Gatton agronomist wins national safety award for sun safety message

Elders Gatton’s Jason Blackwood has been commended with the national 2016 One Elders Safety Award in recognition of his involvement with the Company’s Stand Up Speak Up initiative.

Stand Up Speak Up brings awareness to safety issues through stories from the network as a way of encouraging employees and communities to be responsible for their health and take preventative measures against illness and injury.

Mr Blackwood, a pink shirted agronomist, husband and father of three, shared his story with the Elders network following the shock news of being diagnosed with stage four metastasised melanoma to numerous parts of his body.

“I kind of prepared myself for not great news, but I didn’t prepare myself to that extent,” he says when speaking about his diagnosis.

“Is it going to be three months, four months, will I see the kids get married, will I walk my daughter down the aisle? All those things we take for granted.”

Mr. Blackwood was awarded with a trophy, certificate and $2,000 at the One Elders awards night dinner.

On receiving the award Mr Blackwood sent home the important message of always taking care of your own health as a priority.

“I don’t believe I can cure the world, but we get very busy in our day to day lives and we forget to look at ourselves – and we are the most important asset we own,” he said.

“In spite of circumstances I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to share my story with the net work and community, and hopefully make people think twice about sun safety,” he said.

Elders’ North Zone General Manager, Greg Dunne said the amount of people that have gone and had skin checks, including himself, since Jason told his story is fantastic.

“Jason’s attitude and work ethic is unquestionable given what he has gone through and this is a credit to him, his family and work colleagues at Gatton who have supported him throughout the process,” Mr Dunne explained.

“For anyone to stand and speak with such openness and honesty and to share a message in what can only be described as a very tough time, speaks volumes about the character of the individual.”

“Jason is exceptionally deserving of this award – he has bravely soldiered through his treatment while staying committed to his role as an agronomist, father and husband.”

Watch Jason’s Stand Up Speak Up video below.

 

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