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John Billings

Dr. John Billings AM (5 March 1918–1 April 2007) was an Australian doctor who pioneered the natural method of family planning known variously as the Billings Ovulation Method, the Ovulation Method, or the Billings Method.

John Billings was born in Melbourne and was educated at Xavier College, and at the University of Melbourne.[1] He married Dr. Evelyn Thomas in 1943, and they had nine children. He served as a doctor with the Australian Imperial Force in New Guinea during World War II.

In 1947, Billings was awarded a Nuffield Fellowship for postgraduate studies in London, where he specialised in neurology. On his return to Australia, he was made Head of the Department of Neurology at St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne, and Dean of the Undergraduate Medical School within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Melbourne.

In 1953, Drs John and Evelyn Billings began work on a method of natural family planning which involved observation of changes to cervical mucus. Together they founded the World Organisation of the Ovulation Method Billings (WOOMB) as the centre for teaching the method throughout the world.[2] Although Billings maintained his career as consulting neurologist to St Vincent's Hospital, he and his wife also spent a large part of each year travelling to other countries, and training teachers in the Ovulation Method, lecturing to doctors and students, and establishing teaching centres.[1]

The method pioneered by Billings and his wife was approved by the Catholic Church and used by the World Health Organization. It was the only natural method accepted by the Chinese Government.[2]

Billings was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1991.[2] In 2003, he was awarded the Knight Commander Con Placca of the Order of St Gregory the Great and his wife was named a Dame Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great.[3]

Dr John Billings died, aged 89, on 1 April 2007, at a Richmond aged care centre, survived by his wife, children and large extended family.[4]


  1. ^ a b Press release on the death of Dr Billings World Organisation of the Ovulation Method Billings, April 2, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Jamie Duncan: Billings Method founder dies, April 2, 2007.
  3. ^ Australian Catholic Directory
  4. ^ Neil Wilson: John Billings' legacy lives on Herald Sun, April 3, 2007.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "John_Billings". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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