AVN Banner
Australian Vaccination Network, Inc. Press Release
Government continues vendetta against the AVN

For Immediate Release
Andrew McDonald
May 2, 2012 -

Dr Andrew McDonald, the NSW Shadow Health Minister, is continuing the persecution of the Australian Vaccination Network, Inc. (AVN) which started under the previous Labor administration.


In a question on notice presented to Parliament yesterday, May 1, 2012, Dr McDonald requested of the Hon George Souris, the NSW Minister for Hospitality and Racing, that he find a way - any way - to revoke the AVN's authority to fundraise. This authority was reinstated on April 18th, 2012 after the AVN's victory against the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) in the Supreme Court.


The Court found that both the HCCC's investigation of the AVN and its subsequent warning against our organisation were illegal (Ultra vires) and ordered that costs be awarded to the AVN.


"The HCCC spent two years and potentially hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars  'investigating' our organisation. During this biased 'investigation' process, the HCCC made many scientific errors and ignored or refused to answer almost every question which the AVN put to them." said Meryl Dorey, President of the Australian Vaccination Network.


Four Investigations in Two Months 


In only two months since our court victory, the AVN has been subjected to no less than FOUR government investigations or threats of investigation:


These investigations are a sign of procedural unfairness and victimisation by government authorities towards an organisation whose 'crime' has been to oppose government policies.


According to a report by Dr Brian Martin of Whistleblowers Australia, the attacks against the AVN are the worst he has seen in over 35 years of studying harassment and suppression of community organisations.

"This is a classic case of shooting the messenger because their message isn't 'government approved.' Ms Dorey continued. "What the government is doing now - in the name of the Australian people is the antithesis of democracy and free speech in a civil society."


Is the AVN a charity?

The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) had revoked the AVN's fundraising authority based upon the HCCC's illegal warning. Their earlier audit of our organisation uncovered technical breaches of the Act and errors in accounting which, in and of themselves, would not and could not have resulted in this revocation according to the OLGR's correspondence with the HCCC. There was no evidence of fraud and this was also stated by the OLGR. Despite this, Dr McDonald used his parliamentary privilege to ask the Hon Mr Souris about the AVN's "alleged fraud" while it was his own government which found that there WAS no fraud.


Dr McDonald is incorrect in claiming that the AVN is not technically a charity. Even whilst our authority to fundraise was revoked, the OLGR said that we were required not to fundraise because it was obvious by our constitution and code of ethics that we are, in fact, pursuing a charitable purpose. And being a charity does not automatically give an organisation any tax breaks, which Dr McDonald seems to feel it does. Tax deductibility has been denied the AVN despite the ATO's admission that we qualify for it and tax exemption from the ATO must be applied for - it is not automatic for charities.


"A fundraising authority can be a huge burden to a small, non-profit group like the AVN," Ms Dorey continued. "The auditing process alone costs us thousands of dollars a year and other groups, such as the organisation which has been set up specifically to stop us, raises funds without any license or requirement to account for where those funds are spent. Their never-ending string of abuse, harassment, threats and baseless complaints against our group and volunteers associated with our organisation is costing the government time and money and shows no sign of abating."

George Souris Below is Minister George Souris' preliminary response to Dr McDonald's questions as provided to a journalist on Friday, April 28th, 2012.


I have been advised by my department that it received legal advice that the revocation of the Australian Vaccination Network's charitable fundraising authority under the former government could not be sustained.


The revocation was based substantially on a public warning issued by the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC), however, the Supreme Court has since ruled the Commission's actions invalid.


I have been advised by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing that it has considered a fresh application on its merits from the AVN and that it met all legal requirements for a new charitable fundraising authority.


OLGR has assured me that it will continue to monitor AVN's compliance with charity laws and if breaches are detected appropriate action will be taken.


Any charity committing serious breaches of the law could face revocation of its licence and if this is the case then my department can make a recommendation to me for this to occur.

In Conclusion 

The AVN asks only that the government treat us like any other charitable association located in the Commonwealth of Australia. We do not ask for any special favours but we do not expect to be subjected to persecution and vilification by government authorities who obviously have no idea of what we do and who our organisation represents.

Attacking the AVN is the equivalent of attacking the thousands of parents and children who, through following government recommendations, have suffered the consequences of vaccine injury and death. We do not deserve this treatment. Rather, we deserve the respect and support of the government whose policies have put us in this position.

For further information or comment, please contact:

Meryl Dorey
Phone - 02 6687 1699
Mobile - 0414 872 032
email - [email protected] 


About Australian Vaccination Network, Inc.
The AVN is dedicated to the idea that health can be achieved and maintained without the use of
pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. We support everyone's democratic right to choose the type
of healthcare they feel is right for their families and themselves. We oppose any government or
medical community restrictions upon these choices since, even amongst the medical community
at large, there are and always have been differences of opinion as to which treatments are best
for what conditions.

We believe that good health comes from proper nutrition, exercise, a loving environment and
family and the use of healing from many modalities including allopathic medicine when it is
called for. Information on all of these modalities should be freely available in order to enable
truly informed choices.