Who are we?
The Immunisation Alliance is made up of members of the public, health students and professionals, and parents, who are dedicated to seeing children and adults protected from dangerous, but preventable diseases.
To create a society in which every person who can be vaccinated is vaccinated.
To be an authentic and independent community voice supporting immunisation.
Meet the Executive Committee
Sharon Swaney – Secretary
Sharon joined the IAWA as a member in 2015 during the final year of her university studies. She has since graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Health Promotion) and was awarded a place on the Vice Chancellor’s list. Now back at Curtin University completing an Honours year undertaking research into reasons for low vaccination rates in high socioeconomic areas of Perth, her belief in and passion for immunisation as a preventive health measure together with her desire to communicate its importance to others effectively, continues to grow.
Sharon remembers hearing stories from childhood about polio, children who were in an ‘iron lung’ and the risk of contracting other diseases. Sharon was the youngest of six children; with the measles vaccine being introduced in 1969, she was the only one in her family to receive the vaccination, and the only one not to contract measles. One brother, in particular, became desperately ill; her mother is quoted as saying “I’ve never seen anyone as ill as he was with measles”. Having seen the ravages of many so-called normal childhood diseases now largely relegated to history, Sharon’s mother was in no doubt as to the importance of vaccination. Sharon believes that as vaccination has reduced the incidence of disease so effectively in developed nations like Australia, it may be a case of ‘vaccination being a victim of its own success’ and is concerned about the resurgence of disease and rates dropping below the level necessary to protect the most vulnerable in our population. This includes babies who are too young to receive all vaccinations, as well as others who are unable to be vaccinated for health reasons.
Bharti Morar – Treasurer