Safety advocates

Gavan McGuane: Safety advocate

Gavan is a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland safety advocate.

A serious workplace accident permanently changed the course of Gavan's life and left him with only 20 per cent vision in one eye.

Now he visits Queensland businesses as a safety advocate to increase awareness of the importance of workplace health and safety, and highlight the personal impacts that an injury can have on workers and their families.

Gavan shared his story to prevent anyone else having to experience what he went through.

Left quoteThink about what it is you do and don't put yourself at risk just to get something completed five seconds faster than it would have otherwise been.Right quote

Gavan football team

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Changing focus - Gavan's story

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    • VICKI: The hospitality industry can be a potential minefield for injuries.

      VICKI: The most common forms of injury are things like ankle sprains, and you get wrist sprains, you get back injuries...

      VICKI: Or shoulder injuries from people lifting up cartons too high.

      VICKI: Some people suffer from things like allergic reactions from some of the chemicals used.

      VICKI: We also get burns. We've had some very nasty injuries with hot fat.

      VICKI: There's also a lot of cuts obviously from the kitchen areas.

      VICKI: There can be slips, trips and falls and because some areas work to 2 3 4 in the morning, then you can add fatigue on top of that as well.

      VICKI: When you talk about slips, trips and falls it can sound so trivial but the consequences, can be enormous.

      GAVAN: Sport was my life.

      GAVAN: I think I captained and coached twelve premierships. I represented the Gold Coast. I represented Queensland.

      GAVAN: And I think I probably had another 20 years of coaching in front of me if everything had gone to plan.

      GAVAN: Yeah in 1994, I had a workplace incident which left me like this.

      GAVAN: I had the accident at the age of 36.

      GAVAN: About 18 months I suppose I was involved in the hospitality game...

      GAVAN: No doubt the industry of me meeting people and being with people is where I belonged.

      GAVAN: I really did like the life I was leading, but that was taken away...

      GAVAN: So when I got up that morning knowing that I only had to go to work for half an hour, I thought; fantastic, I'll get in there, get everything organised, get home, enjoy the day.

      GAVAN: I remember going in and everything was going so fine and then complaints started to happen.

      GAVAN: Ahh and then everything just went wrong.

      GAVAN: The person who was supposed to do the beer lines went to do another job.

      GAVAN: So I thought okay, I'll go and check it myself.

      GAVAN: Outside the cold room there's usually a little rubber mat because there's always water seepage coming out from the cold room.

      GAVAN: So that little rubber mat, on the day, was actually turned up at both ends.

      GAVAN: Me, running around, rushing around trying to make sure that everyone was happy just tripped on the rubber mat.

      GAVAN: I was falling inside the cold room where the keg was.

      GAVAN: The first thing you do is try to grab something so you don't hit the deck.

      GAVAN: I grabbed hold of the keg that was full of alkaline and also still full of gas. One hand went on the keg. My other hand went on the beer plunger which is on the keg. Then when you do push that plunger down it releases whatever's in that keg...

      GAVAN: Then the alkaline proceeded, still full of gas coming out of the keg, and just proceeded to go straight into both eyes...which instantly just sent me totally blind.

      GAVAN: I reckon the first thing that really initially hit me was the pain.

      GAVAN: Like it was just having fireballs.

      GAVAN: And then having screaming and yelling and staff coming in and saying, he's in trouble, he's in trouble. He's in massive trouble. Quick got to get him into the shower. I knew then that I'm in drastic trouble.

      GAVAN: The burning sensation was just...out of this street, honestly, how bad it was. And then...

      LUKE: There was no ambulance available...they had to drive him up.

      JOEL: All the way to Brisbane hospital. Umm...and all the alkaline eating away at his eyes I suppose and throwing up the whole way just from the pain of it.

      GAVAN: The head was just throbbing like someone hit me with an axe.

      GAVAN: I really did think my head was going to blow apart.

      GAVAN: And no-one telling you what's going on. It was horrific.

      GAVAN: Am I ever going to see those two kids again. That's what got me through it.


      PROFESSOR HIRST: Gavan arrived and I had already been warned by the ophthalmologist referring him that he did have a serious injury.

      GAVAN: Outside the hospital is this professor waiting for you, to put myself into a wheelchair so he could wheel me straight into his rooms. I'm thinking this is not good.

      PROFESSOR HIRST: He was in shock. And I have to say I was somewhat shocked by the severity of his injury.

      PROFESSOR HIRST: He was clinging onto the hope that this was all going to be alright.

      GAVAN: Mr McGuane, he said, You're in big trouble. You're going to lose one eye for the rest of your life and he said you're ninety-nine per cent chance of losing your other eye for the rest of your life.

      PROFESSOR HIRST: So that's a pretty stark prospect for someone who literally, seconds before the injury, was seeing perfectly.

      LUKE: And I still remember we were waiting to go into the hospital, ahhhh, into his room, and mum just warned us. She said...

      JOEL: Dad really wanted to see you because unfortunately it might be the last time he might be able to see ya, umm because his eyesight, he's had an accident at work and over the next few days he might lose it completely.

      LUKE: Dad's eyes are blue at the moment, they're not brown anymore. Umm, just try not act too shocked when you see him.

      JOEL: I'll never forget walking in actually just, seeing him.

      LUKE: They pulled the curtain back and we saw him and his eyes were actually like a fluoro blue. Like a, like scary blue. I was only six years old and I was pretty freaked out to see my dad's eyes like that and it was, it was pretty difficult.

      JOEL: Still at that age you just don't realise how bad the situation is. You think they might be able to wash it out and things will get better. And it's not till the weeks go by and, you know, it starts to sink in that you realise that umm this is permanent.

      LUKE: I think when I got home; I was a pretty shattered young kid.

      LUKE: I just thought well is he going to be able to play cricket with is in the backyard. Is he going to be able to kick the football with us? Is he still going to coach football like he could, he can't see the football anymore.

      JOEL: So yeah, it was something you don't forget.

      GAVAN: I went to work for half and hour ...and I was in there for 57 days.

      LUKE: The three months that he was in hospital was a really, really tough time for him.

      GAVAN: Ah yeh, the hospital was a dungeon at the time I thought. I just lay there and...watching...ah people come in and looking at me as though I was a freak.

      LUKE: He wouldn't really let us come and see him, because he didn't want us to see him suffer.

      GAVAN: But I didn't really want to keep them in that environment.

      GAVAN: The bottom line with them is you want to see them happy. They wouldn't have been happy being in there. So yeah, no, I got them out of there pretty quick.

      PROFESSOR HIRST: Gavan and his family have had to accept a lot of changes in their lives. From being fully sighted and the breadwinner for the family, overnight, in a few seconds, he's changed to being dependent. Not able to earn a living. Losing his self-respect. Wondering whether life is worth living.

      JOEL: Maybe the first ten years, there were times when I looked at dad and you sort of take a deep breath and you see him struggling to do something.

