Josef Schrott

Josef Schrott was born in Austria in 1933, and in 1949 he left to see the world. His first visit to Australia was in 1952 and his experience of Fremantle led him to decide to apply for permanent residency and make Australia his home. His experience in tunnelling equipped him well for mining work so he decided to give it a go. He worked on the goldfields and then, in order to save money, decided in 1958 to move to Wittenoom. Nothing in his career prepared him for the conditions he encountered there.

  • Impressions of the mine
          188.mp3
    Description:
    Josef Schrott was born in Austria in 1933, and in 1949 he left to see the world. His first visit to Australia was in 1952 and his experience of Fremantle led him to decide to apply for permanent residency and make Australia his home. His experience in tunneling equipped him well for mining work so he decided to give it a go. He worked on the goldfields and then, in order to save money, decided in 1958 to move to Wittenoom. Nothing in his career prepared him for the conditions he encountered there.
  • Conditions in the mine
          195.mp3
  • Jo's ilness
          688.mp3
    Description:
    After leaving Wittenoom Josef Schrott continued with a successful career in the Western Australian mining town of Kalgoorlie. Then in the early 1980’s he began to experience breathlessness and other early symptoms of asbestosis. While anyone working in the mining industry is aware of the risk of lung disease, asbestosis-related diseases are of a different dimension. Mr Schrott is critical of the government authorities who turned a blind eye to working conditions that they knew could carry a death sentence for the asbestos miners.
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