, particularly during Victoria’s industrial relations turmoil in the late 1980s. As a Scientific Officer in the Industrial Hygiene Division of the Victorian Health Department since 1974, Janet conducted investigations on occupational exposures, emphasizing harmful gases, smokes, fumes, mists, and dusts, with a specific focus on carbon monoxide and industrial dusts.
Janet’s dedication to scientific rigor in occupational health, prioritizing the well-being of health workers, stood out during challenging times of political manipulation and unfair targeting of the Industrial Hygiene group. Despite facing adversity, her steadfast approach contributed to the eventual return to normalcy in the government’s approach to occupational health and hygiene. After leaving government employment in 1988, Janet joined Amcosh, specializing in asbestos and silica. She continued her impactful career until her retirement from Amcosh in 1997, followed by running her consulting practice until 2010. Janet served on the AIOH Ethics Committee from 1988 to 1996 and played a role in the AIOH Conference Committee in 1988.
Margaret Donnan, an esteemed member of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) since 1980, has left an indelible mark on the field of occupational health and safety. With a career spanning roles in research, government, industry, and regulatory bodies, Margaret’s journey epitomizes a commitment to excellence and collaboration. Beginning as a Research Chemist, she transitioned into occupational hygiene in the Victorian Department of Health, where she thrived in an environment that encouraged interdisciplinary cooperation. Over the years, Margaret has been a driving force behind legislative initiatives covering diverse areas, reflecting her dedication to improving health and safety standards across the state.
As the former CEO of PACIA (now Chemistry Australia), Margaret played a pivotal role in advocating for the chemical industry’s safe and sustainable management. Her leadership extends to various board roles, including chairing the global advisory Board of the Institution of Chemical Engineers Safety Centre for six years. Margaret’s recent roles in the Battery Stewardship Council, the Victorian EPA Governing Board, and chairing the Audit and Risk Committee of ARPANSA showcase her enduring commitment to ensuring safety, effective governance, and risk management in diverse regulatory environments. Margaret Donnan’s illustrious career continues to inspire as she contributes to shaping and advancing occupational hygiene practices nationally and internationally.
Noel Tresider AM
Noel Tresider, an esteemed member of the AIOH since its founding in 1980, has left an enduring legacy in the field. His contributions extend across various roles, from serving as the AIOH President (1998/89) and Treasurer (1985/86) to his key involvement in initiatives like the Asian Network of Occupational Hygiene (ANOH) and Workplace Health Without Borders (WHWB). With over 40 years of experience in the oil and chemical industries, Noel provided industrial hygiene services to Mobil Oil affiliates in the Asia-Pacific region and later extended his expertise to other major oil companies in Australia and Qatar.
Noel’s impact transcends national borders, as evidenced by his presidency at the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA) and his pivotal role in IOHA’s National Accreditation Committee. Recognized for his outstanding service, he received the IOHA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 and the AIHA Yant Award in 2015. His dedication to advancing occupational hygiene education is evident in his involvement with the Occupational Hygiene Training Association (OHTA), where he served as a Board member. Noel Tresider’s illustrious career, crowned with honours like the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2018, reflects his unwavering commitment to shaping and enhancing the field of occupational hygiene globally.
*Noel was unable to join us on the evening of the Hall of Fame dinner, his award was accepted on his behalf by Dr Sharann Johnson AM.
Richard ‘Dick’ Manuell
Richard’s occupational hygiene journey, initiated in 1947 at the Atlantic Union Oil Company, encapsulates a lifelong commitment to enhancing workplace health and safety. Transitioning from roles like laboratory assistant and country salesman, Richard discovered renewed purpose when he delved into environmental issues, particularly pollution prevention. His pursuit of knowledge led him to pursue a Master’s in Applied Science at the University of NSW, a transformative experience that rekindled his motivation and redirected his focus towards occupational hygiene.
As a dedicated hygienist for Esso, Richard significantly impacted the health and safety of fellow workers. Founding member of AIOH, he witnessed the institute’s growth from a concentration on activities within factory confines to a more comprehensive approach addressing community-wide health concerns. Richard’s commitment to upholding ethical and scientific standards in occupational hygiene is palpable, and he cherishes memorable moments of impact, such as scaling a debutanizer tower and tackling noise exposure among petrol tanker drivers. Born in 1928, Richard’s multifaceted career, spanning roles from chemist to environmental conservationist, reflects a steadfast dedication to improving workplace well-being, leaving an enduring legacy in the field of occupational hygiene. Despite retirement, he expresses gratitude for being elected as a Fellow of AIOH and harbors a desire to continue contributing to occupational hygiene work if health permits.
