In 1953, the Reverend Maurice Catarinich, Dean of the Medical Guild of St Luke and a counsellor for engaged and married couples, asked Dr John Billings (1918–2007) for help in guiding couples who wished to use a natural method of fertility regulation. Although himself a neurologist, Dr John took up this challenge and pioneered the Ovulation Method, which is now known as the Billings Ovulation Method (BOM). Later, he was joined by his wife, Dr Evelyn Billings (1918–2013), who organised the training of teachers.
Chemist and endocrinologist Professor James Brown (1919–2009) worked with the Doctors John and Evelyn Billings in the 1960s. His research has provided the hormornal verification for the Billings Ovulation Method.
In 1978 Mr Ken Platt, after meeting with Dr John Billings and Dr Kevin Hume, set up an organisation in England to train teachers of the BOM. He called it NAOMI — the National Association of Ovulation Method Instructors. Teacher training courses were based in London and NAOMI teachers had to pass an examination of the World Health Organisation set by Dr Evelyn Billings. Teachers are carefully chosen and are usually women who are or have been users of the BOM themselves.
For many years, Ken Platt promoted the BOM and organised teacher-training courses in different parts of the country. After his death in 1999, Dr Helen Davies was appointed National President.
In his professional career, Dr John Billings was consultant neurologist at St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. For over 30 years he and his wife also trained teachers and set up centres to teach the Billings Ovulation Method in many countries as the BOM is acceptable to many cultures.
Dr John was appointed a member of the Order of Australia in 1991. In recognition of their work for the family, Doctors John and Evelyn Billings were awarded the titles of Knight and Dame Commander Con Placca of the Order of St Gregory the Great in 2003. They also received Honorary Doctorates from various international universities, among them the University of Tor Vergata in Rome in 2005.
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