The unparalleled regulatory precedents of the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network

Originally published as AVN achieves precedent-setting
government immigration ban for overseas antivaxers

See updates below

When I first encountered the anti-vaccination pressure group, the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network, over 8 years ago, as a part of Stop the Australian (Anti) Vaccination Network, one of the first things which became apparent was that the anti-vaccination activists would become self-fulfilling prophecies – due to their verbose, unearned hubris, along with their vilification of bereaved families, and their attacks on doctors and other public health workers, and their attacks on the media, and their attacks on politicians – who would succeed in bringing about that which they were, at that stage, strawmanning for business: fighting against (then-nonexistent) compulsory vaccination and the censure of their as-yet unchecked and lucrative, awful behaviour.

Now, these 8 years later, we can reflect on the successes of professional antivaxer, Meryl Dorey, and her cabal of dishonest antivax thugs. Dorey has quite a row of notches in her belt, to which antivaxers and natural health therapists can point and say, “thanks, Meryl.”

Dorey and her AVN brought about changes to the NSW Health Care Complaints Act, which was appropriately broadened so as to make complaints easier to lodge, due directly to Dorey and the AVN appealing a previously successful complaint and public health warning against the AVN, in the Supreme Court of NSW. The AVN were re-investigated. The AVN, and Dorey, then promptly gained themselves a brand-new HCCC Public Health Warning that still stands. Health complaints legislations around the nation have also been bolstered following the NSW amendments.

Dorey and her AVN have been instrumental  in bringing about the various No Jab No Pay and No Jab No Play legislations around Australia, pertaining to childcare benefits and childcare access respectively. If it wasn’t for the boisterous arrogance of Dorey and Tasha David, Brett Smith and the rest of the AVN, then, maybe none of this would have come about. These types of policies are now being implemented around the world, in response to disease outbreaks and growth in anti-vaccination sentiment.

Thanks to Dorey and her AVN, and other anti-vaccination activists, precedents have also been set in cancelling charitable authorities of anti-vaccination organisations and cover-organisations, like Stephanie Messenger’s fake SIDS organisation.

Thanks to Dorey and her AVN, governments have set precedents in ensuring that anti-vaccination organisation names accurately reflect their purpose.

Thanks to Dorey and her AVN, and their dishonesty, anti-vaccination activists have largely become personae non gratae in the media, with the ABC actually sending out memos to producers and announcers that Dorey cannot be trusted to tell the truth.

This has all come about due to the activism of amateur and professional defenders of public health, from the community, governments and oppositions, and the media. Everyone should  take a huge bow.

In 2015, this sort of activism led to the cancellation of an anti-vaccination tour by US antivaxer, Sherri Tenpenny. All venues cancelled her appearances, once they found out what she was really here to say; the venues were not told the truth about the bookings. In 2015, government did not need to step in: Tenpenny and her colleagues cancelled the tour because she wouldn’t make any money.

Meryl Dorey, Tasha David, and their anti-vaccination cult have just succeeded in setting another precedent. This precedent will have far-reaching consequences for all anti-vaccination activists who plan to come to Australia to damage our fiercely-protected public health and safety.

Dorey and her organisation are busily singing the praises of the recent AVN/Vaxxed tour of Australia. They had learned from the Tenpenny failure. Venues were consistently lied to about the true nature of the event, and the antivax film. Venues were kept secret. Some venues cancelled, once they found out, from secret ticket-holders. Many venues were outraged that they had been deceived.

But, the tour may be the last, for all foreign antivaxers. And it will have serious consequences for the proposed Australian expansion of overseas antivax/autism organisations and their related activities. They have really done it this time.

Not only did the much-hyped antivax tour provide defenders of public health with an overwhelming cache of video evidence of the direct harm antivaxers do to public health, but, the tour also succeeded in getting Vaxxed stars banned from Australia for at least 3 years. News of this ban was broken, yesterday, by Polly Tommey:

Today, Tommey expanded. She and her antivax colleague bragged about their departure from Australia, the process of having evidence gathered from Tommey’s electronic device, and the claim that Australian immigration would have stopped her from entering Australia if they had been aware of her activities. This is big:

So, once again, thank you Meryl Dorey, Tasha David, and the AVN. Your service and dedication to public health will not be forgotten.


