Applying to be a Member of the Fertility Society of Australia & New Zealand
In this video, Page Provan Director and award-winning fertility lawyer, Stephen Page, talks about applying to be a member of the Fertility Society of Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ).
G’day, I’m Stephen Page from Page Provan Family and Fertility Lawyers, and I want to let you know that I’m running to be a board member of the Fertility Society of Australia and New Zealand.
I’ve been a board member for a while now. I’m the consumer rep, originally nominated by Access Australia. The board has decided not to renew its association with Access, that’s after I resigned from the Access board and as a result, if I am to serve on the board any further, I need to be elected.
I am a principal of Page Provan, which is a family and fertility law firm in Brisbane. I was admitted as a solicitor in Queensland in 1987, the High Court in 1989, and because of the intricacies of South Australian law in South Australia in 2013. I have been an accredited family law specialist since 1996.
In fact, a year or so ago, I got a 25 year anniversary certificate, one of the first group to do so. I am a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and a member of its parentage committee, its sexuality and gender identity committee, and its forced marriage committee. I am a fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, and in fact, the first fellow outside North America.
I’m the only one in Australia for what it’s worth. I am an international representative on the American Bar Association, ART committee, I’ve been in that role since about 2011. In 2012, I was given the job to be the principal advocate for and co-author of a policy requested of the 400,000 plus Member Association by the State Department as to a proposed Hague Convention on International Surrogacy Arrangements.
It took about four years to get it through the ABA. It was approved in February 2016, and it’s a story about how a boy from Brisbane got that job because clearly just listening to me, I’m not an American, but I thought I’d analyse the situation pretty right. Evidently, I must have done so because I got appointed to that role.
Most importantly, however, despite having done all this work in this fertility space, being described as Australia’s leading fertility lawyer, Australia’s leading surrogacy lawyer, and having since 1988 advised in over 1900, surrogacy journeys for clients throughout Australia and 30 countries overseas, having acted for a number of IVF clinics, sperm banks, egg banks etc, and acted in known donor cases, and even where someone’s been anonymous donor, and then the donor conceived adult, or the parents have found them out.
The most important thing for me is having become a dad. I’ve become a dad a number of times now. I’ve suffered infertility, and most recently, my husband, Mitchell, and I have become parents to our daughter, Elizabeth, who in July is turning four, and that was not an overseas journey, we’ve been lucky.
Unlike most people where they have to do surrogacy overseas. We were fortunate to have a family member who was a surrogate and a friend who was an egg donor. There really is something special about becoming a parent when you think it will never, ever happen, and I’ve experienced that a number of times in my career.
I’ve received a number of awards during my career, and they include from 2015, LGBT Activist of the Year, 2019, a teaching award from the University of New South Wales. I taught there in Ethics and the Law and Reproductive Medicine for five years between 2017 and 2022.
The Inaugural Pride in Law Award, which I received in 2020, and most recently, the most prestigious award that any lawyer in Queensland can receive, the Queensland Law Society President’s Medal.
I’m pretty lucky to have been recognised and deeply humbled to have received these awards. I have a firm view that our fertility society does an excellent job in regulating our IVF clinics in Australia. We should be very proud of our IVF clinics in Australia. In my view, they’re world’s best. I’m not one of these people who thinks that IVF is done better somewhere else.
I just think we are so lucky about how we do it, and how RTAC regulates our IVF clinics, and how the data is provided to ANZARD, the oldest reproductive database in the world.
The commitment to quality by IVF clinics in Australia is second to none, and I am a champion in saying at every available opportunity, how fortunate we are as a country to have such a high quality of clinics.
But as a consumer, I’ve been through IVF clinics, and had experience of a couple of clinics, and I really stand up for consumers and I stand up for the rule of law. So if you’re a member of the Fertility Society of Australia and New Zealand, when the elections come up, please vote. Obviously, please vote for me if you can, but please vote. It’s a democratic institution and please exercise your rights.