      LUKE: He'd walk into things. He'd hurt himself, but he'd just pretend it didn't hurt and he'd be angry or frustrated but then he'd just block it out and keep walking. And umm I think that's what I remember most as a kid that he just wouldn't let his pride go. And he wouldn't, he'd just refuse to show... that he was, that he couldn't see.

      PROFESSOR HIRST: I think initially he went through all the grieving reactions that people do when they lose someone beloved or they lose something important to them.

      GAVAN: It's been pretty hard, let me tell ya. Not being able to go and do what you wanted to do to make your life better.

      LUKE: There's a lot of jobs he can't do, including probably the thing he loves the most and that's coaching football.

      GAVAN: I remember Professor Hirst telling me that.. that I'll be able to tell night from day and that's it, and I thought, I want more than that please.

      GAVAN: And then thankfully to him that I did restore some of my sight.

      GAVAN: And now I'd probably rate myself as inside darkness and that sort of thing, very, very limited. Outside on a bright sunny day, without wearing a contact lens that I do wear now, I'd say probably twenty per cent.

      GAVAN: Like I'd sit a metre away from television now, I probably see about eighty percent of what you can see a hundred percent of, from sitting anywhere.

      GAVAN: I read a newspaper with a monocle, it's called. But the monocle must be right on the paper so it blows it up to probably ten times the size of what it really is.

      GAVAN: For me now to go to a game of football, I must more or less sit still and I use binoculars.

      GAVAN: I must be sitting there with binoculars up to my eyes for say sometimes four hours of a day. And I mean that's no... no easy feat.

      PROFESSOR HIRST: It is not unknown for people with such a severe eye condition, where their vision has gone from perfect to virtually blind in such a quick time, some of these people consider suicide.

      GAVAN: I had morbid thoughts. I reckon I still have morbid thoughts. And I reckon if I do lose the eyesight for total, I really don't know what I'll do.

      JOEL: All the professors and everything have told him that they don't know how he actually can see. So it wouldn't take much to lose it.

      GAVAN: If the right preventions had been used, I wouldn't be sitting here like this now.

      VICKI: In the case of Gavin's injury there was a number of contributing factors, there was water on the floor, the mat was not in a good state of repair. It had sides curled up. Gavan was rushing at the time...

      VICKI: They're the sort of things that build up and they make the opportunity for an injury and unfortunately for Gavin that was the ultimate result.

      GAVAN: If I'd have taken that few minutes longer just to make sure the safety was there, to make sure everything was right, I mightn't be in this position.

      VICKI: Think about what it is you do and don't put yourself at risk just to get something there five seconds faster than it would have been.

      GAVAN: It is just so important that safety is taken as number one. Not as just something that you want to talk about after the incident happens. You make sure that's in place before anything starts.

      VICKI: There are a lot of issues in this, this industry, but I do believe the hospitality industry is working hard to try and minimise....the injuries that they have.

      VICKI: The employers can take a number of ways to reduce injuries in the workplace.

      VICKI: The employer needs to put in systems of work, they need to oversee that the staff are following those systems of work.

      VICKI: The main thing is to communicate with their staff, to identify the risks.

      VICKI: If you haven't identified them at the start then you can't manage them.

      VICKI: And employees can take precautions as well. They can ensure that they have been provided with the information they need to do their job.

      VICKI: They need to follow their procedures and make sure that they wear the PPE that's provided for them.

      VICKI: They need to comply with the safety instructions and they also need not to put any of their other workers at risk.

      VICKI: If they see something that's unsafe they need to let their employer know about it

      JOEL: And if you haven't done it right it's going to affect not only you, it's going to affect your family and your friends.

      GAVAN: Every day's a challenge. Every day you wake up the first thing I do is look to that window at the side of my bed to see whether there's light coming in. If there's light coming in, which there has been every day since, it's been magnificent.

      JOEL: It's taken a long time for him to get over it, you know, he's never, ever going to get over it. But I think he's got over it to the extent where he can sort of live some sort of life.

      GAVAN: I don't think I would have survived without having a little bit of eyesight....Being able to see the family and kids.

      LUKE: I could have lost him; I could have lost him forever.

      GAVAN: I think of it all the time. How my children's life would be if they did receive the phone call...that I didn't come home from the job sixteen years ago...that...would be a horrific thing for my family to hear, that I couldn't come home because of a work accident.

      JOEL: It took a lot of years to happen but we just move on now, as a normal family as much as we possibly can. I think we do a pretty good job at it.

      GAVAN: And I know for sure that those children are well and truly on the road to success. And that wouldn't have happened if I'm not here.

Gavan McGuane's world was turned upside down, when a hectic morning shift lead to a serious incident.

Changing focus – Gavan’s story reveals a heartbreaking story, which continues to impact heavily on Gavan, as well as his family and friends.

Order your free copies of Gavan’s DVD via

Workplace visits

Queensland businesses can request a Safety Advocate to visit a workplace, free of charge.

A Safety Advocate will attend your event - whether it’s your regular safety meeting, toolbox talk or annual staff BBQ - to speak to workers, supervisors and managers about the importance of safety in the workplace.

Safety Advocates share their personal stories of trauma and tragedy to compel workers and employers to think about the most important reason for workplace safety.

If your workplace could benefit from a visit from Gavan or one of our other Safety Advocates, make a request and we'll be in touch.

Our Safety Advocates are not qualified inspectors and are not able to provide specific safety advice for your business, nor guidance on compliance with work health and safety or electrical safety laws.

If you need assistance in these areas, please call 1300 362 128 and ask about our Injury Prevention and Management program, or visit

Request a free workplace visit

Workplace visit testimonials

Left quoteWe appreciate Gavan’s time to visit our business and to share his story. Since his visit our workforce have been more observant of hazards by raising them with their teams to come up with solutions and suggestions. Some have said it has also changed the way they carry out work at home (e.g. renovations); as they realise when they have done something “stupid” it was preluded with a “she’ll be right” mentality, and that this kind of thinking is just not on at home, nor at work. Gavan’s story has reminded us just how easily things can happen when a simple hazard is ignored (i.e. trip hazard).Right quote

- Alex Robertson, SeaLink North Queensland

Left quoteGavan’s presentation was received really well by our workers. The frank, honest account of how his workplace accident impacted the world around him sent a clear message throughout our workshop – every snap decision you make has an outcome. We appreciate the time Gavan took to share his story and also remind us all to look after our workmates.Right quote

- Bindi Tiemes, Werner Engineering

Gavan at Werner Engineering
Gavan at Werner Engineering.

Left quoteGavan’s talk to our staff was delivered with emotion and sincerity and was very relevant to our industry as we are a heavy metal and engineering plant and with approximately 50 workers in a very hot, humid and noisy environment, we often find workers with their safety glasses on their heads but after seeing Gavan lift his sunglasses from his face and then hearing him speak with such emotion about how it impacted him and his family, the look on our workers’ faces showed me that they were listening and that they may think twice about taking them off at all. Thank you Gavan for your strength and sincerity and willingness to help others! Much appreciated.Right quote

- All Metal Solutions

Gavan at All Metal Solutions
Gavan at All Metal Solutions.

