Let's start a conversation
Fertility Matters is a health and education campaign aimed to improve education on fertility health. The goal is for people, young and old, to have conversations about reproductive health and feel empowered to make decisions. Ultimately the campaign hopes to help update the national curriculum to include better and more factual information on fertility health.
The campaign was launched in September 2015 by first generation iVFlings Candice Thum (nee Reed) and Rebecca Featherstone Jelen. In 2016 Candice and Rebecca visited Parliament House in Canberra and met with representatives from major political parties to talk about fertility education.
The Fertility Matters campaign will continue to fight so everyone has the right information at the right time about fertility.
Some of the facts
What we Found out
Fertility Matters has also released findings of a survey conducted over a 12 month period. More than 600 everyday people responded to the survey telling the campaign what they did - or did not - know about fertility health and ways to help update the education system. Fertility Matters was overwhelmed with the responses, and the open and honest stories shared by people all over the world on their personal journey in relation to fertility.
The overall theme of those who participated in the survey was "I wish I knew more".
These responses have been analyzed and compiled into a document which will help the campaign fight to change the education the next generation receive on this topic. The gaps in knowledge are well documented from various outlets across Australia, and it is time for change.
Meet the team
Rebecca Featherstone Jelen
Rebecca was born in 1983 and conceived at Bourn Hall, where the world’s first IVF baby was conceived, with the assistance of IVF pioneers Professor Sir Robert Edwards and Dr. Patrick Steptoe. With IVF being in its infancy Rebecca’s parents, Don and Judy, were lucky and courageous to have had the opportunity to undergo IVF. She is a Director at ACCESS Australia and is extremely passionate about bringing awareness and education around reproductive health and fertility issues. Rebecca lives in Australia with two young children and husband. Rebecca is fortunate by being ableto have the lovely experience of having a family, something every person should be able to have the opportunity to do. There are many children born through fertility treatments — more than one child in each class room — however not enough people understand fertility issues.
"I would like fertility and the issues surrounding it to be more widely spoken about and acknowledged. Everyone should have a choice to be able to have a family."
Rebecca would like to create a knowledgeable conversation around fertility so people can make informed and confident decisions. That is why she supports 'Fertility Matters – know your fertility'.
Candice Thum (nee Reed)
Candice is Australia’s first IVF child born in 1980 to parents Linda and John, who were brave to undergo fertility treatment in the very early days of the procedure. Candice hastwo happy, healthy children with her husband and lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Candice is a patron of ACCESS Australia, and she is passionate about helping raise awareness of fertility and all issues relating
to fertility health.
Candice believes that information and education surrounding fertility health should be available to all people. With fertility issues affecting one in every six Australian couples of reproductive age, she is very fortunate that fertility treatment has allowed herself and over 61,000 Australians to be born. Her support lies strongly to this campaign, ‘Fertility Matters – know your fertility inside out’ in the hope to increase education and awareness so everyone will have the ability to have an informed conversation about reproductive health.
Hear more from us
Two of Australia’s first IVF babies launch petition to include fertility in high school sex education
Discussion with Liz Walsh for The Advertiser
October 15, 2017
Growing importance of ‘Fertility Matters’
Article, pg.13, for Fertility Society Australia (FSA) Newsletter
The first IVF baby born in Australia is now calling for fertility education in schools
Interview by Rachel Curtis for Mamamia
November 21, 2016
Australia's First IVF Baby On Why Sex Ed Should Cover Fertility
Article by Cayla Dengate for Huffington Post
September 1, 2016
New fertility campaign launched
Report by Cath Turner for Channel 7 News
August 30, 2016
iVFlings talk about Fertility
Erin Willing reports for Channel 9 News
August 30, 2016