IFA Announces Third Ambassador – Dr Brad Mckay

The Immunisation Foundation of Australia is delighted to announce Dr. Brad Mckay as our latest ambassador.

Dr Brad McKay is a GP and has worked in both Ireland and Australia. As a medical doctor, he’s seen plenty of diseases that could have been prevented by vaccination, including:

*Massive neck glands and tender testicles from mumps.
*Painful blistered rashes from chicken pox and shingles (Varicella-Zoster Virus).
*Genital warts and cervical cancer caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
*Elderly patients who have lived most of their lives with a painful, withered limb from polio infection as a child (Post-Polio Syndrome).

Brad is also a science communicator, appearing as the medical expert for The Today Show, ABC Radio, Triple J, and many other media outlets. He was the host of ‘Embarrassing Bodies Down Under’ on Foxtel and Channel 9, and is passionate about providing the public with science-based health advice.

We are thrilled to have you on board Dr Brad!

IFA Announces Second Ambassador – Timothy Britten

The Immunisation Foundation of Australia is delighted to announce Senior Sergeant Timothy Britten CV – Australia’s most decorated policeman, as our newest ambassador.

One of the few recipients of the Cross of Valour (Australia’s highest civilian bravery decoration), Tim is undoubtedly one of the bravest men in Australia, and his his courageous actions after the 2002 Bali Bombings speak volumes about the incredible courage, character and tenacity that Tim possesses.

Tim is a huge advocate for immunisation, and wanted to shine a light on the dangers of whooping cough in adults after he was struck down with the disease several years ago.
We’re delighted to have you on board Tim!

Immunisation Foundation Announces First Ambassador

The Immunisation Foundation of Australia is delighted to announce its first ever ambassador with Kim Tucci from Surprised by Five coming on board to help support our foundation and spread the word about the importance of maternal and childhood vaccination.

Kim has been a wonderful support to the Light For Riley campaign, publicly highlighting the importance of pregnancy vaccination & childhood immunisation. We are so proud to announce her as an Ambassador of our charity and we look forward to working with her in the near future.

Great to have you on board Kim!

Milestone Day for Riley’s little sister

Milestone days are always the toughest and yesterday was emotionally challenging. We took this little superhero to go and get her 6 month vaccinations. She was a gem, we had no complications and we can now say she’s made it through a particularly fragile time of her life.

What hurts is that these are needles her brother should’ve lived to see, this is protection he should’ve already received and this is now a time where we should be planning and preparing for his 2nd Birthday a little over two weeks from now. Instead we’re a family that no matter how hard we try, will forever be left with an enormous hole that can never be filled.

This next 2 month window is tinged with sadness at a time where we should be celebrating. Riley’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, and Catherine’s birthday all fall within such a short period of time. The fact that Riley’s passing falls smack bang in the middle of it all means each one of these occasions is now bittersweet.

We’re a family who has felt the impact of vaccine preventable disease and it changes the fabric of how you live your life. Get your maternal booster, make sure your children follow the childhood immunisation schedule and avoid the bittersweet days.

Trust me, they’re not fun.

-Riley’s Dad

Doctors urge parents to vaccinate after confirmed cases of Measles in WA

Several babies in Western Australia have been infected by measles after a “non-vaccinating” family brought the preventable disease back from Bali.

This latest instance is another example of when parents choose not to vaccinate, they are choosing to risk the lives of not only their own children, but babies too young to be vaccinated, and other vulnerable members of our community.

As quoted in a recent edition of The West Australian newspaper a family who had not immunised their three children returned from a Bali holiday with one of their children infected with measles resulting in an increase in the confirmed cases of measles in infants in the area.

“People wonder why we get so concerned by small numbers of cases like this but this is exactly how a bushfire starts,” commented President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Andrew Miller said to the newspaper.

“Unvaccinated families are essentially walking around our cities in summer throwing matches into dry grass, and suddenly you can get a wild fire that destroys lives.

“It’s either out of laziness or because they’re reading strange things on the internet instead of listening to the real experts.”