Left quoteGavan attended our Civil Infrastructure Services Safety and Wellness Days last week. Gavan is a pleasure to work with, his presentation was very well received and we received very good feedback. The auditorium was very silent whilst Gavan was speaking.Right quote

- Therese Faranda, Brisbane City Council

Gavan attending Civil Infrastructure Services Safety and Wellness Days
Gavan attending Civil Infrastructure Services Safety and Wellness Days.

Left quoteWe were very lucky to have Gavan who travelled to Hughenden and spoke to 50 council employees from the Flinders Shire Council. Gavan’s story that he shared of his journey and incident was very powerful and touching. The feedback we received was very positive and the message he presented allowed us to understand how quickly life can change for not only yourself but your entire family as well. Gavan’s courage and strength to share his story is inspiring. Gavan also took time to talk with staff individually after he had done his presentation and then he interacted in a very positive manner with the concept of the training day as a whole and took interest in the other presentations during the course of the day.Right quote

- Max Gehring and Shona Essex, Flinders Shire Council

Gavan presenting at Flinders Shire Council
Gavan presenting at Flinders Shire Council.

Left quoteGavan’s presentation identifying how what would seem like the most minor of events can compound into a life changing incident really spoke to our site. The 70 or so people attending were all extremely attentive and respectful to his powerful message, which was presented and performed extremely well. It was quite a sobering event even with Gavan’s humour thrown in. It has really helped with our safety push to identify how and why we are trying to keep everyone focused on being able to have them and their mates go home safe at the end of the day, especially at a time of year where statistically incidents occur more frequently.Right quote

- Russell Suereth, Richard Crookes Construction

Gavan at Richard Crookes Construction
Gavan at Richard Crookes Construction.

Left quoteWe had the pleasure of Gavan coming to our store and sharing his story with our team. He is an inspiration for anyone that has been through what he has and still have a really positive outlook and his passion to reduce the risk to others is inspirational. The presentation was very powerful and it hit home with all of our team who were talking about it for days after. Gavan's journey is so relatable to our work environment and it really hit home for all our team.Right quote

- Phil, Bunnings (Rothwell)

Left quoteWow what can I say, I am so thankful for Gavan travelling from the Gold Coast to Logan, he is a true inspiration and was the highlight of the day! It was such a pleasure to meet Gavan and have his presence at our Open Day to share his story with Designer Life’s students and my team. Gavan’s story captured the whole room and left everyone speechless as his message really portrayed through and pulled at the heart strings. It really does make you realise how quickly your life can be changed in the blink of an eye. Thank you very muchRight quote

- Jess Hermann, Designer Life

Gavan with Designer Life facilitators and students
Gavan with Designer Life facilitators and students.

Left quoteGavan presented at our Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Safe Work Month Launch event and we found his presentation thought provoking and engaging. He has a great speaking style and really takes you on a journey through his life and incident.Right quote

- Petrea Coveney, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (Brisbane)

Gavan at the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
Gavan at the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (Brisbane).

Left quoteThank you very much for organising for Gavan to present to the Queensland Universities Safety Association on Friday. His presentation was so well received – even better than I anticipated. His energy and strength was inspiring and generated a lot of discussion.Right quote

- Sue Beaton, University of the Sunshine Coast

Left quoteWow – we had Gavan talk to our team today.  His message hit home – he is a great story teller and someone that our team could relate to. The pain he has been through is astounding and I am so impressed by his strength to be able to stand up and talk about it.Right quote

- Simon Bottomley, Ejco

Gavan presenting at Ejco
Gavan presenting at Ejco.

Left quoteThe feedback I was hearing from the staff who attended Gaven’s presentation was all positive, relevant, personable, and while he was discussing a serious accident that happened to him he still holds a good sense of humour, is still a larrikin, and above all he is courageous for sharing. Staff appreciated his visit, his strength to tell his story, and his determination to let others know about his injury and how just a minute or so can make such a difference in the workplace. He really had our workers thinking about safety. Please pass on our thanks again to Gavan.Right quote

- Traci Orr, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Left quoteGavan’s message was very powerful. Workers who attended were moved by his passionate presentation. A big thank you to Gavan for sharing your personal experience with our workforce and attending our Safety Day. The presentation was beneficial to our workforce and we look forward to Gavan returning in the future to share his story with more of our workers.Right quote

- Emma Hines, Ingham Enterprises

Gavan with Ingham Enterprises
Gavan with Ingham Enterprises.

Left quoteThis morning’s presentation was fantastic. Gavan was well received by all and his story really pulled at the heart strings of some of our younger workers. Below are just a few comments I have recently received via email.

  • “Pulled at the heart strings that’s for sure. And made me realize how something so small (like a mat turned at the corners) could have such a huge and devastating effect on someone’s life.” – Tenee
  • “Was a great heart warming speech of why we have processes in place and the potential outcomes by not following these. I got a lot from it.” – Ben
  • “The presentation was very insightful. Even though the workplace was different, and posed different threats/risks than our own, I think we were all able to relate to the importance of following procedures. I think it was a well-timed discussion given the changes amongst our staff.” – Felecity
  • “I think the way he spoke will make people think differently. Very emotional, but a strong man to make it through and do what he does. A lot of respect for the man and grateful for the fact that he is going around and making people aware of what can happen. It definitely makes you think.” – Shelly
  • “It was interesting to hear his story and very enlightening. It makes you realise just how easily a person could get hurt and that you can’t lose concentration even for a second.” – Manuela
  • “I thought it was great just to show the smallest mistake (short cut) can become life changing.” – Paul .Right quote

- Ben Frahm, Pickles

Gavan presenting to Pickles
Gavan presenting to Pickles.

Left quoteGavan’s presentation was very relatable and quite moving to be honest. The man has really endured a lot based on a split second decision. The feedback from my management team was also positive and we feel if the opportunity presents itself we would have him back to speak to our line staff. Kylie and Sharon who both attended with Gavan also provided valuable insight.Right quote

- Paul Gray, Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville

Left quoteI can’t thank Gavan enough for travelling from the Gold Coast to speak at our Safe Work Month event and share with our team his experience of how he came to sustain such a life changing workplace injury. His story and its delivery was heartfelt and had an incredible impact on the group. Gavan’s presentation was engaging and invoked mixed emotions among us all, especially when speaking of the effect his injury had, not only on himself but his family and young colleague who also suffered, believing he was at fault. It really hit home, the ripple effect that can result from a serious workplace injury, and the importance of taking a good moment to stop and become aware of our surroundings instead of rushing into a job just because it’s been done it 100 times before.Right quote

- Hayley Spencer, Jungheinrich Australia

Gavan with Jungheinrich Australia
Gavan with Jungheinrich Australia.

