Humour and storytelling helping black lung sufferers
CAMARADERIE and mateship are what Dave Walker misses most about underground mining.
After being diagnosed with black lung disease (pneumoconiosis) in 2015, the former Bowen Basin miner will never be able to work underground again.
The insidious disease - caused by long-term exposure to coal dust - has affected many areas of Mr Walker's life.
"It's progressed to the point where I can't work on a mine site any longer," he said.
"Obviously there is the shortness of breath.
"Having to come out from underground is the worst part of it really.
"My future is uncertain."
Mr Walker is one of more than 140 miners involved in the Black Lung Victims Assistance Fund, run by the CFMEU.
On Monday, the fund received a $4000 donation from Campwin Beach author and miner Ian Buchanan.
Last year, Mr Buchanan published his book Coal Faces - a collection of humorous stories and a tribute to his mentors from his early mining days.
He donated $5 to the Black Lung Victims Assistance Fund from every book sold.
"I wanted to do something to give back to mining," Mr Buchanan said.
"I hope it will go to good use for these guys."
CFMEU Queensland district industry safety and health representative Stephen Woods said there were now 143 black lung sufferers involved in the fund.
"It's good to see someone put something back into the industry," Mr Woods said.
For more information, visit: www.coalfaces.com