Today the Sunday Telegraph revealed that the anti-vaccination pressure group, the Australian Vaccination Network, is being investigated for fraud, by the NSW Office of Fair Trading. This adds to the already dreadful year being had by the AVN, having just spent two days in the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal appealing against an order to change the anti-vaccination organisation’s name to something better reflective of its anti-vaccine agenda. That is, the AVN has been ordered to be honest, and they don’t like it.
Here is the Sunday Telegraph article, by journalist Jane Hansen (full attribution given to the Sunday Telegraph):
There are a few links which will assist in getting a deeper understanding of the article.
First, there is the Government Information Public Access (GIPA, formerly FOI) release, painstakingly accessed and documented by Stop the Australian (anti) Vaccination Network members: The AVN’s troubles with NSW Fair Trading, round 2. The introduction is as follows:
NSW Fair Trading Document Release
On the 4th of April 2013, we applied to NSW Fair Trading for “all correspondence between the Australian Vaccination Network, Inc. and NSW Fair Trading, from 11:52am on 20th October, 2011 to the 4th of April”, less documents related to the previous GIPA (Government Information Public Access) request. This release thus follows on from the previous release of correspondence between the AVN and NSW Fair Trading relating to the AVN’s financial affairs, covering the period from the 2nd of August 2011 to 11:51am on the 20th of October, 2011, available from http://www.scribd.com/doc/133182859/AVN-Docs-GIPA-Releases
Second, there is an excellent financial summary on the Diluted Thinking site: AVN – Financial Statements.
It is a requirement for New South Wales’ incorporated associations to submit financial statements for the previous financial year to the annual general meeting. The AVN is a Tier 1 category association and therefore is required to submit audited financial statements.
Members of the public can inspect/obtain copies of documents lodged with NSW Fair Trading on the Public Register under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009.
The AVN‘s 2011 financial statement was eventually filed in February 2013, nearly seven months late.
Third, there is an easy to read document compiled by Ken McLeod, which is self-explanatory, really: Meryl Dorey’s Trouble With Finance. I highly recommend this one.
Revealing Meryl Dorey’s incompetence and dishonesty in administering the finances of the Australian Vaccination Network.
Of interest, Jane Hansen also highlights the money generating machine which is the AVN, from sales of non-existent magazines, through to the tripe sold in the AVN’s online shop.
New president Greg Beattie also gets a guernsey for the sale of his anti-vaccine book, at $20 a pop. Is this also sold in the AVN shop? Well, yes it is. I hope the new president isn’t making a profit via a not-for-profit organisation. More questions. When will they ever end?
Not released in the Stop the AVN version of the GIPA release was the list of six committee members of the AVN. Two of them are already known, and there wasn’t really any need to release the other four names. That was until one of them started doing media appearances to spread the anti-vaccine line without disclosing that she is a committee member of the AVN. As Jane Hansen notes, when asked why Tasha David didn’t disclose her membership to the media at the time of her interviews, she answered, “I wasn’t asked”. Right. I covered this in my most recent post: Tasha David: just a “parent” who does not vaccinate?
I have a feeling things are not going to get any better for the AVN any time soon.