*Richard Manuell was unable to get to Melbourne but we were grateful for his son Paul Manuell attending on his behalf, its also to be noted Richard is the AIOH oldest member (retired) at 95 years young.
Robert Golec embarked on his occupational hygiene journey in March 1982, armed with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Chemistry. Joining the Occupational Hygiene unit of the Victorian Health Commission, he found inspiration and mentorship from AIOH founder members like Pam De Silva, Margaret Donnan, Jenny Smith, and Janet Sowden. Engaged in investigating industrial and environmental exposures, conducting biological surveillance, and enforcing legislation, Robert contributed significantly to numerous investigations and developed laboratory methods for chemical and biological monitoring.
His commitment to advancing occupational hygiene led him to join AIOH in 1985, attaining Full Membership in 1988. In 1989, as part of the unit’s transformation from a regulatory entity to a consulting service named AMCOSH Occupational Health Services, Robert continued his impactful journey. Progressing to the role of unit manager and Principal Occupational Hygienist, he played a pivotal role until 2003 when AMCOSH transitioned into a private company. Robert’s extensive involvement includes being a longstanding member of the AIOH Exposure Assessment Committee, representing AIOH on Australian Standards Committees, and contributing to NATA as an Occupational Hygiene Technical Advisor and Technical Assessor for monitoring and analysis. His enduring dedication and contributions to occupational hygiene mark him as a valuable asset to the field.
Dr. Sharann Johnson AM
Dr. Sharan Johnson embarked on her occupational hygiene journey after opting for industrial chemistry over pharmacy. Armed with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Monash University, she commenced her career at BP Australia’s Quality Control team. In the early ’80s, during the formulation of new OHS legislation, Dr. Johnson attended the University of Sydney SPHTM course, a pivotal move that laid the foundation for her role as a corporate occupational hygienist at BP. Her responsibilities spanned diverse sectors globally, contributing significantly to the field’s development and earning her recognition as a stalwart in occupational hygiene.
Her career progressed, she left an indelible mark on the global occupational hygiene landscape. Her tenure at BP Oil headquarters in London allowed her to influence international occupational health policies and engage with industry networks worldwide. Returning to Australia in 1994, she took on the role of HSE Manager for BP’s global Bitumen Business Unit, spearheading transformative projects. Beyond BP, her extensive contributions continued, including roles as GM Sustainable Development at Zinifex and the first corporate Occupational Health Advisor for Newcrest. Sharann’s substantial impact on the occupational hygiene profession is underscored by prestigious awards, such as the Pam de Silva Medal in 2012 and her appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2022. Actively involved in the AIOH, she served in various capacities, showcasing a career dedicated to empowering workers, advancing the field, and earning accolades from both industry and professional organizations.
Stephen Altree-Williams, an esteemed member of AIOH since 1982, embarked on a prolific career marked by significant contributions to the field of occupational hygiene. His dedication to advancing the understanding of respirable dust, quartz, asbestos, and other occupational hazards is evident in his numerous publications in international refereed journals. Spanning topics from x-ray diffractometry to particle size effects and the crystallinity of quartz, his research has left an enduring impact on the scientific community. His academic journey includes roles as a Senior Lecturer at Deakin University, Geelong, and an OHS Officer at The Australian National University, Canberra, where he continued to shape the discourse on OHS performance through publications such as “The missing element to improved OHS performance” and “Frequency, incidence, observed risk, and outcome performance in OHS.”
Beyond his scholarly pursuits, Stephen shared his wealth of knowledge and expertise through roles as a private consultant, contributing to various business and community clients, and later as a private scholar in OHS. His enduring commitment to OHS continuous improvement is exemplified by his monographs and structured models, reflecting a holistic approach to safety and health risks. Throughout his career, Altree-Williams has made significant contributions to occupational hygiene, leaving an indelible mark on the profession and contributing to the ongoing quest for a safer and healthier workplace.