Left quoteOur team were really engaged in this heartfelt presentation. Comments from team members include:

  • It really hit home.
  • I went home and told my kids about it.
  • In his life he has been handed lemons and is now making lemonade trying to teach others.
  • Excellent, made me think about what I do.
  • Very touching and real.
  • Well worth it, I think it had a tremendous effect on the whole team.Right quote

- Peter Bovington, Woolworths

Gavan with Woolworths
Gavan with Woolworths.

Left quoteGavan spoke from the heart of one moment in his life 25 years ago that affects him every single day, a day that is still visibly distressing to him. He was a vocal reminder to our workplace of what the consequences of complacency are, his words and incident were echoed throughout our workplace for days following his talk.Right quote

- Vanessa Milne, ERM Power

Gavan at ERM Power
Gavan with ERM Power.

Left quoteThank you again for allowing Council the opportunity to listen to Gavan’s story. Gavan provided an emotional heartfelt recount of his personal experience of a workplace injury that left him with a long physical and emotional journey, not only for himself but family, friends and work colleagues. Gavan reiterated the importance of safety and communication and that taking a small moment to put on PPE, can save your life and prevent serious injuries! Thank you Gavan for sharing your experience and reiterating the importance of safety and looking out for your work mates.Right quote

- Tayla Bergman, Livingstone Shire

Gavan at Livingstone Shire Council
Gavan at Livingstone Shire Council.

Left quoteEveryone gets complacent. Gavan was a good reminder to workers that incidents happen. Gavan is a wonderful presenter who gets the message across to workers.Right quote

- Sherry Simmons, Queensland Linen Services

Gavan at Queensland Linen Services
Gavan at Queensland Linen Services.

Left quoteGavan’s presentations were amazing, both audiences were very engaged. It was such a pleasure to have Gavan come to our site.Right quote

- Donna Taylor, Schindler Lifts Australia

Left quoteGavan presented for all three sessions for Townsville City Council’s Moment for Safety Day. The feedback we had was so positive from his presentation. A number of our staff had the opportunity to also speak one on one with Gavan and said it is just unbelievable that this happened to him. He was such a down to earth guy and really had our people thinking how easily this type of thing could happen. The presentation was personable, meaningful and genuine. This really hit the message about being a safety champion and making decisions about all we do. I could not speak more highly of his professionalism and presentation.Right quote

- Kandy McAuliffe, Townsville City Council

Gavan at Townsville City Council
Gavan at Townsville City Council.

Left quoteAll the staff at Gabrielli Construction and all their sub-contractors would like to thank Gavan for his time and his horrific story, it really made us all stop and think how easy our own lives and others can change so quickly from a simple mistake. Once again thanks to all involved in sending Gavan around the countryside and for his story.Right quote

- Wayne Herrick, Gabrielli Construction

Gavan at Gabrielli Construction
Gavan at Gabrielli Construction.

Left quoteGavan, you came into my store at Coles to share your story about your workplace incident. As I watch you and listened to you, I was overcome with many mixed emotions. Sadness, for you, for not being able to see your young children grow, as I cannot imagine what that would be like to not see my grandson grow. Such a huge amount of gratitude for you to be able to have the courage to turn this into a lesson we could all learn from. I couldn’t stop my chin from trembling most of the time you were talking, then for you to say you saw us as a lot of red blobs put things into perspective. I, unfortunately, didn’t get to personally thank you whilst you were here as you had many people around you, but I would like to pass on to you my heartfelt thanks for your time and story. In saying this, I will make the time to ‘stop and smell the roses’ so to speak, appreciate what I have and endeavour to keep my workplace safe.Right quote

- Clare Hopper, Office in Charge, Coles Supermarkets Smithfield

Gavan at Coles Supermarkets Smithfield
Gavan at Coles Supermarkets Smithfield.

Left quoteGavan did a great job discussing and sharing his personal experience with us on the difficult emotional and physical journey he went on before and after his incident. Gavan reinforced his commitment to good communication in and around safety and shared his learnings with the group in a way that was easy to understand, engaging and personal. The feedback from some of the attendees was that Gavan reinforced their commitment to safety and that positive communication, workplace friendships and leadership can actively reduce workplace incidents, and that they hope to never be confronted with a work colleague who has to go through what Gavan did.Right quote

- David Kennedy, Workplace Health Safety Manager, Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service

Gavan at Cairns Hospital
Gavan at Cairns Hospital.

Left quoteThe feedback from the HSRs was very positive. The talk was very beneficial in highlighting the importance of WHS procedures and how complacency can have very serious consequences, no matter your work environment/risk level. The HSRs acknowledged that Gavan's presence in sharing his personal experience was highly impactful. Gavan's accounts of the day's events leading up to the incident, the injury, impacts, learnings and resilience were well-conveyed. One of the notable feedback comments emailed to me was Gavan was inspirational for not giving up. Key message was to stop and take the extra couple of seconds to use the safety equipment supplied. I sincerely believe that each of us took away something valuable from the talk.Right quote

- Renee Yung, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Left quoteJust to add my comments. Not only did I enjoy, for the second time, Gavan’s story, but also appreciated his company both to and from the meeting as we drove from Helensvale. I have used Gavan’s experience at a number of meetings, especially where safety seems to be seen as an interruption rather than a part of the work. Thanks again for providing this service.Right quote

- Paul A Grant, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Gavan at TMR
Gavan at Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Left quote“Gavan told a heartfelt story that really resonated with our staff and made them pause for a moment and really take stock of their day to day activities and realise that one moment’s inattention or haste can lead to life-long consequences. Below is some feedback from our team:

“Yesterday’s talk by Safety Advocate Gavan McGuane was very moving. I must’ve run a gamut of emotions and my face was very reactive during his captivating real life story. It was definitely one of the best parts of this Roadshow.” Sam (Project Support Officer)

“Gavan delivered his talk well, which kept the whole room engaged with their full attention. Some of the guys said it had that big of an impact on them that they already are taking more care in all activities they are involved in.” Darren (Supervisor)Right quote

- Adrian Brown, Resource Manager, Roadtek

Gavan at Roadtek
Gavan at RoadTek.

Left quoteGavan was great and by far the favourite speaker of the day. His story was relevant and it hit home to many of the participants. Some of the comments on the feedback forms include:

  • Good to hear a firsthand experience where things went wrong.
  • Best speaker of our day.
  • His story is inspirational.
  • Excellent presentation.
  • Great presenter.
  • Very good.

100% of the feedback that was received rated Gavan's presentation as helpful to their role.Right quote

- Nicola Surtees, Townsville Catholic Education

Left quoteThank you for organising Gavan to come and talk to our team, Gavan’s story has started a lot of conversation since his visit.Right quote

- Paul Lovelock, Occupational Health and Safety Manager, Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland

Gavan at University of Queensland
Gavan at University of Queensland.

