Diluted Thinking
in Australian healthcare

Vaxxed QLD Tour 2017 - Kuranda event


Date: 1 November 2017

MC: Tasha David and Meryl Dorey

Live-stream video:

It is perhaps no accident that the AVN targeted Kuranda for its anti-vaccination sideshow. From this Cairns Post article, Vaccination rates for Kuranda one of the lowest in Queensland (19 Feb 2016), Kuranda has the second-lowest vaccination rate for one-year-olds in Queensland and ranks as the worst in Queensland among two-year-olds.

Welcome to Country

The screening of the movie was preceded by a Welcome to Country by two aboriginal women on behalf of the Djabugay Aboriginal people.

Excerpt follows:

On behalf of Djabuganydji people we would like to welcome you to this land; this is really important, as you know.

I was driving down to Cairns yesterday morning and I heard that Kuranda has the lowest rate of vaccination in the country [wild applause from audience; thumbs-up from the speaker].

It's a really important statistic and they are actually chasing us for it and the only way that we can repel them is to make sure that we are well-informed of what's going on.

Some of us know that there are things happening in the world that… vaccinations and lots of other things that are part of the evil intent of a lot of people out there. So we have to be well-informed about who we are, what we're doing, what other people are doing, what our rights are and I've heard people say that people who don't know their rights, don't have any.

So if that's the case then isn't it more important that we get informed about what's actually going on? That's our responsibility and if people don't want to get involved then we have to share the knowledge that we have as much as we can, whenever we can.

On that note, I want to say thank you for coming here. To see this many people come out, it's wonderful. We have a few aboriginal people here and that's really good too.

I think we now have the responsibility also of going back and sharing with our communities.

I want to thank Sarah and Narelle for coming up and making the connection with us. I also wanted to thank Tasha and Meryl. Meryl is the founder of the group here in Australia [applause]. Meryl, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule. And also Tasha, thank you for your role in this and Adam, I know, I've not forgotten you, I know that you are also playing a very important role.

Together, all we can do is to keep on informing. Well done that you're here and now I want to hand over…

The screening I really, really wanted to have

Tasha David:

"Hi everybody. My name's Tasha David, I'm the President of the AVN.
It's a great honour to be here. It's actually one of my most favourite screenings.

This is the screening that I really, really wanted to have because my background is Samoan. My people are Polynesian.
And we are getting hit really hard by vaccines."

"This is not right. They are not looking out for the best interests of our children; only we can do that.
And for me it's really personal because of what's happened to my children but also because of my culture, my people. My people are affected by this and once you see this movie, you'll see it is the darker-skinned people that have the most severe adverse reactions to these vaccines.

So it is our people that are getting hurt. So it's up to us to get out here and educate our people because they need us to lead the way because all we're hearing is what the white man is saying and it's not right. They are not looking out for our people at all."

Q&A Highlights

Thanks to Amateur Productions Inc. the audio quality of the Q&A session is too poor to bother with video excerpts so here is a quick summary instead.

Meryl Dorey blathered on about how the government is terrified of the anti-vaccination movement, and again outright lied that Polly Tommey was banned under terrorism legislation.

Australia has a higher autism rate than the USA thanks to more vaccines.

Doctors speaking out about vaccination being deregistered, need a united front from the medical community.

Government officials should be on trial for what they've done because they know vaccines cause harm.

Dorey quotes quack Mendelsohn "the only safe vaccine is the one that was never given".

When the government says that vaccines are safe and effective, they are lying.

The Turnbull's are profiting from children's pain.

Dorey parrots Wakefield's statistics about the YouGov survey and gets every figure wrong.

Sarah flogs the next screening of One Last Drop to be shown in the region shortly.

Session finished off with an hilarious account by an audience member of how the government and big pharma plan on vaccinating us all via bananas.

Update 11 Nov 2017:
The following article Australian Vaccination-sceptics Network targets Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders was published in The Courier Mail (10 Nov 2017).
It also appeared in the Cairns Post.

Australian Vaccination-sceptics Network targets Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Janelle Miles, The Courier Mail
November 10, 2017 12:00am

Anti-vaxxers have been condemned for "new levels of stupidity" after talling a meeting in far north Queensland that "darker-skinned people" are most at risk from vaccine reactions.

The Australian Vaccination-sceptics Network(AVN) visited Kuranda, in the state's far north, this month as part of a tour of Queensland for screenings of the controversial film Vaxxed, which blames immunisation for autism.

Kuranda has a significant indigenous population and video footage of the evening, available online, shows two Aboriginal women delivering a Welcome to Country before the screening.

AVN president Tasha David later told the audience she was of Samoan descent, and then warned: "Once you see this movie, you'll see it is the darker skin people who have the most adverse reactions to these vaccines.

"It is our people who are getting hit. It's up to us to get out there and educate our people. They need us to lead the way. All we're hearing is what the white man is saying and it's not right. They are not looking after our people at all."

Data shows Queensland immunisation coverage for one to five-year-olds increased last financial year compared to 2015-16, including for Aboriginal children. Indigenous five-year-olds have better immunisation rates than the general population with 96.2 per cent, compared to 94.5 per cent.

Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick described Ms David's comments as "reprehensible", adding there was "absolutely no evidence" to support her claims.

"The way the anti-vaccination lobby preys on people's fear of illness is shameful, Mr Dick said. "My advice to people… is to pay the same attention to them as they would to someone who says they know for a fact that the earth is flat and pigs can fly."

Mr Dick said vaccination was strongly supported by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and indigenous health services.

"Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland can be proud that by age five, indigenous children have a higher rate of immunisation than non-indigenous five year olds," he said.

Federal Australian Medical Association president Michael Gannon also criticised Ms David's claims, saying they reached "new levels of stupidity".

"Immunisation is one the success stories when it comes to delivering health to indigenous people and we would take a very dim view of anyone who attempts to diminish that and to try and turn this into a race issue is breathtaking and utterly deplorable," Dr Gannon said.

"We're talking about a part of society that is already disadvantaged and this is one element of health care we can be very proud of and I take a very dim view of anyone who does anything which potentially compromises the already significant gap in the healthcare outcomes enjoyed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians compared to the rest of the population."

A Queensland Health spokesman said many anti-vaccination claims were based on poorly conducted studies that have been discredited or disproved, such as allegations that immunisation caused sudden infant death syndrome or autism.

"These claims are entirely baseless, irresponsible and dangerous, particularly when they are made to at-risk groups such as indigenous commmunities," he said. "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are at an increased risk of contracting serious and life-threatening vaccine preventable diseases."

Former AVN president, Meryl Dorey, who attended the Kuranda meeting with Ms David, said they had been invited to Kuranda by a local group involved with four Aboriginal communities in the region.

"We didn't target them, they asked to come there," Ms Dorey said.

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