Homes loved and lost to loose-fill asbestos

a collection of personal stories


Loose-fill asbestos installed up to 40 years ago contaminated over 1000 homes in Canberra. Nine residents, facing demolition of their homes, tell their stories of what home means.


Partners: Woden Community Service, PhotoAccess

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Our Beautiful Home

by Maire Cook

The Cook family moved into Chifley in October 1966. The house cost 11,900 pounds. They used Jack’s toolbox for their table and cardboard cartons for chairs. For their first Christmas, the children made decorations with painted egg cartons. The furniture arrived three months later.

Valda's Story

by Valda

For 38 years Valda has lived in Narrabundah: five minutes from the shops, Vinnies, and St Benedict's church. Her life is about getting out and about.

Memories Within my Walls

by Rita

Narrated by a house in Lyons that had its accidental beginnings in 1965. During construction, Vic met Rita, they married, and the house became a reality in 1968.

My Home and My Family

by Fely Tsirekas

Fely takes us on a guided tour of her house, starting in the kitchen where she's spent more time than anywhere else.


It's Not Just a Real Estate Thing, Not Just About Money

by David Chalker

The house in Cook made David and his family feel like they'd come home: the courtyard, the wood fire. After major renovations and landscaping, they thought they'd never leave. David made art there, and found the place inspirational.



If Walls Could Talk

by Diana

If only walls could talk they would tell of Alf finding an advertisement in the letterbox promising comfort from the scorching summer heat and the icy chill of winter. After considerable chatting, they contacted Mr Fluffy, resulting in a never-ending story.


Betty's Story

by Betty

After the asbestos had been removed for a second time from Betty's house, she thought that all was safe, and added a sunroom with confidence. At 85, she never expected to face her home's asbestos legacy for a third time.

Valleys and Views

by Margaret

Margaret's forever home was on the hilltops of Weston with wonderful views. She reflects from her new home in the Molonglo Valley.

A Secret Cave and Magical Toys: Losing my Childhood Home

by Tania

Tania remembers her father digging under the house to create a darkroom and a workspace: a fascinating place to a child. She reflects on the lifelong inspiration of her father's craftsmanship and shares some of the 'awkward' family portraits of her childhood.