Left quote“I think that was a great session for the beginning tradesman or nurse or doctor, the impact of reality to younger members of the team who generally have a greater outlook of joking around. It brings home the consequences of actions and the reality that it is just not them that it affects. I think it was great and should be done regularly.” David Frost (A/Nurse Unit Manager ADTW Patient Flow, Toowoomba Hospital)

“I found Gavan's presentation moving and a very powerful message for following correct procedures. What an amazing man to be able to speak so candidly about his own personal experiences to benefit others.” Barbara Burgess (HSR Paediatrics, Toowoomba Hospital)

“I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to Gavan for his talk on safety. By hearing stories like his really brings home the importance of safety in the workplace. He is a passionate advocate for safety due to his past unfortunate experience and is spreading the importance of safety to all by doing these sessions. Thank-you for the opportunity to hear his story.” Karen Gibson (Deputy HSR Theatre, Toowoomba Hospital) Right quote

- Danielle Churchward, Senior WHS Advisor, Darling Downs Health

Gavan at Darling Downs Health
Gavan at Darling Downs Health.

Left quoteOur feedback regarding Gavan is only positive. He was a fantastic speaker and he really had an impact on our team. Everyone left with their own message I believe, taken from what Gavan so kindly shared with us.Right quote

- Renae Ferris, HSEQ and Systems Manager, Vision International Forwarding

Gavan at Vision International Forwarding
Gavan at Vision International Forwarding.

Left quoteReliving this incident cannot be easy to do. In fact, you can still hear the emotion in Gavan’s voice when he tells his story. The impact on the crowd is evident by the silence and attention given by all.

I’ve no doubt every person who walked away from our Safety Advocate BBQ will give more thought to not rushing their work or taking short cuts. It’s just not worth it! Thank you Gavan, you’ve made a difference to our workplace for sure.
Right quote

- Gavin Clark, HSEQ Advisor, HVAC

Gavan HVAC
Gavan at HVAC.

Left quoteGavan’s presentation was well received. Many people have told me that it drove home the importance of safety and how quickly things can go wrong if you don’t take the time to think how you are going to do a task. One person in our chemistry lab sent me an email, saying they were going to review how they were doing some procedures in the lab because she could see some ways that they could improve... all prompted by Gavan’s story. He made many cry, including myself, because it was raw, real and heartfelt.Right quote

- Anne-Louise, HSE Leader, Sugar Research Australia

Gavan at Sugar Research Australia
Gavan at Sugar Research Australia.

Left quotePersonally I really enjoyed hearing Gavan’s story and going through the feedback forms from our two days of training, it was listed as the highlight for many of our 90+ staff in attendance.Right quote

- Rachel Contor, A/ Workplace Trainer, Roadtek North

Gavan with Ric and Kev from Roadtek North
Gavan with Ric and Kev from Roadtek North.

Left quoteGavan’s story is raw and really hit home for me. A simple weekly task he had done 1000 times before and for him to just once not follow the correct procedure (the procedure he wrote himself) all because he was in a rush lead to an outcome in his life of being blind.

Gavan delivered his story so well, he is a down to earth guy just wanting to get the message out that no matter who you are, what you have achieved, how invincible you think you are it can happen to you and probably will if you take unnecessary risks with regards to safety. This incident not only affected him but through this lengthy recovery time it took a toll on his family whilst raising two young children.Right quote

- Aaron Hardie, Infrastructure Team Leader, Keolis Downer

Gavan at Keolis Downer
Gavan at Keolis Downer.

Left quoteGavan’s presentation definitely made an impact on our crew, especially the younger ones. He spoke frankly about his incident and how it impacted not only his life but those around him as well. It’s stories like Gavan’s and others being told face to face that resonates with our crew. Thank you Gavan for giving us the opportunity to have you come and visit and communicate the importance of safety.Right quote

- Michael Tracy, South East Queensland Hauliers

Left quoteIt is a rare opportunity to listen to a firsthand account from the survivor of a serious workplace injury. Gavan delivers his story as an upfront, personal and confronting account of what happens when your mind is not focused on the task at hand and straight forward safety procedures are not abided by. Gavan’s ability to connect with our team regarding his accident enabled every individual to put themselves in his shoes and think about what it would be like had they been in the same situation. Thank you Gavan for having the courage to share your story.Right quote

- Matthew Brown, General Manager, Southern Stainless

Left quoteGavan’s visit was very well received by our team. The way he tells his story and delivers his message allows people to really connect and understand that safety comes first. Thank you for making a huge impact on our team and everyone across Australia that you meet as a Safety Advocate.Right quote

- Nikoletta Nikolaidisz-Kyriacou, Talent and Culture Advisor, Sofitel Brisbane Central

Gavan at Sofitel Brisbane Central
Gavan at Sofitel Brisbane Central.

Left quoteGavan was fantastic and the whole process was so easy.

Gavan’s story was gripping and yet also confronting through relevance. Gavan used workplace appropriate language and ensured his approach to delivering his message was relatable for those working in our manufacturing environment. He provided a real life example of the importance of the initiatives we implement in our workplace. Gavan’s story reiterates the impact of complacency around safety on not only the person involved but their colleagues and loved ones. Gavan has brought safety to the forefront of everyone at Epicurean Products mind.Right quote

- Simone Le Roux, Epicurean Products

Gavan at Epicurean Products mind
Gavan at Epicurean Products mind.

Left quoteGavan gave a captivating presentation about his life and his workplace incident. Gavan is very honest about how his incident happened and the long road he has travelled since that time. Gavan had the attention of everyone in the room. At times, you could have heard a pin drop and the teary expressions of some staff highlighted that Gavan’s message was clear and had an impact. It was great to see at the end of his presentation, some of our team personally thanking Gavan for coming and sharing his story and how it had personally affected them.

Gavan’s messages about the importance of workplace safety, thinking about what it is that you do before you take shortcuts and continual communication with fellow colleagues, really hit home with everyone in the room.

Thank you, Gavan, on behalf of Modern Star and our staff for taking the time to explain to our staff that changes to people’s lives can happen very quickly through workplace incidents. You have championed the cause and provided our staff plenty of motivation to continue to be vigilant and take the time to do the job safely.Right quote

- John Holmes, Group Safety Manager, Modern Star

Gavan at Modern Star
Gavan at Modern Star.

Left quoteGavan’s visit was everything we hoped and more. I can’t remember our workforce ever being so attentive in a safety talk before. Thanks for your help in educating our people and helping us on our journey to achieve zero harm.Right quote

- Chris Nelson, Operations Manager, Australian Water Engineers

Gavan at Australian Water Engineers
Gavan at Australian Water Engineers.

Left quoteThis is the first opportunity I have had to work with Gavan and I was amazed to see the impact of his story upon the 120 workers he spoke to on that day. Safety related discussions in our work place has increased dramatically since Gavan was on site not only with him but amongst the staff, so it was a very positive outcome.Right quote

- Brian Kenna, Quality and Safety Manager

Gavan tells his story to 120 workers
Gavan tells his story to 120 workers.

