There for our members whenever or however they need us.

Team & Patrons

President: Kat Burge

Kat was born and bred in Balaklava South Australia. She worked as a boot maker with RM Williams for 32 years. After she retired in 2001 she began doing volunteer work with Vietnam Veterans Northern sub branch as a Pensions and Welfare Officer. She found that there were a number of ex-military and, in particular, Navy people who had been exposed to asbestos, and while looking for information about this she came across the Asbestos Victims Association.

Kat is now President of AVA and volunteers many hours each week.

Vice President: Peter Baxter

Peter was born in West Lothian, Scotland. After migrating to Australia, he worked at James Hardie Industries in Elizabeth till 1983. Peter and Jean, his late wife, joined AVA soon after he was diagnosed with asbestosis in 2004.

Peter is involved in all AVA’s activities, but especially in raising awareness about the need for everyone to avoid exposure to asbestos, travelling all over South Australia to hand out free information. Peter is responsible for maintenance of the crosses which are displayed at our Memorial Day on the last Friday in November each year

Peter received a “Volunteer Award” from Tony Zappia MP in December 2012.

Treasurer & Office Manager: Pam Sandys

Pam was born in Yass, NSW and brought up on a farm near the Burrinjuck Dam. She has had a varied career, including 6 years in the RAAF.

Her involvement with AVA began in November 2000 when her late husband, Alan, was diagnosed with asbestosis. The devastating news of a terminal disease was made more distressing as they had never been aware of anything but mesothelioma being associated with asbestos exposure and feared the worst.

Pam saw a small notice in the local Messenger paper about a recently formed group in Salisbury for victims of asbestos-related diseases – this was the foundation of AVA. Pam & Alan were able to access relevant information and emotional support, along with legal advice and recommendation to a local general practitioner who was treating asbestos victims. After Alan’s death Pam wanted to give something back to AVA. She has been an essential member of the team since that time.


The Hon. Steven Marshall, Premier of SA
Frances Bedford, Member for Florey
Tony Zappia, Member for Makin
Nick Xenophon Lawyer and Advocate
John Camillo, State Secretary AMWU

Executive Committee

President Kat Burge
Vice President Peter Baxter
Treasurer Pam Sandys
Office Manager Pam Sandys

Committee Members

Gloria Hinks

Doreen Ryan

Lesley Shears

Maxine Williams