Peter Harris and Ruby Janssen (Image: Supplied)

The couple behind a popular anonymous online campaign against Victoria’s proposed pandemic law is the bankrupted former chairman of the Family First party and his anti-vaccine property-mogul partner who both spent the year touring Australia doing paid workshops about how to stop vaccine mandates.

The pair, Ruby Janssen and Peter Harris, are also behind a network of other anonymous online campaigns — including a call for a vote of no confidence in Dan Andrews and for the TGA to allow a disproven COVID-19 drug to be used — that have been promoted by Australian politicians and conspiracy influencers alike.

Janssen — whose real name is Rebecca Jane Janssen — and Harris have successfully harnessed digital tools to create a distinct political movement and mobilise opposition. Their campaign also shows how pandemic laws, such as those the Andrews government is trying to push through the state’s upper house, have become a Trojan horse for those with more extreme views. is a slickly designed website that claims to have been used by nearly 10,000 people to email their local Victorian MP not to pass what is deemed the “dangerous and undemocratic” Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021

A screenshot of (Image: Supplied)

At Melbourne’s protests over the weekend, organiser Joshua Rusic told the crowd to go to the website. It’s been widely shared across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Telegram, as well as by public figures including independent state MP Catherine Cumming and the anti-vaxxer Health Australia Party. 

A network of partisan and anti-COVID restriction websites

The website’s registration records list “REBECCA JANE, JANSSEN” as the registrant. The Australian government’s business register has a number of businesses listed under Janssen’s name, including:

  • “WE ARE THE VOICE” is a sister website to StopTheBill which calls on Australia’s medical goods regulator to approve ivermectin. An associated Telegram channel has more than 800 followers. It’s been promoted by Queensland LNP politicians George Christensen and Matt Canavan 
  • “My Say Matters” is an online platform used to campaign against Victoria’s COVID-19 omnibus bill passed in 2020
  • “Vaccine Choice Australia” is an online anti-vaccine group that touts itself as a “team of passionate people”. The group has more than 13,000 followers on Telegram and 5800 on Instagram spreading misinformation about vaccines.

Public website records list Janssen as the registrant for the first two websites. is registered to “Ruby Janssen”.

Another website Vote No Confidence, which calls for Victorian MPs to roll Daniel Andrews, also shares an email and privacy policy information with My Say Matters. It’s been promoted by Reignite Democracy Australia, an anti-vaccine group which has teamed up with Clive Palmer and Craig Kelly’s United Australia Party. 

Who’s behind these anti-lockdown, anti-vaccine groups? 

The Vaccine Choice Australia’s Lnk.Bio page — a platform that allows users to create a personal, public directory of hyperlinks commonly used to promote various social media accounts — also links to Stand Up Australia, a website for a tour teaching anti-vaccine and sovereign citizen concepts and arguments. It’s also registered to Ruby Janssen.

A screenshot of Vaccine Choice Australia’s Instagram account. (Image: Supplied)

Janssen has been in the real estate industry for two decades. In 2011, Janssen, then 31, boasted in the Herald Sun that she had owned eight properties by the time she was 26. She’s now listed on the websites as founder of Every Body Buildings and Access Living Australia, two companies that offer people ways to invest in residential properties for people with disabilities supported by the National Disability Insurance Scheme. 

A brochure for Access Living Australia promises that the company will be responsible for “sourcing, contracting and property management” tenants for clients, suggesting that staff are in contact with people with disabilities.

She has two children with her husband Peter Harris, who is a fellow employee to Ruby on both disability housing investing companies. Harris is the former party chairman of Family First who bankrolled the party before he declared bankruptcy in 2011 after his property development firm Hardel collapsed in 2009. He’s also been an attendee of the Assemblies of God church in Adelaide, an evangelical Pentecostal church formerly headed up nationally by Brian Houston.

Peter Harris, Ruby Janssen and children at a Sydney anti-vaccine rally. (Image: Supplied)

Janssen and Harris began campaigning against vaccines during the pandemic. Vaccine Choice Australia and My Say Matters were registered in September 2020, and We Are The Voice in November 2021. 

Neither Janssen or Harris responded to requests for comment via phone or email.

In June 2021, Harris said that he and Ruby got active after comments made by the prime minister in August 2020 about making the vaccine as “mandatory as possible”.

“What triggered us was the coercive policy of Scott Morrison,” he said in an interview with misinformation super-spreader Australian National Review’s Jamie McIntyre. 

Social media accounts for Vaccine Choice Australia started propagating medical misinformation around the same time, including downplaying the severity of COVID-19, linking autism to vaccines and baselessly linking deaths to vaccines. 

They also promoted online events with well known anti-vaccine figures such as Dr Judy Whylman, Taylor Winterstein and Serene Taffaha

Janssen stepped it up in March this year, launching the “Stand Up Australia Tour”. According to Eventbrite, the group ran 74 events across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia in eight months. Costing between $16 and $22 a ticket to attend, the workshop promises to teach people in three hours about the impact of vaccines and how they can “bring change collectively”. 

A brochure for the Stand Up Tour Australia. (Image: Supplied)

Footage of the events shared on the group’s Instagram page shows events with dozens of people attending, often with Harris or Janssen speaking. 

What’s their goal? 

At a Millions March Against Mandatory Vaccinations protest in Adelaide, Janssen laid out her plans in a speech recorded and uploaded to the Vaccine Choice BitChute page. 

“This is a political strategy and a political campaign, and we’ll communicate our process with our community as we approach election time,” she said

A screenshot of an Instagram story taken during the Stand Up Australia seminar. (Image: Supplied)

All of the organisations focus on influencing politicians and their local communities. Stop The Bill, WE ARE THE VOICE and My Say Matters all facilitate sending emails to a user’s MP — and, in the process, harvesting their own email for future plans. If the website’s public counters are correct, they’ve collected up to 60,000 email addresses of politically engaged individuals. 

Another part of it is direct electoral success. Harris founded a new party called Australia’s Representatives in April, around the time the couple started touring Australia. Other key figures in the party are Sanjeev Sabhlok, a Victorian public servant who resigned in opposition to the state’s lockdowns, and Dr Robert Brennan. The party has since been subsumed into the Australian Federal Party, an umbrella party that’s bringing together fringe independent and minor parties to meet minimum member requirements for registration.

Janssen and Harris have links to other similar groups. The pair have appeared alongside Morgan C Jonas, an anti-vaccine activist who is engaged to Reignite Democracy Australia’s Monica Smit, and hosted interviews with Meryl Dorey, head of Australia’s longest running anti-vaccine organisation.

Videos produced for the WE ARE THE VOICE campaign feature an unnamed young woman promoting ivermectin, a disproven COVID-19 treatment. An interview with another Victorian anti-vaccine campaigner lists her name as Rachel Rusic. She’s a sibling of protest organiser Joshua Rusic who promoted Stop The Bill at the rally. She’s also listed as an employee of the Samuel Griffith Society, a Liberal-aligned think tank. 

Rachel Rusic appears in a video for ivermectin-promoting online group WE ARE THE VOICE. (Image: Supplied)

On top of their paid events, the pair seeks donations across all of their ventures. They also sell merchandise for Vaccine Choice Australia and Stand Up Australia, and access to pre-recorded seminars.

What separates Janssen and Harris from some other anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown groups is their organisation: building big email lists, growing a social media following and touring the country — all while making money along the way. Despite their issues of concern, their theory and method of political change is conventional. And, as Janssen points out during one of her recorded speeches at a protest, they’re gunning for real influence. 

“I’m not here to talk about problems, I’m here to talk about solutions,” she said.