by AVN President,
Greg Beattie


If you have been following our saga during the past year you will know the prequel to this post. For those who missed it, we were directed last year to change our name – after 16 years – because our opponents complained that it was misleading. After exhausting our avenues of appeal, it turned out the Minister for Fair Trading had the power to enforce this. In fact, he introduced a new regulation just so that he could see this through!

So we changed our name. We are now “Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network Inc”. The new name was accepted by our members, as well as by NSW Fair Trading.

Now we have a new threat. Director of Investigations, Compliance and Enforcement Division, Mr David Byrne, phoned last Friday to say he requires us to change all instances of the abbreviation “AVN” to “AVSN”. And he has threatened to commence action without further notice to shut us down and remove our domain from the internet.

This was quite a surprise! Before the call there had been no mention of this intention, as you will see from the letters below

We believe this latest move suggests the aim, from the beginning, has been to force our organisation to close its doors. While the Minister successfully convinced the court that someone, somewhere might think the name Australian Vaccination Network is misleading, no similar argument has been made about the abbreviation, AVN


Below is the latest letter from Greg Beattie to Rod Stowe, Commissioner, NSW Fair Trading, 23 March, 2014. This afternoon, we received an interim response stating that the,Β  “issues raised are under consideration”.

Dear Mr Stowe,

We received correspondence on March 20, 2014, from David A. Byrne (Director, Investigations, Compliance and Enforcement Division, NSW Fair Trading). I responded on the same day. Both letters are enclosed for your reference. Mr Byrne then phoned me on the following day.

You will see from the correspondence that Mr Byrne requested we ensure all instances of our old name were changed to our new name, in all official documents and web publications. As indicated in my response, this has been done.

However, when Mr Byrne phoned me the following day he explained that he required us to also change all instances of the abbreviation “AVN” to “AVSN”, regardless of whether the documents in which they appear already bear our full name. I asked Mr Byrne to submit this request in writing, stating the reasons for it, and I would take it to the committee. He indicated he was not prepared to do so as it was something the ‘court’ had already ordered, and he felt his letter had already covered it. He further indicated he would commence action against us on the basis of non-compliance. He said the action, and the timeline for such, would be those outlined in his letter.

I write today to ask you to clarify whether Mr Byrne’s threat via phone represents the official position of your office. If it does, we ask for this request to be put unambiguously in writing, stating that it is now the abbreviation you take issue with. We also ask that you quote the legislation which empowers you to direct an organisation to change an informal abbreviation it uses within documents which already bear its full official name.

On the other hand, if Mr Byrne’s threat does not represent the official position of your office I ask
that you ensure he is made aware of that.

Given the nature of the threat I ask that you clarify this issue as a matter of urgency.

In the interim, I submit the following:

  • Our full legal name (the new one) is prominently displayed at the top of all stationary and other documents. It is clearly displayed on all banners, footers, and other relevant text for all our web pages.
  • “AVN” is not an official name. It is an informal abbreviation, and was not the subject of our ADT hearing last year. The ADT did not even consider its use.
  • “AVN” is not used to replace our full name. It is only used in documents which already bear our full official name. In such cases it is an informal abbreviation intended to avoid repetition. We have used this shorthand for more than 16 years.
  • It is acceptable for any entity to refer to itself in abbreviated format, informally, within documents that bear its full legal name. In fact, it is routine to do so. Most, if not all, organisations and businesses do this. The abbreviations they choose are a matter for their discretion.
  • Given that our full name “Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network Inc.” contains a hyphen, we consider “AVN” a reasonable abbreviation.
  • After searching the Act we are unable to find reference to any power permitting you to direct an organisation to change the way it informally refers to itself.

I look forward to your clarifying this for us.
Yours sincerely
Greg Beattie
Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network Inc.

Letter from David Byrne, 20 March, 2014

Letter from Greg Beattie to David Byrne, 20 March, 2014



    Unfortunately they’re a protected species over at the ‘other’ camp.

    If the unthinkable happened and you had to close down, the SAVN would be totally lost. Nowhere to vent their anger and spite.
    I guess they could start on the Fluoridation Groups next. The breast feeding moms.(?) Home births. Yes I guess there’s still plenty of victims out there.

  2. I’m curious as to why the name change hasn’t been carried over to the Facebook page yet.

      1. Nothing on the Facebook page suggests to me that it’s not administered by, and a public outlet for, the Australian Vaccination-skeptics network. The claim of “ownership” by another party is the only thing that seems to have changed.

        1. This is a pretty silly comment – even for you Shelly. Apart from the claim of ownership – which states clearly that the page is now owned by someone else – what do you expect should have changed? Do you now want to dictate what someone living outside of Australia should or should not have on their Facebook page? Control freak.

      2. No it’s not answered. The heading of the Facebook group still says Australian vaccination network. And the associated website is So you are still publicly calling yourselves Australian vaccination network on Facebook.

        1. Steve – it is not our Facebook page. It is a page run by a third party in support of (I see what you did there – couldn’t even type right, could you?) Get over it, mate. Get a life.

    1. JUST as i thought 19 mercury damaged votes. EVERY part of health, religion ,and politics has major corruption WHY do you think vaccine industry is any different ?? Falsified reports , false epidemics deliberate misuse of vaccines .
      WAKE up and smell the dollars.


    A lot of pettiness goes on. They’re finding it harder to engineer a fault in your dealings with HCCC Greg. But they do manage to come up with something.(albeit petty)
    i guess i should be sending light and love to them. God knows, they need it in their time of ‘darkness.’
    Ok, I’m not going all religious on you, just a bit yin and yang. πŸ™‚
    (thumb away little ones.)

  4. Chelay, if the unthinkable did happen, the SAVN would be kept busy attempting to plug all the other holes in the vaccine debate dykes….plenty of Facebook groups now airing free speech, seeking advice on the adverse effects of vaxes; the swelling tide questionning the efficacy and the safety of vaccines.

  5. They can’t even quote me accurately at SAVN – “if the AVSN was shut down, the SAVN would start to target “home births” and “breastfeeding mums”.”
    If you read above this is not exactly what i said.
    So if they can’t quote accurately how good is their credibility on others pieces of information?
    They’re over there quacking like the ducks i will be feeding in the morning.(sorry ducks, don’t mean to be insulting.) (kinda fun this ‘cheap shotting’) πŸ™‚

    Come on kiddies, your thumbing has slowed a bit.

    Oh, some are also showing their sheepleness by agreeing with fluoridation. Surely they can’t be that silly. (“but the data says…..!”)
    OK, I’m done.

  6. I’m hoping for the sake of the few more reasonable SAVN’ers that this isn’t the general sick mentality of their members.

    ” I know it wrong to say I hope their children contract pertussis to prove a point… But can the parents get it at least!”

    Really going against standard ethics, and what they are supposed to be standing for.

    i hope you get some things too. Morals and a workable brain.

  7. As victims of relentless government bullying and intimidation, l see an opportunity for some well deserved publicity here….

  8. ” I know it wrong to say I hope their children contract pertussis to prove a point… But can the parents get it at least!”
    I put this up earlier and there were a lot of ‘thumbs down.’ Well it seems the SAVN members agree that it’s not an appropriate thing for one of their members to say. Isn’t that lovely of them. Good for you kiddies! πŸ™‚

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