Today we morn those who passed.

Morn for those who died, fight for those who survived.

Not far from where I live is a small cross I walk past it most days of the week. The cross is there to mark the place a young man died while laying cables for the National Broadband Network, a service I now use.

In one report he was run over, in another he was hit by a drilling instrument. In reality he went to work one day and never returned home. Home for Paul Walsh is a thousand or so miles away in Ireland. He had been in Australia for 8 years. So it’s not just one community that has been affected by his death, it is three. His friends and family in Australia, his friends and family in Ireland and my own community some of whom may not know why that cross is there but, for those who do, it is a constant reminder of the true and unnecessary cost of our uninterrupted access to Netflix and facebook.

Writing that sounds flippant but there is not one death at work, not one injury that should not be remembered in these terms. In the past year over 150 workers have died while providing us with the goods and services we take for granted. Each one of those was avoidable, each one of those are family and friends we should grieve for and each one of those we should never forget.

Each working day I ride the train past the Blacktown workers memorial, most weeks I walk past the memorial in Sydney. In Canberra I visit the national memorial and there are many more around NSW and Sydney, marking those of our community who have died to provide for their communities.

Today is the International day of mourning. Before I leave the home I will put my boots out. I will again walk past the cross near my home, and ride past the larger memorial in Blacktown, onwards to the service in Sydney. I will remember Mr Walsh and pray for his family, I will remember the 150 workers who died in the past year and finally I will bow my head in front of the Sydney memorial and remember my father.