AccessAustralia is a consumer controlled, independent sector organisation; a not-for-profit charity, committed to providing whole of life support for women and men who experience difficulties conceiving and their families. AccessA strives to raise community awareness about infertility by being an effective national voice to bring the social, psychological and financial needs of people to governments and the medical and scientific communities. AccessA serves as lifetime resource for support and information around reproductive health needs.
The Patrons of AccessA are Mrs Glynis Nunn-Cearns OAM and Candice Thum (nee Reed), Australia’s first born IVF baby.
The formation of a national consumer-based infertility association in Australia was the result of reflection on nine years involvement in consumer groups at a local and national level, by founder and Chief Executive, Sandra Dill AM. Her experience as a consumer includes investigation of local and overseas adoption, 12 years of infertility treatment including
8 IVF attempts, a late IVF miscarriage, facing a decision to cease treatment and finally, living childless. This has provided some insight into the needs of others in similar situations.
In 1996, Sandra was appointed by the Governor General as
a Member of the Order of Australia, for community service as
a consumer advocate in the area of infertility.
AccessA provides a cohesive approach to the management of issues and services for infertile people at a national level.
Major member services include:
- provision of a range of fact sheets covering the medical and emotional aspects of infertility,
- An on-line community which provides contact for those sharing a range of infertility experiences,
- a Contact Request Network to put people in touch by email, letter or phone,
- a bi-monthly eNews,
- a register of professional counsellors with expertise in issues around infertility,
- a list of infertility clinics accredited by the Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee (RTAC).
There is also the AccessA Infertility Counsellors Network, comprised of professional counsellors throughout Australasia who work in the field of infertility (this section is available only to AccessA members). Support is also provided through the AccessA OPTIONS support groups which focus on the diversity of experiences of those who suffer from infertility. Each group has a title that reflects the different needs of
those who come to us for support and include Donor Options, Options for Approaching Life without Children, Options for Men Only and Options after IVF Miscarriage. National Infertility Awareness Week has been a major initiative of AccessA.
AccessA ensures that consumers in Australia are kept informed about issues of interest internationally. This is achieved by maintaining links with sister associations in 36 other countries through the International Consumer Support for Infertility (iCSi) community, with a key focus on building links in the Asia Pacific region. AccessA is also a member of the International Alliance of Patient Organisation (IAPO). Our goal is to establish alliances with infertility patient associations around the world, to raise global awareness of our collective needs and to challenge the cultural taboos surrounding the experience of infertility.