Babies are not vaccinated against measles until they are 12 months old. Please do your bit to help protect them

Source: thewest.com.au

Jasmine’s Story – Pneumococcal Disease

Jasmine’s Story – As told by her mother Andrea Identical twins Gabrielle and Jasmine were delivered on Christmas Eve 2002. Their long term survival was questionable from day one. They both had heart defects and severe respiratory problems, however most devastatingly they were both found to be suffering from congenital bone marrow failure disease. I […]

Vaccine Needle

Catherine Hughes celebrates news of WA vaccination rates

Catherine Hughes expressed her recent joy on the news that her home state of Western Australia can now boast one of the highest rates of vaccination in the world.

The passing of her baby boy Riley, from the vaccine preventable disease Pertussis (whooping cough) made headlines around the world through her and her husbands fierce campaigning to educate parents and expectant mothers against the dangers of choosing not to vaccinate.

The campaigning created huge momentum through their social media page Light For Riley and resulted in several changes being made at both state and federal levels.

Since Riley’s unnecessary passing from the disease the federal government implemented their ‘No jab No pay’ legislation withdrawing government benefits to those parents who choose not vaccinate.  In addition to this the Hughes family experienced one of the biggest triumphs in their plight which was to ensure that the Whooping Cough vaccine was readily available and free to pregnant women.

Catherine reflects on these milestones and the exciting news that Western Australia is leading the way in stomping out vaccine preventable diseases through immunisation.

Read the full article here: Catherine Hughes speaks to The West Australian about Success for Free Whopping Cough Vaccine

Catherine Hughes interview for The West Australian. Photo Credit: Ross Swanborough, The West Australian

South Australia proposes review into immunisation and childcare

South Australia’s health minister, Mr Jack Snelling is proposing a law to give childcare centres the power to refuse unvaccinated children.

This would mean that at particular childcare centres, parents could be confident their baby/toddler is better protected from preventable diseases such as measles, rubella, meningococcal and whooping cough.

The suggested review of the new legislation for childcare centres comes off the back of a 300% increase of confirmed measles cases in Gawler. This in conjunction with figures being released identifying that South Australia’s immunisation rate is below 95%.  95% is the official rate required for residents to be vaccinated in order to protect the surrounding community and prevent outbreaks of disease.

New South Wales and Victoria have already enforced legislation preventing parents from enrolling their child into a childcare centre if they are unable to provide current immunisation records or an approved exemption.

The proposed legislation that the South Australian Health Minister is considering at this stage is more-so protecting childcare centres against lawsuits by giving them the right to refuse a child’s enrollment on the basis of the child not being immunised.


Welcome to the official launch of the IFA and our new website!

Today we are incredibly honoured and excited to officially launch our foundation, the Immunisation Foundation of Australia. When Riley passed away at 32 days old from whooping cough, we were distraught but determined to honour his short little life by making a positive change in our country. We firmly believe that no child in Australia, if not the world, should die from any disease that is easily prevented by a simple vaccine.

If you would like to make a contribution to help us raise awareness about vaccine-preventable diseases and the importance of immunisation, donations can now be made by clicking the link below: https://www.immunisationfoundation.org.au/donations/

We are so grateful for any support and are so hopeful that our foundation will help to improve and save the lives of babies and children.

If you would like to read more about our vision, mission & purposes, please see here: https://www.immunisationfoundation.org.au/about-ifa/

From our whole family – thank you so much for all your support. It is so sincerely appreciated, from the bottom of our hearts!

– Catherine, Greg & family.

Greg and Catherine Hughes on Sunday Night program

Greg and Catherine Hughs have taken part in a story on 7’s ‘Sunday Night‘ program this weekend to raise awareness about whooping cough and vaccination. “We had their cameras with us as we welcomed Riley’s new baby sister to the world – a really strange & emotional experience but hopefully all worthwhile!”

Please tune in this Sunday night, 11th of September and share this journey with the Hughes family as they continue to promote the message of the importance of immunisation against vaccine preventable diseases.