VARTA provides independent information and support for individuals, couples, and health professionals on fertility, infertility, assisted reproductive treatment (ART) and the best interests of children born.
December 2015
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Welcome note from Louise Johnson, VARTA CEO

With a year that has been focused on legislative change in the area of donor conception, it is only fitting that 2015 closes with the respectful and heartfelt debate of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Amendment Bill 2015 in the Lower House of the Victorian Parliament. The Bill will be debated in the Upper House when parliament resumes in February. Outside of the legislative framework, VARTA has been busy with a range of other activities since our newsletter in October. Most recently, the 'Donor conception: towards openness' exhibition has been rehoused in a permanent virtual gallery on the VARTA website. VARTA also hosted a successful Twilight Seminar in conjunction with Stem Cells Australia, entitled 'Hope, Hype or Reality: can we make eggs or sperm from stem cells?'.  As December draws to a close, everyone at VARTA wishes you and your families a wonderful Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

Office closure

The VARTA office will be closed from 23 December until 4 January 2016. For all urgent enquiries, VARTA CEO Louise Johnson can be contacted on 0419 557 639.

Donor conception online exhibition 

VARTA is excited to announce that its 'Donor conception: towards openness' exhibition, held at Melbourne's City Library Gallery in June, has now been permanently housed on the VARTA website. This unique online gallery presents the many compelling submissions of art, photography and memorabilia displayed at the City Library as well as pieces that could not be included in the original exhibition in June. VARTA will continue to accept new submissions to the virtual gallery and looks forward to watching its development over the coming years. If you would like submit something for inclusion please email


New donor conception legislation 

The Assisted Reproductive Treatment Amendment Bill 2015 was debated last week in the Lower House of the Victorian Parliament. The Bill will be debated in the Upper House in February. It will need to be passed by both Houses in order for it to become law. VARTA will keep you informed of further developments.


Twilight Seminar 

This year’s Twilight Seminar discussed the topic: 'Hope, Hype or Reality: can we make eggs or sperm from stem cells?'. Jointly hosted by VARTA and Stem Cells Australia, presentations were given by key researchers and reproductive specialists. VARTA will be posting recordings from the evening on its website in the coming days. 

Surrogacy inquiry announced

A Commonwealth parliamentary inquiry into surrogacy is being conducted by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs. The standing committee has announced the terms of reference for the inquiry and any interested individuals or organisations who wish to provide a submission are asked to email the secretariat at by 1 February 2016. 



Copyright © 2015 Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority. All rights reserved.