MELBOURNE, Australia, April 3, 2007 ( – Dr John Billings, world-renowned pioneer of natural fertility regulation, died last night aged 89 after a short illness.

  John James Billings AM, KCSG, MD, FRCP, FRACP, was born in Melbourne on March 5, 1918 and educated at Xavier College and the University of Melbourne.  Married to Dr Evelyn L Billings, maiden name Thomas in 1943, John saw service as an army doctor with the Australian armed forces during WWII.

  In 1947 John Billings was awarded a Nuffield Fellowship for post-graduate studies in London. Specialising in neurology, he returned to Australia where he was subsequently appointed Head of the Department of Neurology at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, and Dean of the Undergraduate Medical School within the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Melbourne.

  In 1953, at the invitation of the late Fr Maurice Catarinich of the Catholic Marriage Guidance Bureau, John Billings began work on a method of natural fertility regulation, which was originally called the Ovulation Method.  For the following 50+ years Drs. John and Evelyn Billings researched, developed and perfected the Method which now bears their name.

  John Billings maintained a professional career as Consulting Neurologist to St. Vincent’s Hospital and also from the late 1960s until recent years, spent a large part of each year traveling with his wife to many countries throughout the world, training teachers of the Billings Ovulation Method, establishing teaching centres, and lecturing to doctors, medical students, nurses and others.  Most notably in the past decade, the Billings Ovulation Method has been successfully introduced into China, where it is now the only government-approved method of natural family planning. The Billings Ovulation Method has also proved to be singularly effective in assisting couples, who had previously been considered to be infertile, to achieve pregnancy.

  Drs John Billings’ work for the family was recognized with a Papal Knighthood, an AM in 1991, Honorary Doctorates from multiple international universities and the joint award with his wife of International Catholic Physicians of the Year in 2002.

  Dr John Billings is survived by his beloved wife, Lyn and his large and loving family: his children, grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, in his view, his greatest achievement.  His life will be celebrated and his passing mourned by his family, legions of friends, supporters and professional colleagues around the world.


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