Left quoteThank you Gavan for highlighting just how easily life can change. You have emphasised the need to slow down, think about what you’re about to do and most importantly communicate with your peers on a regular basis. Our staff definitely see the need for these measures to be implemented in our workplace and in our personal lives. It’s great to see that someone such as yourself is passionate in preventing accidents to reduce the impact that these can have on our lives. Thank you for sharing your experience, it has definitely changed the way we operate on a daily basis... Keep up your wonderful work!Right quote

- Maryanne, Greening Australia

Left quoteSpecial commendations for Gavan’s high standard of professionalism, a well-presented session on his own personal journey and his friendly approachable manner. Gavan’s story definitely pulled on the heart strings of our attendees and demonstrated how important workplace health and safety really is.Right quote

Our Executive Officer who attended Gavan’s presentations also said:

Left quoteI have no doubt in my mind that Gavan telling his story reduces the occurrence of accidents happening. He does this by reminding us all why safety measures are put in place, what affect an accident can have: not only on the injured person but on their family, those whom they work with, those who witness the accident and those who treat the patient, and to slow down and appreciate what we have.Right quote

- Kim Paxty, BSCAA QLD President

Gavan with BSCAA
Gavan with BSCAA.

Left quoteWe just wanted say thank you, for assisting us in organising Gavan’s visit to Watkins Steel.

We are appreciative that Gavan was able to visit our workshop for our toolbox meeting this morning to share his story. We trust that Gavan’s visit reminded our staff to be safety aware at all times and a true reminder to us all, that accidents can and do happen.Right quote

- Megan Smith, Business Services Manager, Watkins Steel

Gavan at Watkins Steel
Gavan at Watkins Steel.

Left quoteFrom all the team of Redland Bay Roof Trusses, we would just like say a big thank you to Gavan for coming to our workplace and sharing his life changing journey as a result of a workplace accident.

Gavan's message was compelling and also confronting. He was honest and upfront on how the incident occurred and how it has affected him and his family forever. The entire time Gaven was speaking you could have heard a pin drop in the room.

His message about the importance of workplace safety and just taking the time to slow down and think about your safety and others around you really hit home with everyone in the room. It was great to see at the end of his presentation some of our team personally thanking Gavan for coming and his story and how it had personally affected them.Right quote

- Kellie Payne, HR Co-ordinator, Redland Bay Roof Trusses

Gavan with Redland Bay Roof Trusses staff
Gavan with Redland Bay Roof Trusses staff.

Left quoteMy team and United Voice delegates really enjoyed Gavan’s story and he touched a lot of hearts.

Gavan is truly an inspirational man and his personal story was really embedded by our delegates particularly around the need to be so conscious of safety in the workplace regardless of the situation at the time and that one small error could impact on their lives.

This is a wonderful initiative and I will personally will be recommending this to all my colleagues.Right quote

- Julie Faithfull, Lead, Aged Care, Queensland United Voice

Gavan tells his story at Queensland United Voice
Gavan tells his story at Queensland United Voice.

Left quoteI’ve watched Gavan’s film before, but to have Gavan in the room and share his story in such an honest and open way really made me reflect both during the talk and later that evening when I got home to my family. To have your life and those of your loved ones change permanently due to a split second decision is unimaginable. Gavan lives with this every day and to commit to preventing this from happening to others by campaigning in this way is truly admirable. Gavan is such a lovely gentleman and his strength in adversity really shines through. His story demonstrated to me how important support and a positive mental attitude is in assisting with the rehabilitation process. We hope to be able to have him present to our team again in the new year.Right quote

- Alison Murphy, National HSE Manager, Trident Services Australia

Gavan at Trident Services Australia
Gavan at Trident Services Australia.

Left quoteGavan’s story had a huge impact on our team. To be able to share his story around such a life changing event demonstrates his remarkable strength of character in the face of such adversity. His commitment to preventing others from potentially experiencing the pain and suffering he did is incredibly admirable.

While Gavan was sharing his story it was clear to see that many of our team were totally immersed and could personally relate to situations where such a routine and simple task could lead to such a devastating injury in a heartbeat.

Gavan’s message was very powerful and every person present was deeply impacted, leaving our team with a proactive safety message which will remain at front of mind for a very long time to come.Right quote

- Hellen Fox, HSE Manager, Nilsen (QLD) Pty Ltd

Gavan shares his story at Nilsen (QLD) Pty Ltd
Gavan shares his story at Nilsen (QLD) Pty Ltd.

Left quoteOur Safe Work Month event was given so much impact by having Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Safety Advocate Gavan and Senior Inspector Jade meet with our staff and deliver their powerful messages. Gavan is a very engaging speaker and the open and honest account he gives of the workplace accident he experienced and the wider effects of the injury on himself, his family and his co-workers resonated with our staff. Those who heard Gavan speak were moved by the pathos of his story and could identify with the tendency to get a task done without stopping to consider what could go wrong.Right quote

- Sophie Coxen, Health & Safety Coordinator, Hillcrest Rockhampton Private Hospital

Gavan and Senior Inspector Jade meet with our staff.
Gavan and Senior Inspector Jade meet with our staff.

Left quoteI can assure you Gavan’s presentation was definitely well received. I have never seen my field staff so engaged in a presentation, there was not one single side conversation.

The breakaway conversations after the event showed that the 'simple' message Gavan had really pressed home and was enhanced when Gavan removed his glasses and held the rooms gaze.

It really is important for everyone to hear the message about communication and support as well as taking the time to do the simple things. Nobody wants their time to stand still, as it must do for Gavan every time he thinks about and talks about that moment that changed his life. It is very brave of him to allow himself to present that message over and over again so that others can benefit from his lesson. I personally truly thank him for his honesty and rawness.

I also want to thank you all for making process to have a safety advocate visit so simple. I wish I had done this ages ago, if I had know how easy it was. Right quote

- Peter Hancock, Delivery Manager Structures, Brisbane City Council

Gavan with Brisbane City Council staff
Gavan with Brisbane City Council staff.

Left quoteGavan's presentation to my client Tellam yesterday truly went beyond my expectations. His powerful message, although shocking, is very insightful. I don’t think it will go untold by anyone in attendance. Gavan is a lovely man, very personable and easy to talk to. We really did appreciate it.Right quote

- Jodie Rolender, Account Manager, Extrastaff

Gavan with Extrastaff
Gavan with Extrastaff

Left quoteJust wishing to thank you again for organising Safety Advocate Gavan McGuane to speak to our staff on the first day of our Safety Week Awareness program Mon 15th Oct. Gavan was gratefully received.

Whilst Gavan was speaking among our peers I was standing behind him facing all of the people. All eyes were glued (most of them teary), full attention was given to every word, you could have heard a pin drop at intervals of speech. Gavan’s talk about his accident in the work place was truly relative and a similar incident could happen here at Snap Fresh without staff following process and due care.

I believe the message received, was that ‘serious accidents can happen to any of us’ (no longer assuming that it cannot happen to them). Gavan has a most impactful way sharing his own experience and certainly translates his message effectively being that: ‘Safety is the most important aspect in the workplace and the consequences of failing to do so can be life changing’. Right quote

- Kathy Berrell, OH&S Champion, Snap Fresh

Gavan with Snap Fresh staff.
Gavan with Snap Fresh staff.

