Ever since the very beginnings of Stop the Australian (anti) Vaccination Network, five years ago, anti-vaccination ideologue Meryl Dorey has steadfastly refused to answer simple questions via email. The questions pertain to the operations of the (then) Australian Vaccination Network, her (once influential) anti-vaccination pressure group. The group is now rightly, and publicly, in tatters; both ethically and financially. This is proper.
Meryl Dorey is the ex-president. Dorey was and still is the public officer of the AVN.
Many years ago Dorey lied about Ken McLeod in a response to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission. Dorey claimed, among other things:
“Mr McLeod has made numerous direct communications to the AVN and myself via email communication over the last few years, and such communications have been very rude and aggressive in tone and intimidating in nature, particularly towards myself. I have found dealing with this man very distressing and hurtful,”
“the threat that he poses and continues to pose to me and my family is very real….”
“I can give no explanation for the ferocity with which he pursues both myself and the AVN….”
The immediate problem for Dorey was that Mr McLeod kept every single bit of correspondence between himself and Dorey, and he asked her to substantiate her lies about him. If you check the above link, you can see for yourself why Dorey never, ever answered for her lies. She often repeats the slurs on Mr McLeod and others of us who attempt to elicit some honesty from her; but, she’s never retracted any of her lies about Mr McLeod.
So, we see how she operates as the public officer of an incorporated association. She lies, claims harassment, and lies some more.
Here is Fair Trading NSW’s page on the responsibilities of a public officer.
A public officer is the official point of contact:
Again, the public officer is responsible for acting as the official contact for the association:
Remembering now that the public officer’s duty is a to act as the official contact, this means that the public officer is the person to whom the public makes requests of the organisation, including any the provision of any documentation as covered under legislation. Dorey has never done this, to the best of my knowledge.
Today we saw another example of what Dorey thinks are her duties as the public officer. Apart from publishing an email sent to her as the public officer of the AVsN (how’s the privacy going?), Dorey also included another accusation that Ken McLeod, a member of the public, is harassing her; she included his internet provider’s name; threatened him with reports to his internet provider; threatened to report him to ACMA, the Australian Communications and Media Authority; and she did this by including his picture. Just who is doing the harassing here?
There is one little thing Dorey also included in this post: she claims that her firstname.lastname@example.org email address, which can be seen on basically every official public utterance from Dorey, is somehow “private”. You read that right. The public officer of an incorporated association claims that contacting her on her organisation’s email address is “private”. And it is therefore “harassment”:
I’ve included his picture because I like to be reminded that he exists. However, here is a more recent photo of Mr McLeod having just stepped from the carriage to acquire his substantial share portfolio:
Much that I don’t like to say it, Ken McLeod is more in the wrong. Associations are no longer required to have insurance and there is no requirement, and never has been, to tell anyone about it unless you are a member and maybe not even then. The public officer doesn’t have to have an e-mail address. Fortunately asking people questions that they don’t want to answer is not harassment.
Hi KS. You are wrong. Whilst there is no requirement under Qld. state law for the AVN to hold public liability insurance, it is a requirement for exhibitors at the Expo to hold public liability insurance as I make clear in my letter to the Expo (cc’ed to the AVN), with a hyperlink to their policy. I assume this follows from the local council regulations or the venue’ insurance requirements regarding events, but haven’t had time to check. You can find the letter on my blog.
This is in addition to Ken’s reasonable request making no reference to it being a requirement or not, plus the other issues already raised by commenters here. I look forward to your apology to Ken as someone who publicly supports the good work of Stop the AVN.
I’ve known Ken a while.
Petty is not a word I’d use to describe him. “In the wrong” is also a long bow to draw on someone as adept with bureaucratic requirements as him.
I suggest you try to do a bit more reading before declaring him in the wrong, when all he was doing was asking a reasonable question of the public officer of an incorporated association – as any member of the public is within their rights to do.
A public officer may not be required to have an email, but when she does and it’s widely broadcast, then it’s no longer a private email.
That doesn’t put Ken McLeod in the wrong.
Ken hasn’t said that the AVSNI must have public liability insurance, he has just asked the question. Venues that rent space to groups are usually interested in public liability insurance and are likely to be interested if an organization doesn’t have it.
Yep. What Maddy said. I’ve nothing more to add.
Still, there was an impression there that she was refusing a reasonable request. All that this does is make people look petty, and in this case it is Ken McLeod. The problem with a lot of these things is that people end up wandering down pointless paths trying to prove things that are meaningless. What does it really matter whether or not they have public liability insurance. I demand that you tell me that. Only joking.
The point is: Ken sent an email to the email address of the public officer of an incorporated association. That public officer attempted to make out that her association email address is private, for the purpose of accusing Ken McLeod of harassment. She then posted his email to her page, with his photo, to vilify him again. And there’s some history there, isn’t there. That’s the point of the post. That’s the impression of the post.
To assume that the question was petty, you’d first have to assume you know why the question was asked – and then conclude that the reason was petty.
Either way, it was just a question and if there’s no legal responsibility to answer it, the Public Officer could surely have ignored it or declined the request in a succinct reply. Not nearly as dramatic, I’ll grant you, but if we’re trying to avoid pettiness, melodrama is probably best avoided too.
KS totally misrepresents my email to Ms Dorey.
1. I never intimated that Incorporated Associations are required to have insurance.
2. I never intimated that they are required to tell me if they do.
3. I never intimated that the Public Officer was required to have an email address
I simply asked the Public Officer of the AVN via her advertised email address which company provides their Public Liability insurance and what is their maximum coverage. How Ms Dorey responded is another story, but there was nothing in my email to her that could be interpreted as ‘petty’; I asked a serious question as I have serious reasons for it.
If anyone is looking ‘petty’ here, it is KS.
I chuckled at the expression ‘private email address’.
What address is one expected to use to contact the AVSN’s Public Officer?