Update August 9 2017

Tommey posted the notification from Australian Border Force which states that she was banned from Australia for her threat to public health. The section reads:

(e) the presence of its holder in Australia is or may be, or would or might be, a risk to:

(i) the health, safety or good order of the Australian community nor a segment of the Australian community.

Information because of which the grounds were considered to exist:

Open source information indicates that you are a prominent anti-vaccination activist in the United States of America. You recently visited Australia participating in delivering seminars at numerous locations about anti-vaccination and promoted an anti-vaccination film titled ‘Vaxxed’.


Update October 8 2017

The precedents set by the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network continue.

The AVN was instrumental in having the medical registration of Dr John Piesse suspended, following his outing at an AVN/Vaxxed screening in Melbourne. From Grant MacArthur, in The Herald Sun:

REBEL anti-vax doctor John Piesse has had his medical registration suspended as an investigation into his use of immunisation exemptions is stepped up.

Following a lengthy meeting with the Medical Board of Australia today the controversial Mitcham GP had his registration suspended, making it illegal for him to treat patients.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said the doctor’s fate stood as an example for other renegade physicians.

The AVN was successful in outing chiropractor Simon Floreani as the host of an antivax screening of Vaxxed, at Floreani’s business, in 2016. Floreani has now had his chiropractic registration suspended. From Jane Hansen, in the Sunday Telegraph:

HIGH profile chiropractor and anti-vaccine proponent Simon Floreani has had his licence suspended by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

AHPRA said they could not comment publicly on the suspension.

The AVN has been instrumental in getting the medical registration of Dr Kevin Coleman suspended, following his much publicised series of antivax speeches at AVN organised anti-vaccination protest rallies, from 2015 to 2017. The AVN can’t even get his name correct:

Just two days ago, on October 6 2017, it was claimed by Polly Tommey – in a Vaxxed video conversation with AVN president, Tasha David – that Tommey has had her immigration ban appeal rejected. Tommey claimed that she is now banned from all  Commonwealth countries due to the Australia ban:


Update February 21 2018

The AVN forces more legislation against dishonest anti-vaccination activists and doctors:

New No Jab No Play Laws Shut The Door On Rogue Doctors

Rogue medical practitioners will no longer be able to make false statements about a child’s ability to be immunised thanks to new laws which passed Parliament today.

The new laws will mean that letters and other documents produced by GPs or other immunisation providers will no longer be accepted as proof of immunisation.

From now on, only Immunisation History Statements from the Australian Immunisation Register will be accepted as evidence of immunisation or of medical exemption to vaccination when a child is enrolled.

The Labor Government is shutting the door on dodgy, anti-vax doctors who write up false vaccination exemptions and put our kids at risk of deadly, vaccine-preventable diseases.

The new laws simplify the process of enrolling kids in early childhood for parents and services alike.

Victorian kids are now better protected against vaccine-preventable diseases, with the state hitting the ambitious herd immunity target of 95 per cent – its best immunisation coverage in history.

The latest figures from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register show that 95.3 per cent of five-year-olds are now fully immunised in Victoria.

From November, parents will be required to provide Immunisation History Statements to early childhood services at regular intervals – and not just upon enrolment – ensuring children’s immunisations are up to date.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“We’ve taken action to slam the door shut on rogue doctors who peddle lies about vaccinations and put our kids in danger. There’s no two ways about it: Immunisations save lives.”

“People who tout misinformation about the health and safety of Victorian kids have to be stopped in their tracks – and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“Our No Jab No Play laws are non-negotiable and they’re here to stay, because we want as many children as possible immunised and protected from life-threatening illnesses.”

“Immunising your child not only protects you and your family, but other children in the community. The science is crystal clear.”


About reasonable hank

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