Left quoteGavan was an engaging speaker, with a very heart felt personal experience that was extremely relevant to our teams here at HOTA. The main message being just slow down…safety doesn’t happen by accident. There was some self-reflection after the session which has just strengthened our teams focus on safety.Right quote

- Sharlene Austin, Learning and Development Manager, HOTA

Gavan with HOTA staff.
Gavan with HOTA staff.

Left quoteNeumann Steel welcomed Gavan McGuane to our Currumbin Waters site on Friday 28 September 2018 to tell his story to just over 100 staff over two shifts at our monthly BBQ.

Gavan delivered a very powerful and passionate message highlighting how easily an incident can leave you with lifelong consequences if identified hazards are not controlled or eliminated, procedures are not followed and appropriate PPE worn.

What a top bloke for sharing his tragic story with other businesses throughout Qld to help raise awareness on how easily workers lives can be changed for ever.Right quote

- Shane Hamilton, WHS Manager, Neumann Steel Pty Ltd

Gavan with staff at Neumann Steel.
Gavan with staff at Neumann Steel.

Left quoteThank you for the opportunity for Gavan attending Boyne Smelters and sharing his experience with us. The session really hit the mark with some of the attendees. In particular, understanding, as leaders, what they can do to prevent a similar incident is a very important learning for us.Right quote

- Doug Madsen, Boyne Smelters Limited

Gavan with staff at Boyne Smelters Limited
Gavan with staff at Boyne Smelters Limited.

Left quoteGavan’s presentation was definitely well received. We all took his very powerful message away, I believe.

I think the biggest thing that was taken away from his presentation was how many people around him were affected by his accident, not just himself and his immediate family, but his fellow co-workers. He reminded everyone that we may think we are ten feet tall and untouchable, but it does only take a moment to change everything.Right quote

- Melissa Blunt, Safety & Security Co-worker, IKEA Logan

Gavan with staff at IKEA, Logan
Gavan with staff at IKEA, Logan.

Left quoteFirstly thank you to WHSQ for sending Gavan to NRG for a very powerful speech to our employees.

We had around 100+ attend Gavan’s talk today at the Gladstone Power Station and it was well received from all employees, followed by lots of questions and great feedback.Right quote

- Jayd McKenzie, Safety Specialist, NRG Gladstone Operating Services Gladstone

Left quoteGavan's story touched all who attended the talk, we appreciated him sharing his story with us all and some even shed a couple of tears. Gavan is an exceptional speaker and extremely personable. The talk certainly got people talking and has made staff more aware of the possibilities of incidents occurring within our work place. Working in a medical facility Gavan's talk reinforced how easily incidents can occur in any environment. We would like to recommend others to have an advocate come and speak at their workplace as it reinforces the importance of policies and guidelines that are often overlooked. Right quote

- Renee Costello, Enrolled Nurse, HSR Townsville - Queensland X-Ray Mater Pimlico Townsville

Gavan with the team at Queensland X-Ray Mater Pimlico Townsville
Gavan with the team at Queensland X-Ray Mater Pimlico Townsville

Left quoteWe were too gripped by Gavan to remember to take any photographs during the talk.Gavan was excellent and everyone has expressed their praise for his message and delivery. Very moving but with some humour. Just found out that not everyone got the invite so will try and book again another time but this was a great highlight for safety month. Right quote

- Paul A Grant, Regional Safety Advisor, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Gavan with the team at Department of Transport and Main Roads
Gavan with the team at Department of Transport and Main Roads
Gavan with Paul Noonan and Paul Grant
Gavan with Paul Noonan and Paul Grant

Left quoteGavan engaged very well with staff and spoke at a level that our workers identified with. We received a lot of feedback from the staff, saying how powerful they thought his message is. A couple of them told us how they went home and relayed the story to their families. Right quote

- Brett Kuhn, Health and Safety Advisor, Broadspectrum

Gavan with the team at Broadspectrum
Gavan with the team at Broadspectrum

Left quoteGavan delivered a captivating message about his workplace incident and the impact the incident has had on him and his family. His message was clear and powerful. He left the workers speechless with admiration.Right quote

- Siobhan Grace, Risk Management Administrator, Scentre Group Construction

Gavan with Scentre Group
Gavan at the Scentre Group's Safe Work Month event.

Left quoteGavan’s talk about his workplace injury had a distinct effect on most of our guys and girls; I think that his story will remain in their thoughts for some time, and hopefully change the way some of them go about their work. Keep up the good work!Right quote

- Matt Shearer, Workplace Health and Safety Advisor, Holmwood Highgate

Gavan talks to the 
  Holmwood Highgate team
Gavan talks to the Holmwood Highgate team.

Left quote Gavan gave a captivating talk about his life and his workplace incident. He was very passionate and honest about how his incident occurred and how it has affected his life and the lives of his family. Our staff were enthralled; Gavan has left a memorable and proactive safety message with our staff. I would highly recommend to any workplace having Gavan come to talk to their staff for an unforgettable safety message. Thank you Gavan and all the best in the future. Right quote

- Jodie Eustice, Health, Safety & Quality Supervisor, Uniline Australia Ltd

Gavan and the Uniline Senior Management Team
Gavan and the Uniline Senior Management Team.

Left quoteGavan's story was very moving and impacting on our 'Stop for safety' day.Right quote

- Paul Thew, SHE Manager QLD, GrainCorp Limited

Gavan with GrainCorp 
Gavan with staff from GrainCorp Limited.

Left quote Gavan is an excellent speaker and very personable. His presentation was excellent and well received by both staff and management.
At the end of the presentation we asked our staff what the key take home points from the presentation were, and feedback showed Gavan raised many important safety points that resonated with them.
I would be happy to recommend Gavan as a very thought provoking safety advocate.Right quote

- Chris Wisnewski, Senior Work Health & Safety Advisor, City Parklands Services

Gavan with City Parklands
L-R: Paul Hoffmann, Operations Manager for Roma Street Parkland, Gavan, and Chris Wisnewski, Senior WHS Advisor for City Parklands Services.

Left quoteI have been to many advocate talks in the mines, and I have to say this one was the best. Gavan brings two things in particular:
1. Hope, by showing how he has got himself back into life and copes with his impairment.
2. He gets directly to the point/root cause, and openly admits something others don't say; he was not focused on the task.

We try to bring that message to our workers, but can't do it quite like Gavin. He speaks from the heart and in a way ordinary people can relate to.Other organisations who attended also found him very effective and are requesting he comes to their places of work. Right quote

-Suzanne Doyle, Work Health and Safety Advisor, Opal Aged Care

Gavan with Opal Aged Care
Gavan with the team from Opal Aged Care.

