The Bernie Banton Foundation is fiercely apolitical, and was founded by Karen Banton for only one reason, to uphold what Bernie Banton AM believed in; to assist people to navigate the difficult journey an asbestos disease diagnosis presents; to enable people to have informed choice about specialist asbestos litigators and medical professionals; to prevent people being exposed to asbestos by creating awareness of the danger it presents; and to advocate for, and to be:
‘The voice of reason for Australian asbestos disease sufferers, their loved ones and the wider community.’
Foundation Funding Facts
We DO NOT charge, or place expectation of donations being made, for any of our services, neither do we have (and never will have) any ‘pay by referral’ or ‘quota’ type relationship with any legal firms, medical specialists, individuals; corporate, union, or government bodies. We do however have relationships with, and recommend people and organisations we believe are specialists at what they do, are holistic and importantly, ethical!
We are blessed to have, and rely on loyal fundraising supporters, a small number of corporate backers, and members of the general public making donations, bequests and people giving in memory of a loved one, to maintain our 24/7 asbestos diseases victim support services and to keep our head above water. We are extremely appreciative of every dollar offered to support the Foundation and what we do. We welcome donations or funding from any individual or organisation providing there are no stipulations attached that will comprise our aims, vision or beliefs.
The Foundation runs on extremely low overheads, paying no property purchasing, rental, leasing or associated costs, neither does it pay any vehicle purchase costs. Its CEO and its Awareness and Support Co-ordinator are paid on a weekly part time basis, with each generally volunteering up to 40 hours per week over and above paid hours, working on the day to day running of the Foundation, manning the Foundation’s 24/7 Support Helpline and running asbestos disease victim support and advocacy services. Awareness programmes other than our ongoing online and social media presence and telephone support, are only undertaken when finances become available and the stars align. It could rightly be said the foundation runs on a shoe string within its means, without any current, ongoing, or future debt liability.
The Bernie Banton Foundation is a registered charity with the Australian Government regulative authority, the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC). All Australian registered charities are required to submit an annual information statement, which must include financial statements. These can be viewed for the Bernie Banton Foundation and other compliant charitable organisations by clicking on the ACNC image.
The Bernie Banton Foundation is audited annually by an applicably registered auditor.
Debunking often voiced myths about where the foundation receives its funding from
Many people mistakenly believe the Bernie Banton Foundation receives large amounts of funding from either the Australian or state governments; that asbestos litigation firms fully fund the Foundation; or that the Foundation is funded by James Hardie Industries.
Nothing could be further from the truth! In fact:
The Foundation has never had ongoing funding of any amount from the Australian Government, and never had any funding at all from any state or territory government or body such as the NSW Government’s, icare Dust Diseases Care.
Myth number two is that asbestos litigation law firms fully fund the foundation. Again, totally untrue, whilst asbestos litigation law firms, thankfully do contribute and make up the Foundation’s largest single funding sector, historically their funding contribution has accounted for anywhere from 0% to less than 30% of the total amount needed for the Foundation to be fully funded.
Lastly, James Hardie Industries have never contributed any money to the Bernie Banton Foundation, but then, neither has any other building supply or home lifestyle supply company! Yes, we would gladly accept their money, if it meant being able to put more asbestos victim support and asbestos awareness programmes in place!
Setting The Record Straight
People often mistakenly assume that the Bernie Banton Foundation and the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI), which is housed in the Bernie Banton Centre in Sydney NSW, are one and the same!*
Contrary to this misconception, not only has the Foundation never had any financial connection to ADRI, it does not occupy office space in the Bernie Banton Centre – however would welcome the opportunity to do so.
*To read more about the Bernie Banton Foundation’s relationship with ADRI click here.