Warren Smith, an AIOH member since 1982, embarked on a distinguished career in occupational hygiene that left a lasting impact on the field. Beginning as an analytical chemist at Mount Morgan Mines, he transitioned to Mount Isa Mines in 1977, where he delved into occupational health chemistry, particularly focusing on trace metal analysis for the biological monitoring program. In 1979, Warren attended the intensive 13-week occupational hygiene course at the University of Sydney, solidifying his expertise. Certified in the Comprehensive Practice of Industrial Hygiene by ABIH in 1982, he played an active role in AIOH, serving on the Council (1985/86 and 1993/94) and contributing papers and presentations at annual conferences.
Warren’s career trajectory led him to manage the occupational hygiene function at MIM and later serve as the Occupational Health and Safety Manager for the MIM group. Relocating to Canberra in 1987, he became an occupational hygiene adviser with CSIRO and, from 1990 to 1995, assumed the role of Corporate Health and Safety Manager, addressing challenges associated with chemicals, radiation, and fieldwork. His versatility was evident in subsequent roles, including Corporate Manager, Employee Relations (1995-2004), and CSIRO General Manager Human Resources (2005-2014). In the latter role, Warren demonstrated leadership in industrial relations, employment conditions, health and safety, and diversity, overseeing the implementation of a new OHS&E structure and aligning activities with CSIRO’s strategic plan to transform OHS performance. Throughout his career, Warren Smith’s dedication and expertise have significantly contributed to the advancement of occupational hygiene practices.
Anthony ‘Tony” Findlay
Anthony (Tony) Findlay, a distinguished figure in occupational hygiene, embarked on his career with the Commonwealth Department of Health in 1954. Starting as a Laboratory Assistant Grade 1, he demonstrated remarkable dedication, eventually ascending to the role of Senior Chemist. Tony’s journey was characterized by his tireless efforts to protect workers from chemical and physical agents prevalent in the workplace. Completing a part-time degree in Chemistry at the University of New South Wales during his early years with Commonwealth Health, he rapidly progressed to lead a team of Occupational Hygienists. His responsibilities included advising and assisting the Commonwealth and the States in formulating policies for worker protection.
Tony Findlay’s impact extended to national and international spheres. In 1961, he became the first scientific member of the Occupational Health Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC). He later chaired the NH&MRC Occupational Hygiene Subcommittee until 1985, contributing significantly to setting exposure limits and reviewing health effects of chemicals. His influence persisted during the transfer of occupational health responsibilities to Worksafe Australia in 1985.
During the challenging political era of 1985-92, Tony chaired the NOHSC Exposure Standards Committee, skillfully managing a diverse group of occupational hygienists, unionists, and industry representatives. His leadership ensured a rational system for reviewing changes in exposure standard values. Beyond his governmental roles, Tony’s passion for occupational hygiene manifested in his teaching methods. Recognizing deficiencies in Australia’s training programs, he developed postgraduate courses providing theoretical foundations and practical applications, impacting a multitude of professionals.
Tony Findlay played a pivotal role in the formation of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH). Serving on the inaugural 1980 Council, he contributed significantly to the institute’s foundation, earning him the status of Fellow and the prestigious Pam de Silva Medal in 2005. His legacy endures as his influence continues to shape occupational health and safety standards for millions of workers. His unwavering commitment, technical expertise, and dedication to setting high competence standards have left an indelible mark on the occupational hygiene profession, making him a revered figure within and beyond Australia.
*Alan Rogers represented and received Anthony’s Legend Award as well as provide some amazing insight to Anthony’s life.
Pam de Silva
Pamela (Pam) Elizabeth de Silva was not only a pioneering figure in occupational hygiene but also a trailblazer for women in science. Beginning her career as a Scientific Officer in the Industrial Hygiene Division of the Victorian Department of Health in 1952, she navigated challenges posed by Public Service regulations that hindered permanent employment for married women. Despite these obstacles, she forged an outstanding career, showcasing her resilience and determination.
Pam’s pivotal research focused on lead exposure, leading to the award of a Master of Public Health from Sydney University in 1982. Her work influenced regulations and standard-setting in occupational health, and she became a Senior Scientific Officer in the Industrial Hygiene Division. Pam was an enthusiastic scientific communicator, presenting papers at international conferences, contributing to scientific journals, and serving as a mentor to Victorian occupational hygienists.
