The Waubra Foundation (Australia)
Feb 6, 2011
“Researching the health effects of wind turbines close to human habitation”
I. Gather, investigate and review complaints of health problems that have been perceived by the complainants as being associated with living or working close to wind turbines or such other industrial sources that may be considered as relevant.
II. Continue to gather additional information from existing and new wind projects or other sources as it becomes available.
III. Build the existing and new data into a high quality data base suitable as a start point for properly constructed studies and review by qualified others.
IV. Use the data to engage in co-operative studies with independent researchers both in Australia and internationally.
V. On the basis of data gathered plus local, overseas and co-operative studies, provide relevant and independent advice to communities, the public at large and local, state and federal governments and to the wind turbine industry and other relevant organisations.
VI. Promote research into the effects and causes of illnesses that may be associated with living or working close to wind turbines and other relevant sources.
VII. Make the results of such research widely available, to members of the public, health professionals, and other interested parties.
VIII. Facilitate the establishment of individual networks of relevant specialities of medical practitioners and other health practitioners to enable the rapid sharing of information and expertise in the diagnosis, management and treatment of patients with symptoms of wind turbine syndrome
IX. Provide such advice and assistance as can be given to individuals and communities who believe that their health is or may be impacted by adjacent wind turbines or other sources.
X. Assemble the necessary resources to carry out the objectives.
XI. Raise such funds as may be possible to assist in the work of the Foundation.
XII. At all times to establish and maintain complete independence from government, industry and advocacy groups for or against wind turbines.
Dr Sarah Laurie graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from School of Medicine, Flinders University (Australia) in 1995 as a mature age student, and after doing three years of postgraduate training was awarded her Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) in 1999, and her Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.
As a result of her performance in the RACGP examinations, she was invited to become an examiner for the College in their examinations, and did so.
She worked for 5 years as a General Practitioner (GP) in the rural towns of Balaklava and Crystal Brook in the Mid-North of South Australia, as well as some locum tenens working for Nganampa Health Council in the Far North of South Australia.
Having lived and worked in rural and remote communities in Australia for most of the last 25 years (except when studying medicine in Adelaide & some of her postgraduate training), she is fully aware of the challenges rural & remote communities face.
She covered the full range of work required by a rural General Practitioner, often working 80 to 100-hour weeks, providing a one in two or three 24-hour emergency service, and country hospital inpatient care in addition to routine clinical consulting work during the day.
She developed particular interest and expertise in the provision of primary mental health care, working closely in conjunction with a visiting psychiatrist, Dr Theresa Lim.
She was the Mid-North Division of General Practice representative on the regional Mental Health Advisory Committee and, together with other GP’s, helped to set up the Mid-North Rape and Sexual Assault Service.
She was also asked to be a Councillor on the Australian Medical Association State Committee, and did so between 2000 & 2001.
After several successful years of practising as a trusted and approachable GP in Crystal Brook, Dr Sarah was unexpectedly diagnosed with a serious medical condition, requiring urgent surgery. Following that, she and her husband were delighted to become parents of twins, and family and carer responsibilities have taken up her time since this.
She was in the process of returning to work clinically as a rural General Practitioner when she became aware that a wind energy project was proposed for the hills hear her home in Beetaloo Valley, South Australia. Dr Sarah has always been concerned with climate change and the environment, and she supports renewable energy. She was initially very supportive of the local project, as she was unaware of any health concerns.
It wasn’t until a neighbour alerted her to Dr Amanda Harry’s study of health issues with wind factories, that Dr Sarah realised there were some potentially serious health problems associated with wind turbines.
She decided to look into the area fully, and became aware that despite the health problems being described around the world, there was a lack of research, and hence an urgent need for more research into this problem.
As a result of her interest, she was approached to help set up the Waubra Foundation as a national organisation.
She has dedicated her time voluntarily to this since July 18, 2010. The Foundation does not receive funding from corporations or businesses or government or private agencies of any sort. All its financial support comes from small donations from affected homeowners and from Dr. Sarah’s own pocket. Hence, the Foundation is run on a shoe-string and a prayer.
Dr Sarah attended the recent international symposium on wind energy and health in Ontario, Canada, in October 2010, and was able to meet with the key medical researchers around the world currently working in the area. People such as Drs Nina Pierpont, Chris Hanning, Michael Nissenbaum, Robert McMurtry, & Noel Kerin, and other researchers and acousticians such as Professors Arline Bronzaft and John Harrison; Mr Rick James and Dr Alec Salt.
Dr Sarah is now in regular contact with these researchers and others, helping to plan national and international cooperative research initiatives.
Sarah Laurie, MD, Medical Director
PO Box 1136
South Melbourne, Victoria 3205
Phone 0439 865 914
Office 08 8636 2051