A Different Twist To Health & Safety

A Diffnutritionerent Twist To Health & Safety

Guest Post by the late George Robotham 

I listened to indigenous healer Don Tolman on 98.9 FM Indigenous Radio yesterday. He was certainly a zealot, zealots usually enthuse or worry me, I suspect he did a bit of both.

Some of his messages were-

He claims considerable success in treating a wide range of disease through natural diet.

Drink lots of water as it improves cognitive function and inhibits the development of mental health issues. Experienced facilitators of learning advise having water and fruit available in the training room will enhance learning. Avoid alcohol, tea, coffee, sweet soft drink and sugar free soft drinks.

Eat unprocessed foods.

Avoid sugar.

Eat moderate amounts of fruit.

Have lots of vegetables particularly root vegetables (You will get the sugar the body needs from fruit and vegetables)

Asparagus has amazing powers in treating cancer.

Both type1 and type 2 diabetes can be controlled with diet.

Be gentle with yourself and others. Work on your relationships with others.

Give up the smokes

Get moderate amounts of sunshine

Do a lot of walking

He was very critical of the role of modern pharmaceuticals claiming better effects can be had with diet, I reckon he lost a few brownie points with me on this.

He was very critical of the role of modern medical treatment, this seemed a bit unbalanced to me.

He claimed health benefits with fasting, this did not seem all that convincing to me.


I am sure some doctors and chemists would have problems with some of the things Tolman says. Some of what he says makes sense to me. If you put Don Tolman into Google you will pick up a number of sites. I must admit the overtly commercial nature of the sites did not leave a good impression with me.

My general observation is that we should not close our eyes to alternative ways of thinking about health.


George Robotham

George Robotham

George was a Legend in the Safety World who passed away in Sept 2013 but left us with a great legacy
George Robotham
I have worked in OHS for most of my working life, many years in the mining industry including over 10 years in a corporate OHS role with BHP. Since leaving the mining industry I have worked in a variety of safety roles with a variety of employers, large & small, in a variety of industries. I was associated with my first workplace fatality at age 21, the girl involved was young, intelligent, vivacious and friendly. Such a waste! I was the first on the scene and tried to comfort her and tend to her injuries. She said to me “George, please do not let me die” We put her on the aerial ambulance to Rockhampton base hospital where she died the next day. I do not mind telling you that knocked me around for awhile. Since then I have helped my employers cope with the aftermath of 12 fatalities and 2 other life-altering events. The section "Why do Occupational Health & Safety" provides further detail but in summary, poor safety is simply very expensive and also has a massive humanitarian cost. My qualifications include a certificate I.V. in Workplace Training and Assessment, a Diploma in Frontline Management, a Diploma in Training & Assessment Systems, a Bachelor of Education (Adult & Workplace Education) , a Grad. Cert. in Management of Organisational Change and a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Hazard Management. I am currently studying towards a Masters in Business Leadership. Up until recently I had been a Chartered Fellow of the Safety Institute of Australia for 10 years and a member for about 30 years. My interest is in non-traditional methods of driving organisational change in OHS and I have what I believe is a healthy dis-respect for many common approaches to OHS Management and OHS Training. I hold what I believe is a well-founded perception that many of the things safety people and management do in safety are “displacement activities” (Displacement activities are things we do, things we put a lot of energy into, but which when we examine them closely there is no valid reason for doing them). My managerial and leadership roles in OHS have exposed me to a range of management techniques that are relevant to Business Improvement. In particular I am a strong supporter of continuous improvement and quality management approaches to business. I believe leadership is the often forgotten key to excellence in most aspects of life. I hold the Australian Defence Medal and am a J.P.(Qualified). I have many fond memories of my time playing Rugby Union when I was a young bloke.

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