Left quoteGavan's story is very personal and has a strong message about consequences; the audience was enraptured. Feedback from the audience was good, with some audience members expressing interest in having him talk at their workplaces. Right quote

-Warren Overton, CEO, Australian Glass and Glazing Association

Left quoteGavan's talk was a real success. You could have heard a pin drop, everyone was listening so intently. It was nice to see quite a number of the guys come up to introduce themselves and thank him. Right quote

-Meredith Philistin, Senior Advisor, Injury Prevention Management Program (IPaM)

Michal, Gavan, Glenn and Robert, 
  after Gavan's talk.
Michael Wood, Gavan, Glenn McDonald and Robert Slade.

Left quoteThe session was great. I think Gavan's message about safety in the work environment and managing risks really hit home for some of our workers. The feedback from staff was very positive and the organisation will look to schedule similar sessions at our venues in the future. Right quote

- Nick Parfitt, WHS & Risk Coordinator, Stadiums Queensland

Gavan with some of the Stadiums 
  Queensland team
Gavan with some of the Stadiums Queensland team.

Left quoteTeam members said though Gavan's presentation was confronting, it's what they needed to fully understand the ripple effects of a workplace injury. Gavan discussed what the full impact of his injury was, including the impact on his family, the loss of his ambition to work in football, and the loss of good friends. To see a usual very vocal group of men reduced to silence was great. Gavan also took the time to answer one-on-one questions after the presentation was finished and there was nothing he would shy away from. As a safety professional I thoroughly enjoyed his presentation. Right quote

-Gale Cahill, National Safety & HR Manager, Chalmers Transport

Left quoteGavan's passion towards workplace health and safety, and the clear message he relayed, was amazing. He engaged extremely well with the staff (not only with his story, but because a number of our staff played football against him when he first played in Queensland!). His message was timely, as we have just moved into a new building, and our people need the reinforcement to wear their PPE. The silence was golden. I think the reality of Gavan's story and his injuries has given our employees a very clear message. Gavan is amazing and very inspirational to all personnel, no matter of age or level. Thankyou very much for giving Queensland Glass the opportunity to hear from a truly inspirational person. Right quote

- Peter Collishaw, Contracts & QA/EHS Manager, Queensland Glass

Left quoteGavan exceeded our expectations; his passion to assist in preventing a similar incident is highly commendable and says a lot for his character, values and attributes. His story will live on at NQBP, with his honest assessment of the identification of the root causes and essential causal factors which contributed to his personal injury. Right quote

- Pat Cunningham, Manager, Health and Safety, North Queensland Bulk Ports

Gavan talks to NQBP for Safe Work Month
Gavan talks to NQBP for Safe Work Month

Left quoteI thought that Gavan's talk was excellent at reminding us how something as simple as a curled up mat/rushing to do a task can cause a major and life changing injury. You can tell that it is still very raw for him. I had a few staff come up to me after and tell me that it was not the presentation they thought it was going to be - it really hit home to hear the real life stories.Right quote

- Kris Cameron, OHSE & RRTW Coordinator, Capricornia Correction Centre

Left quoteGavan's message was very powerful and appropriate for our team. We definitely achieved our event goals of getting people thinking about safety, how easily accidents can happen and how we need to keep creating awareness to ensure they aren't a common occurrence. It was quite quiet after his presentation, I'm sure everyone was thinking about how a similar incident would affect their life.Right quote

- Bree Wilson, Resource Coordinator, SurfStitch Group

Gavan with SurfStitch Group
Gavan talks to the SurfStitch team for Safe Work Month

Left quoteGavan's message struck a few chords in the room - you could've heard a pin drop while he was speaking. He reiterated the simple (but important) message of taking your time do things safely, and thinking about what you're doing. It was great that he stuck around for the BBQ breakfast with our employees, and engaged and interacted with everyone. Right quote

- Billy McNeil, Risk & Compliance Officer, APA Group

Gavan with Queensland Networks APA group staff
Gavan & Qld Networks APA Group team members Sashie Naidoo, General Manager; Billy McNeil, Risk & Compliance Officer; & Bryn Maidment, HSE Advisor

Left quoteHearing from Gavan McGuane, who lost his sight in a preventable accident was tragic and brought home to us in no uncertain terms the devastating impact of personal injury, not just to ourselves but on our families, our partners, and children.Right 

- Naomi Evans, Curator, Griffith University Art Gallery and Art Collection

Gavan with the team at Griffith University
Gavan with the team at Griffith University Art Gallery and Art Collection

Left quoteWe had the pleasure of having Gavan present on two of our sites, where his message on the requirement to follow correct procedures on safety to protect both yourself and your workmates was addressed. His message was delivered with fervour as he is passionate in decreasing injuries on site. The safety advocate role is one Gavan takes seriously and this resonates in his talk.Right quote

- Richard Monjo, SHEQ Manager, Broad Construction Services

Broad Construction - Gavan McGuane
Broad Construction team members Craig MacNair, Kim Moffatt, Richard Monjo and Casey Dunlop with Gavan McGuane

Left quoteOur aim was to ensure our staff think 'safety first', and I am sure Gavan conveyed that message. He made a genuine impact. I certainly walked away with a different attitude.Right quote

- Sue McKenzie, Business Risk Manager, Keystone Foods Australia (Aust. Food Corporation Pty Ltd)

Gavan with staff from Keystone Foods USA and Keystone Foods Australia / Australian Food Corporation

Left quoteWe received plenty of great feedback on Gavan's words of wisdom; some staff were emotional and many inspired to hear more. We appreciate the time spent with our group. It has definitely got them talking.Left quote

- Paul Hanslip, SHE Business Partner QLD/NT, Rentokil Initial

Gavan with staff from Rentokil
Gavan with staff from Rentokil

Left quoteGavan spoke about a horrific accident that left him blind in one eye and 90% blind in the second eye, and finished up with a few words to think about: 'No one deserves to go to work and not go home to see their family or friends at the end of the day.'Right quote

- Ryan Galea, Manager, The Boundary Hotel

Left quoteIt was good to have someone talk about their personal experience and how it affected his family and friends - this resonated with many. You could see people taking it all in and thinking about their actions and how an injury would affect their loved ones.Left quote

- Jennie Trinder, Senior Manager Health and Safety, Griffith University

Gavan McGuane testimonials
Gavan with Griffith University's Senior Manager Health and Safety, Jennie Trinder; staff listening to Gavan's story

Left quoteGavan was great! We had so many comments after the meeting on how impacting his presentation was. I couldn't speak more highly of the safety advocate program or Gavan. We will definitely look at doing this again in the future. Right quote

- Adam Finlay, Safety & Security Manager, Currumbin RSL Manager, Australia Post

Left quoteGavan had the attention of everyone in the room. I looked around at one stage and you could've heard a pin drop. His message was clear and impacting. We have had a significant amount of great feedback regarding this particular staff meeting, and I think Gavan's story was a key factor in this.Left quote

- Kharma Stewart, Human Resources Manager, Currumbin RSL

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Such a small thing with such huge consequences. Thank you for sharing your story.

What a brave man. Emotional story showing how in just a few seconds your life could change forever.

Gavan football practice


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Last updated
17 August 2020