(pictured left to right: Myfanwy Cummerford, Kim Buck, Roger Clarke)
VARTA has submitted two nominations to the Victorian Minister for Health Volunteer Awards to acknowledge the significant contribution made by a number of donor-conceived people and donors who have given countless hours to help promote public understanding of donor conception.
For its first submission, VARTA nominated Lauren Burns in the category of ‘Outstanding lifetime achievement’. Lauren has laboured for years to ensure that politicians, healthcare professionals, lawmakers, journalist, and members of the public understand that there are many sides to the conversation about donor conception. She has been a leading advocate for legal changes that give donor-conceived people the right to know more about their biological heritage
Not only has Lauren worked in a voluntary capacity in the area of public education, she co-founded and co-facilitates the Donor-Conceived Adult Network which meets monthly in Melbourne and put together the 2015 National Conference for Donor Conceived People – a first of its kind in Australia. Lauren has also provided mentoring and support to many donor-conceived people around the country.
VARTA’s second nomination, in the category of ‘Outstanding achievement by a volunteer: innovation award’ was for the volunteer committee who helped put together the ‘Donor conception: towards openness’ exhibition, held in June 2015 in Melbourne. This world-first exhibition explored donor conception through art, photography and archival material, with live and original musical performances held during the exhibition opening. The volunteer 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.
In addition to the many hours that Kim, Chloe, Myf and Roger put into the creation of the exhibition, they have each also given considerable time to promoting public understanding and awareness of the issues associated with donor conception.
Having submitted its two nominations, VARTA awaits news of their outcomes.
(Chloe Allworthy, pictured centre)