AVN’s charitable status withdrawn

The charitable status of the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network Incorporated (formerly the Australian Vaccination Network – AVN) has been revoked following an investigation by the Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing (OLGR).

OLGR’s investigation sourced ‘expert medical evidence challenging the accuracy of information provided on the association’s website in relation to the risks and benefits of vaccination,’ according to liquor, gaming and racing minister, George Souris.

‘The investigation highlighted a range of potential concerns, including risks arising from the association’s anti-vaccination advocacy and the potential for misinformation to influence important health decisions resulting in potentially adverse public health consequences.

‘OLGR issued a “show cause” notice to the association requiring it to respond in writing on why its Authority to Fundraise should not be revoked,’ Mr Souris said.

‘As a result, the association has now surrendered its Authority to Fundraise to OLGR effective immediately.’

As of this morning, the AVN website makes no mention of the change, with one article prominently featured on the site referring to its ‘reinstatement of our authority to fundraise on the 18th of April, 2012.’

Fair Trading minister Stuart Ayres said the association recently changed its name, to the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network Incorporated, following a direction from Fair Trading and an Administrative Decisions Tribunal decision requiring it to adopt a name accurately reflecting its scepticism about vaccinations.

‘I warn members of the public against making donations to this organisation.

‘NSW government agencies will continue to monitor the organisation’s activities to ensure it does not fundraise for a charitable purpose.’

Under the Charitable Fundraising Act, if an organisation intends to fundraise for a charitable purpose it must be the holder of an Authority to Fundraise.

Th authority can be revoked if determined to be in the public interest. One of the objects of the Charitable Fundraising Act is to prevent deception of members of the public who desire to support worthy causes.

14 responses to “AVN’s charitable status withdrawn”

  1. Kaley says:

    Witch Hunt! Everyone should have a choice to seek out alternative information. It’s called freedom of speech. I wonder if these ministers have a relationship with Big Pharma?

    Think for yourselves Sheeple!

  2. FollowTheMoney says:

    What rubbish! State govt don’t even give the AVN the right of reply apparently. Who are these unnamed experts?

    Don’t fall for it people. They’re starting with one non-gvt organisation, then they’ll move on to environment groups and political commentators. “If you don’t say what we tell you through the media, then we’ll mussel you”, Big Govt/Pharma

  3. PO Lin says:

    Excellent. Common sense prevails.

  4. Mick says:

    Congratulations to the Minister and OLGR for ensuring that this organization complies with all the relevant legislation. It’s the same law everyone else has to abide by.

  5. The AVN has been given many rights of reply. They are abusing this right, providing the HCCC with petulant, arrogant demands. It is embarrassing. Followers of the anti-vaccination network should pipe up against this churlish behaviour by its leaders, but they won’t.

  6. Dave says:

    Unbelievable. Next they’ll be withdrawing ‘Charitable Status’ for the ‘Chemtrail’ Network.
    What on earth is a conspiracy theorist to do?

  7. Veronique says:

    Oh how pleasing. After all these years that Dorey and the AVN has been dispensing misinformation and disinformation – far be it for me to called it intentional lying, the government has seen through the web and cancelled its charity staus and disallowed its name.

    All on the grounds of misrepresentation. Finally, there is some joy in the place.!! Now let’s learn to love science again instead of blindly following the charlatans who ‘sound’ so good when you don’t know how to debunk their rubbish.

  8. Wendy says:

    FollowTheMoney @#2

    The AVN have replied. They surrendered the CFA when they were asked to show due cause.
    Can’t get much more right of reply than that.

  9. jannine says:

    the AVN is the most misunderstood, misrepresented organisation in australia. They are a lone voice that is continually drowned out by a very active skeptics group in australia. the team behind avn have given their lives so that all parents recieve balanced views on vaccination. So much focus is put on their “anti” position. They are not ANTI. never have been. this is a smear campaign from people who do not want to give citizens a choice. Meryl Dorey is the undisputed Australian of the Year, though she will never be recognised as such. I have so much love and respect for all the volunteers and staff who have helped parents over the years.

    • L says:

      Not anti vaccination?? You are kidding right?? Tell me how the statement made below by your so called wish list Australian of the year Meryl Dorey isn’t anti vaccination.

      “There will come a time – I pray to God that it will happen in my lifetime – when those who have pushed vaccines upon innocent, helpless babies – doctors, pharmaceutical companies, government officials – will be proven to have lied and cheated these instruments of death into our children’s bloodstream. When that occurs, the outcry will be heard around the world and there will not be enough hiding places on the globe for these murderers to hide or enough money to pay for compensation. Of course, it will be too late for the babies, like this poor child, to be saved. But we will be able to take satisfaction from the fact that never again will anyone have to be pushed to poison their child because for once and for all, it will be known as poison and we will all wonder how it was we fell for the vaccine lie for as long as we did.”
      Meryl Dorey, President, Australian Vaccination Network, AVN Yahoo group, 17 Dec 2008, message #36449

  10. FollowTheMoney says:

    I see the … group called the SAVN have entered the debate!

    I challenge ‘reasonable hank’ to disclose his views on chiropractors, homeopathy, alternative medicine, flower remedies etc.

    Don’t hold your breath – these people are from the Skeptic group and they oppose all the above.

    One suspects that they are responsible for the media misinformation (above) so easily taken up and propagated by the Echo. I checked the AVN site and found that the report by the Echo to be factually wrong. Maybe the Echo should have asked the OLGA for a reference to their ”investigation’ involving these unnamed experts.

  11. Veronique says:

    Why would you go to the AVN site to check whether or not it has lost its charity status?? If you merely do a google search you will find articles attesting to AVN’s lost charity status all over the place.

    The Australian Government has cancelled AVN’s charity status. I think that FollowTheMoney should learn to follow logical searches first and foremost.

    It is about time the AVN … were called out. I, for one, am as pleased as punch. The AVN is no charity; the AVN is an anti-vaccination organisation that … misinforms and … suppresses proper research and data regarding any vaccination programme that benefits whole communities.

    It is a ‘! am me and I won’t allow anyone (read “government” to do anything I don’t want. I don’t care about the rest of the community, it is all about me, me, me’ organisation. Unfortunately, it was able to proliferate in the trusting and scientifically uneducated north coast, and from there spread its sticky fingers into Australia.

  12. FollowTheMoney says:

    Editor, why did u blank out the word ‘hate’ from my comment. Check out their site and see for yourself – they are a Face Book hate group. They vilify individuals and the AVN and any alternative/ complementary medicines.

    By the way, Editor, why haven’t you corrected your misleading report? Given the links that the SAVN have with the media, it would not be surprised if the SAVN are responsible for spreading this misinformation to their media mates.

    • Chris Dobney says:

      Richard, we reserve the right to edit comments, as we do with letters. It is in no one’s interests to inflame this debate. Members of SAVN have just as much right to use our comment facility as members of AVN and their supporters.

      I fail to see – and you fail to point out – in what way our report is ‘misleading’. I have never sought any comment from SAVN and I did not in this case seek direct comment from the AVN. We have attempted to do so in the past but they are media shy and do not respond to our requests.

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