Victoria was the first place in the world to pass laws governing assisted reproduction.
It all started with the ground-breaking work of Professor Louis Waller, who led the pioneering investigation into the social, ethical and legal issues arising from IVF.
This paved the way towards the very first Infertility (Medical Procedures) Act in 1984, when mandatory record keeping practices were introduced.
So much has occurred in assisted reproduction in Victoria, over many decades. VARTA, with the support of the Victorian State Government, recently commissioned a research team from LaTrobe and Swinburne Universities to explore the history of Victoria’s donor conception programs and records in Victoria during the 1970s and 1980s.
We are delighted to announce that Professor Waller himself will deliver our annual Louis Waller Lecture this year, providing an historical perspective on the lead-up to assisted reproductive treatment legislation in Victoria.
You will also hear about the History Project findings, and gain insights into what this means for people who are donor conceived.
Refreshments will be served from 5.30pm and the program will start at 6.00pm.
The program will include:
- Emeritus Professor Louis Waller’s keynote address
- The Hon Jill Hennessy, Minister for Health (via video)
- Assoc Prof Fiona Kelly, La Trobe University principal researcher, History of Donor Conception Records in Victoria
- Dr Lauren Burns, VARTA board member and donor-conceived person
- Launch of the Donor Conception Online History Gallery
The evening will close at approximately 7.00 pm.
About the Louis Waller Lecture
VARTA hosts the Louis Waller Lecture annually, to honour Emeritus Professor Louis Waller’s significant contribution to the field of assisted reproductive treatment.
For information about previous events please visit the VARTA website.
About Emeritus Professor Louis Waller AO
Among his many other involvements in law, Professor Waller was at the birth of a world-first statutory regulatory regime in Victoria, through his chairmanship of the Committee to Investigate the Social, Ethical and Legal Issues Arising from IVF, between 1982 to 1984.
After the Infertility (Medical Procedures) Act 1984 was passed, Professor Waller went on to chair the Standing Review Advisory Committee on Infertility (SRACI) between 1984 and 1994.
He then became the inaugural chair of the Infertility Treatment Authority (now VARTA) in 1995 and held this position until 2001. Professor Waller also chaired the first review of the Act during his time at the Victorian Law Reform Commission.