A Sydney venue has cancelled talks by Dr Sherri Tenpenny, an American anti-vaccine activist who is scheduled to give a series of lectures across Australia in March.
Source:
SBS
8 Jan 2015 - 11:58 AM  UPDATED 8 Jan 2015 - 1:22 PM

The Kareela Golf & Social Club in Sydney's south has cancelled talks by osteopath Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, an anti-vaccine activist who was due to hold a seminar at the venue.

General manager of the Kareela club, Dennis Skinner said he didn't want to be involved with the controversial subject.

"The club as a venue, we don't have a position for or against this, we just decided the subject matter was too controversial for us to be involved in," he told ABC.

The Kareela Club has since been criticised by Dr Tenpenny supporters, with many leaving bad reviews on their Facebook page

Trev Simons wrote, "Unfortunately, you will always be remembered as 'the venue' that blocked freedom of speech..." 

Another person Ashley Nicole commented: "Disgusted at the injustice and weak disposition of this venue. GROW SOME BALLS! This seminar would have brought great publicity for your venue, not to mention educated and fully referenced information to those seeking truth. #freedomofspeech"

However, some users praised the venue's decision.

"I'm very impressed Kareela Golf Club stood up for public health and refused to host Sherri Tenpenny," said Rhianna Miles. "I will definitely look at coming and supporting your organisation when next I'm in Sydney."

Meanwhile, James Giess wrote: "Thank you for responding and cancelling that quack's booking. Very impressed!"

Pro-vaccine activists are urging the government to deny a visa to a prominent US anti-vaccine campaigner who is set to tour Australia.

A social media campaign has been underway to stop Dr Tenpenny, author of Saying No to Vaccines, from participating in a series of lectures across Australia in March.

American anti-vaccine activist Norma Erickson, and Australian homoeopathic practitioner, Dr Isaac Golden, are to join Tenpenny during the appearances.

The events are being hosted by the Gan Kim Man Foundation, an unregistered organisation, using the names of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and Nelson Mandela.

It’s believed the lectures, called "Raising Healthy Children Naturally", were organised by Stephanie Messenger, an Australian anti-vaccine campaigner.

Pro-vaccine campaigners are outraged by the tour and have called on the government to take action.

Members of Stop the Australian (Anti) Vaccination Network have contacted state and federal health ministers, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, and several of the venues hosting the events.

“The end result of her tour is that some well-meaning parents will be conned,” Stop the AVN's Ken McLeod said.

“The end result is misery, and extra stress on the health department budgets, and occasionally death.

“We are alarmed and we are calling on the Immigration Minister to take up on her duty to protect the Australian public.”

A statement from Mr Dutton's office said he was being advised on the matter.