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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.
June 2016
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Welcome note from Louise Johnson, VARTA CEO

VARTA has seen a busy second quarter with two successful events, another popular Your Fertility campaign and the release of updated brochures. In April, VARTA hosted its annual Time to tell seminarOn 19 May, we held a twilight seminar, ‘Donor conception: from anonymity to openness’ as part of Law Week 2016 and co-hosted by La Trobe University and Russell Kennedy. In the final week of May, VARTA led the #QuitForFertility campaign, a joint initiative run between Your Fertility and Quit Victoria. VARTA also recently produced two newly updated brochures on IVF treatment.

The past three months have also focused on the preparations the Authority needs to make in order to be ready for the implementation of the new Victorian donor laws in March 2017. 

Finally, congratulations to Kim Buck, Chloe Allworthy, Myfanwy Cummerford, and Roger Clarke for winning the Victorian Minister for Health Volunteer Award in the category of ‘Outstanding achievement by a volunteer: innovation award’. It is well deserved recognition.

Time to tell seminar

For the first time, VARTA opened ticket sales to its popular Time to tell seminar with discounted early bird rates. The initiative proved popular, with the event selling out, despite VARTA increasing attendance numbers. The seminar, held on April 16 at Northcote High School, provided tips on how, when and what to communicate so that parents are empowered and children feel enriched by the unique way in which they came into this world. ​
 

Donor conception - from anonymity to openness

As part of Law Week 2016, VARTA held the public education seminar, 'Donor conception: from anonymity to openness', co-hosted by La Trobe University and Russell Kennedy Lawyers. The evening provided an overview of recent changes to donor conception laws in Victoria and explored donor-linking - its processes, outcomes and implications. Speakers included:
  • Louise Johnson, VARTA CEO, who provided an overview of VARTA’s role under the new donor conception laws
  • Kate Bourne, VARTA Donor Registers Service Manager, who discussed donor linking etiquette 
  • Dr Fiona Kelly, Associate Professor, Law School, La Trobe University, who addressed myths about donor-linking and the law 
  • A panel of donor-conceived people, recipient parents and donors who talked about their experiences of donor linking.
The event was well attended. Videos from the evening will soon be posted on the VARTA website. Stay tuned!
 

#QuitForFertility

This year Your Fertility collaborated with Quit Victoria to launch a new interactive online tool which helps people identify the impact that smoking can have on a person's fertility and chance of having a health child. The tool, launched on 23 May, attracted television, radio and print news coverage. Accompanying social media activity, which lasted until World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, also proved effective. Visit the Your Fertility website for more information about the #QuitForFertilty online tool. 
 

Exhibition committee wins ministerial award

VARTA is delighted that one of its nominations for the Victorian Minister for Health Volunteer Awards was announced a winner on 18 May. The award for ‘Outstanding achievement by a volunteer: innovation award’ was presented to the volunteer committee who put together the 'Donor conception: towards openness' exhibition in June 2015. The committee, comprised of Kim Buck, Chloe Allworthy and Myfanwy Cummerford, donor-conceived women who curated the art, musical and photographic elements of the exhibition, and Roger Clarke, a sperm donor from the 1980s who curated the archival section of the exhibition. Big congratulations to Kim, Chloe, Myf and Roger from all at VARTA!
 

VARTA brochures updated

VARTA has published two updated brochures this past quarter, Understanding IVF success rates and Possible health effects of IVF. Both are available for download on the VARTA  website.
 

Upcoming events

28 July, 7-9pm
Support group for donor-conceived adults meeting
Find out more

1-7 September
Fertility Week 2016
Find out more

29 September, 7-9pm
Support group for donor-conceived adults meeting
Find out more

14-16 November
Australian Sexual Health Conference
Adelaide Convention Centre
Find out more
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