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.
September 2016
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Welcome note from Louise Johnson, VARTA CEO

The year is moving quickly. Here at VARTA, this third quarter has been largely focused on preparation for the implementation of the new donor conception laws on 1 March 2017. In particular, we have been establishing systems for the management of the donor registers, which will be moving here from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. This transition will occupy much of VARTA’s time and resources for at least the next six months.

The quarter has seen considerable activity for Your Fertility, including another successful Fertility Week campaign and the launch of a range of fact sheets. During the same week, VARTA representatives attended the Fertility Society of Australia conference, giving presentations on a range of subjects. We are delighted that Chief Judge John Pascoe has agreed to deliver this year’s Louis Waller lecture, so save the date for 9 November. 

In the past three months, VARTA has also undergone a considerable amount of personnel change, both in terms of board membership and staff composition. We look forward to working with our new team in this exciting period ahead.


Fertility Week 2016

This year, Fertility Week looked at the ‘7 ways in 7 days’ people can increase their fertility. The campaign, which ran between 1-7 September, focused each day on a factor (or range of factors) that can affect a person’s ability to get pregnant and have a healthy baby – either naturally or with the assistance of IVF. These were:

Your Fertility also worked with the Fertility Society of Australia (FSA) to produce fact sheets for the daily topics covered, which were launched at the FSA conference in Perth this weekend. Links to all the fact sheets can be found on the bullet points above. An additional fact sheet called How to get ready to be a dad was also produced.

As Your Fertility is no longer receiving Commonwealth funding, the campaign relied on the support of individuals and organisations to promote its messages. VARTA was delighted with the level of support and engagement from stakeholders which made a great impact in promoting these important messages.

FSA conference

Three VARTA representatives attended the Fertility Society of Australia annual conference in Perth between 4-7 September. Included in the conference this year was a scaled-down version of VARTA's Donor conception: towards openness exhibition. The exhibit was well received, generating considerable interest among delegates. Presentations were also given by Kate Bourne (Donor-Linking the Victorian Experience, see picture 1) and Karin Hammarberg (Men’s fertility-related knowledge and attitudes, and childbearing desires, expectations and outcomes: findings from the 'Understanding fertility management in contemporary Australia' survey and Assessing the quality of clinic information about chance of ART success, see picture 2). 


Louis Waller lecture 2016

We are delighted that Chief Judge John Pascoe has agreed to deliver this year’s Louis Waller lecture and will be discussing assisted reproductive treatment and the rights of the child. The lecture will be held on the evening of 9 November at Russell Kennedy Lwayers, 469 La Trobe St, Melbourne VIC 3000. Don't forget to mark the event in your diary now!

Staff and board changes

VARTA has seen a number of changes in its staffing and board composition. In August, five new members were appointed to the board: Lauren Burns, Ronald Carson, Francis Jackson, Katrina Lai, and Rosalind McDougall. On a staffing level,  Ellen Crocker, Education Officer, left VARTA in July to travel - we wish her well in her adventure. Meanwhile, Darren Collins has joined VARTA as Chief Financial Officer, Alexandra Saltis is our new Project Officer and Julie Hassard joined this month as Education Program Manager. We welcome all new faces to VARTA and look forward to working with them in this exciting period ahead.

Upcoming events

29 September March 7-9pm
Donor-conceived Adult Network
Find out more

6 November - 5.30pm
Louis Waller Lecture 2016
Save the date!

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

Sperm Donors Anonymous is back!

Sperm Donors Anonymous is back on ABC iview until 12:30am on 5 October. Don't miss your chance to see it (again)! .


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Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority · Level 30, 570 Bourke Street · Melbourne, VIC 3000 · Australia

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