From the minutes of the 1984 IVU General Meeting, during the World Congress in Baltimore, in the 'Regional Secretaries Reports':
The Hon.General Secretary read the report for Mr Karolyi in his absence. He reported that there are now five active vegetarian and vegan societies in Australasia. The growth of the animal rights movement was leading to co-operation between the societies and the animal rights movement. An Australian Vegetarian Congress is planned for 1985.
From the minutes of the 1986 IVU General Meeting, during the World Congress in Dubrovnik, in the 'Regional Secretaries Reports':
Mr Fred Whittle gave a report in the absence of Mr George Karolyi. He reported on the growth in activity and the holding of a regional congress and brought greetings from his region.
The information below is from Robert Fraser, President of the Vegetarian Society of Western Australia. Further clarification of this would be useful if anyone else can help:
Whilst I don't know when the Vegetarian Union of Australasia was formally founded, the initial moves were made around about 1976, apparently resulting from a discussion at an IVU Congress between the then General Secretary and an Australian delegate. The suggestion was that a national body be formed, with the intention of coordinating activities and promoting the cause throughout the country.
Annual congresses were proposed and the "Australian Vegetarian" journal was suggested as a vehicle for the movement.
The first “congress” was held in 1985 in Sydney, and some 50 people attended. The participants apparently took this opportunity to set up a formal structure, with a constitution and an interim committee. They also decided to affiliate to the IVU. A second congress was held the following year in Adelaide, and another was planned for Melbourne in 1987, but I don’t know if it actually took place.
At the Adelaide meeting, the name VUA was decided upon by the participants, who also elected a Regional Council. As far as I am aware, this was the last meeting to be held, and when I got involved with it in 1993, it was very much in a dormant state.
I obtained this information from back numbers of the "Australian Vegetarian".
Compiled by John Davis