Meryl Dorey, President of the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), Australia's vaccine safety watchdog, would like to offer her wholehearted congratulations to Fran Sheffield who has won this year's Bent Spoon Award. Sponsored by the Australian Skeptics', the Bent Spoon honours Australians who can think for themselves, do their own research and don't go along with the crowd but instead, make up their own minds about issues of health and science.
Ms Sheffield is in excellent company, joining such former winners as Dr Kerryn Phelps (2008), head of the Australian Medical Association, every pharmacist in Australia (2006) who won because they chose to offer their customers the option to purchase vitamins, minerals and other nutritional supplements in store, journalist, Mike Willesee (1999) and vaccine safety researcher, Dr Viera Scheibner (1997).
Ms Sheffield had some very formidable competition for this prize with nominations being received for:
- Stephanie Messenger, Healthy Lifestyles Naturally
- Ian Plimer
- Fran Sheffield of Homeopathy Plus!
- The Medical Journal of Australia and editorial authors Myers, Xue, Cohen, Phelps and Lewith
- Gary Goodfellow and Shuzi Qi
- University of Wollongong's Recreation and Aquatic Centre
- The Victorian State Government
- Nature's Way Natural Medicines Homeopathic Products
"When I won the Bent Spoon back in 2009, I was so excited and happy!" says Meryl Dorey, President of the Australian Vaccination Network. "I had worked so hard for so many years to build an organization which supported parents' rights to make free and informed health choices and to oppose any form of compulsory vaccination. It was just so satisfying to get that sort of recognition from a group that opposes all of those goals - it made me realize that we really WERE on the right track!
"Now, with Fran Sheffield winning as well...it's just the icing on the cake! The recognition of a hate group such as the Australian Skeptics has been instrumental in motivating me to continue working on this issue and I know that it will also inspire Ms Sheffield to try even harder to continue promoting the message of free, informed and scientifically-based health choice."
For those who have never heard of it, the Australian Skeptics is an organisation whose religious belief is that anything Western medicine approves of is always right and anyone who questions the safety or efficacy of drugs, vaccines, or surgery is always wrong. They hide behind terms such as pseudo-science despite being offered copious quantities of peer-reviewed research to show that not every medical procedure is safe - not every drug or vaccine is effective. Much like the medieval church, their main tactics are to ridicule and try to silence anyone who speaks out against their blind beliefs.
"When I won my award, I wished that an honourary membership to the Skeptics came along with it. But then again, I really don't feel that I have the necessary unquestioning, single-minded zealotry such membership requires." Ms Dorey concluded. "Nor does Fran Sheffield."
For further information or to arrange an interview with any of the confirmed speakers - please contact Meryl Dorey - 0414 872 032 or 02 6687 1699