As a founding member of the AIOH in 1980, Pam played a crucial role in shaping the institute’s early years. She served as President in 1982, 1986, and 1987, leaving an indelible mark on the organization. Her global impact was underscored when she became the first Australian President of the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA) in 1989, reflecting her recognition and influence on the international stage.
Pamela de Silva’s post-retirement dedication to documenting the history of occupational health in Victoria underscores her commitment to the field’s development. Though she passed away before completing this work, her legacy endures through the Pam de Silva Medal and the profound impact she made on the field of occupational hygiene in Australia and beyond.
*Janet Sowden provided an amazing history on Pam de Silva as Pam’s representative on the Hall of Fame dinner
Gershom Major, born in 1920, embarked on a remarkable life journey characterized by diverse experiences and significant contributions to science and public health. Raised in a religiously mixed household with a Christadelphian father and an Anglican mother, Major later converted to atheism, aligning his beliefs with the pursuit of scientific knowledge. His early career unfolded during the Great Depression when, at the age of 15, he left school to join the A.W.A. Beam Wireless Service. As a telegraphist, Major delivered Ashes cricket scores to the ABC commentary team, laying the groundwork for a life intertwined with technology and communication.
Major’s educational pursuits led him to Melbourne University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science (Physics) in 1946 at the age of 26. His thirst for exploration manifested in his participation in the 1st and 2nd Australian Antarctic Research Expeditions in 1947 and 1951. During these expeditions, Major not only contributed to scientific endeavors by studying the Southern Aurora but also played a crucial role in establishing the first radio connection from Macquarie Island. His twin brother’s tragic death at El Alamein in 1942 added a personal layer to Major’s journey, shaping his perspective on life and its challenges.
Transitioning to a career in occupational health, Major joined the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at the University of Sydney in 1955. Collaborating with Alan Rogers, he published numerous papers and became a mentor to many aspiring occupational hygienists. Major’s impact reached beyond academia as he played a pivotal role in exposing the health hazards of asbestos mining during a visit to the Wittenoom mine in 1966. His critical findings led to the closure of mining activities due to the risks associated with asbestos dust exposure.
In the later chapters of his career, Major served as a director of the Australian Institute of Political Science and editor of the Australian Quarterly, contributing to the nation’s intellectual and political discourse. Recognized for his scientific integrity, he received the inaugural Da Silva Award from the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists in 1998. Gershom Major’s legacy endures not only through his pioneering work but also through his contributions to education, public health, and the scientific community. His passing in 2006 marked the end of a life dedicated to exploration, knowledge, and societal well-being.
*Dr Derek Major and Granddaughter of Gershom Major where representing Gershom at the AIOH Hall of Fame Dinner.
Trevor’s pivotal role in the field of occupational hygiene extended to his significant contributions to the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH), showcasing his dedication to the growth and professional development of the discipline. Recognizing the importance of a unified professional body, Trevor was among the group of insightful leaders who played a crucial role in establishing the AIOH. In 1980, he took up the inaugural position of President, setting the foundation for the institute’s trajectory. His leadership during this formative period was instrumental in shaping the AIOH into a respected and influential organization within the occupational hygiene community.
Not content with a singular term, Trevor sought re-election as President in 1983, demonstrating his sustained commitment to guiding the AIOH through its early years. During his presidency, Trevor worked with a council of promising young hygienists, contributing to the institute’s growth and development. His impact resonated with the members, as he emphasized the responsibilities of the profession and the importance of nurturing a strong membership base.
Trevor’s lasting imprint on the AIOH was further solidified when he received the Yant Memorial Award from the American Industrial Hygiene Association in 1988. This recognition not only honoured his outstanding contributions but also served as a testament to the international recognition of the AIOH as a professional institution. Trevor’s legacy within the AIOH continued to flourish, culminating in his election as a Fellow in 2005, a fitting acknowledgment by his peers of his exceptional contributions throughout the decades to occupational health and safety.
Beyond his formal roles, Trevor’s influence on the AIOH was characterized by his practical approach and hard-won personal experiences. He played a crucial role in guiding the institute through legislative challenges, contributing to the development of codes of practice, exposure standards, and the overall philosophy that continues to shape occupational hygiene practices in New South Wales and beyond. His contributions to the AIOH remain a testament to his unwavering commitment to the profession and the safeguarding of workers’ health and well-being.
*Alan Rogers accepted the Legend award on behalf of Trevor Jones
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