Australian Vaccination Network ordered to change duplicitous name

In what I am hoping can only be a shadenfreudeliciously costly affair, the rabid anti-vaccination pressure group, the Australian Vaccination Network, has lost its appeal against the NSW Department of Fair Trading, in the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal. The AVN had been ordered to change its Orwellian, inaccurate name to better reflect its true intent. It appealed. It lost. It will cost.

The decision can be found, here. Here are the reasons given:



1 The Australian Vaccination Network Inc (AVN) has been directed to change its name. The main reason the Director General of the Department of Finance and Services gave for making that direction was that the name is likely to mislead the public in relation to the nature, objects or functions of AVN. The Director General found that AVN’s message is anti-vaccination and that the name does not reflect that message. Two other reasons the Director General relied on were that the name is “undesirable” and that it suggests a connection with the Commonwealth government.

2 AVN applied to the Tribunal for a review of that decision. I have decided that the decision to direct AVN to adopt a new name is the correct and preferable decision. But my conclusion is not based on a finding that AVN’s message is exclusively anti-vaccination, that the name suggests a connection with the Commonwealth government or that the name itself is undesirable.

3 AVN’s main object is the dissemination of information and opinions that highlight the risks of vaccinations. AVN is sceptical about vaccinations. The existing name, Australian Vaccination Network Inc, suggests that the association is pro vaccination or, at least, is committed to providing comprehensive information and opinions about the pros and cons of vaccination. The name should be changed so that it is not likely to mislead the public in relation to its main object. Although I do not have to decide this issue, a name that includes the word “risk” or “sceptic” such as Vaccination Risk Awareness Association Inc or Vaccination Sceptics Network Inc would, in my opinion, be acceptable. The name could also include the word “Australia” or “Australian” without suggesting a link to government.

Ever the conspiracy theorist, once the decision had become public knowledge, anti-vaccinationist zealot, Meryl Dorey, tweeted another conspiracy theory:

AVN 6617 Dorey sitting in court“Does he have an inside track?” Apart from an awareness on the usage of modern communication devices…no.

One can only hope that all AVN assets, and profits from the sale of assets, will be monitored closely by the Minister and his department. From an AVN newsletter, dated November 22 2013:

…just giving you a head’s up that we will be selling off filing cabinets, computers and other office equipment. If you are in the market for some really good quality gear at a great price, please keep your eyes open and wait for our next newsletter.

Yours in health,
Meryl Dorey

AVN 6618 Dorey fire saleSo, I guess Stop the AVN succeeded, at least in name. Congratulations to everyone who has ever been involved. Much has been achieved. We were even able to influence legislative change. But, we couldn’t have done it without the constant, tenacious input from this person. Our greatest asset. The person most responsible for the aforementioned legislative change and every Stop the AVN success…

Sad Meryl.

Sad Meryl.

Update 18oo hrs:

The AVN issued this awesome press release a few hours after the ADT decision. Possibly telegraphing that Dorey and Beattie know any appeal would be fruitless and costly, they included this spectacular paragraph; because there can never be enough venom for anyone who rules/finds against them:

We believe that the Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT), in finding against the AVN, exemplified the current climate of government-sanctioned abuse and hatred of anyone who steps away from mainstream medical dogma.

AVN 6620 Dorey media release ADTIt’s always everyone else’s fault. This includes Stop the AVN, the government/s, magistrates, journalists, grieving parents…you name it, it’s their fault. Narcissists are never at fault.

Update 2345 hrs:

ABC’s Lateline program covered the day’s events with an interview with Dr Rachael Dunlop. Dorey stuck her head in and claimed that many of her critics are pharma shills and/or have ties with the NSW Government. She mentioned conspiracy theories without a hint of irony. It is very amusing:


Dorey 129 conspiracy pic

About reasonable hank

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21 Responses to Australian Vaccination Network ordered to change duplicitous name

  1. Darkly Venus says:

    ‘schadenfreudelicious’ – I’m so totally stealing that, Hank.

    In the meantime, I’m writing a submission to the NSW parliamentary inquiry into ‘The Promotion of False or Misleading Health-Related Information or Practices’

    Closing date for submissions, Friday Dec. 13.

  2. M smith says:

    You can pulp old magazines and make kindling out of them

    Just an idea

  3. Tim Harding says:

    Made my day! Congrats to all involved.

  4. Sue says:

    Beautiful post – thank you!

  5. Andy says:

    I wonder if there’s a way for someone on the right side of this non-debate to register “Vaccination Sceptics Network “, or anything similar, before the nutters get to it?

  6. wzrd1 says:

    In a month full of bad news regarding my father’s dementia, I hear great news from Australia.
    I am extremely happy for your nation!

    As for her not knowing the decision whist sitting in the court room, there are two possibilities.
    1: She was sitting in the wrong court room. She’s wrong about everything else, it’s not implausible.
    2: Her translator wasn’t present to translate into lunatic for her to know the verdict. Equally plausible.
    Well, OK, number two was *really* that her legal representation didn’t know how to explain to her how badly she lost.

    I’ll head to the bank for foreign exchange tomorrow. I’ll give her an offer of one Mexican Peso for the entire lot. Shipping will be to the MV Rena, for trans-Pacific delivery. 😎

  7. Andy says:

    Although Ms Hennessy has suggested “acceptable” names, I wonder if Fair Trading would be obliged to accept any of them should the AVN choose to register them? ie: Do the suggestions, which need not have been offered, carry any legal weight of their own or is the department free to disagree with Ms Hennessy’s opinion?

  8. wzrd1, it seems to be option 1, see , which reads: “Apparently the decision was available over the counter while we were sitting in court room listening to another hearing #WAHpeal”. See also
    Certainly my contact knew where to go, and, through the wonders of portable computational devices, communicated that to me and others.

  9. Tim Harding says:

    The Tribunal expressed an opinion that a name that includes the word ‘risk’ or ‘sceptic’ and vaccine or vaccination would be acceptable. I think we should object to any inclusion of the word ‘sceptic’ in the new name because that would be misleading to the public. They are the antithesis of scepticism – ‘gullible’ would be more appropriate.

  10. Doug says:

    “… to the tip for recycling …”. I’ll need to think about that gem for a bit.

  11. Doug says:

    I suppose it would be superfluous to note that anyone buying a PC in the AVN fire-sale would be well-advised to have the thing checked for viruses! 🙂

    • wzrd1 says:

      True enough, but one can inoculate the PC against a virus with antivirus.
      Or better yet, copy all data, then format the thing and load a new OS onto it.

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