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GenV signs a change in medical research

GenV continues to build on its core principle of inclusivity, with its first participant invited to take part using Auslan (Australian sign language) at Joan Kirner Women’s & Children’s at Sunshine Hospital recently. 

 GenV aims to invite the parents of every baby born in Victoria over a two-year period to be a part of GenV, no matter what language they speak. GenV field staff at its initial site at Joan Kirner Women’s & Children’s at Sunshine Hospital have already been inviting families to take part in GenV in five languages other than English for some months with great success, but this was the first opportunity they have had to approach a participant using Auslan. 

 Auslan is the sign language of the Australian deaf community and was developed in Australia by people who are deaf. GenV field team member Maree Pigdon has been communicating using Auslan since she was very young.  

“I grew up communicating in Auslan with my grandparents who were deaf, and I was inspired by them to formally learn the language and complete a diploma in Auslan and Interpreting.  

“I worked for Expression Australia (formerly Victorian Deaf Society) for nine years before deciding to study as a midwife and I have carried that experience with me into my midwifery career and in my role with GenV.  

I am passionate about providing inclusive, family-centred care and ensuring that families are informed and able to engage with services in an equitable way.”

I am passionate about providing inclusive, family-centred care and ensuring that families are informed and able to engage with services in an equitable way. Having access to information in your preferred language is such an important factor when it comes to making informed decisions. I’m so proud to be part of such an inclusive project,” she said. 

GenV Deputy Director Policy and Equity, Professor Sharon Goldfeld, reiterated that GenV has developed an extensive broader program of meaningful community engagement and inclusivity to ensure Gen V includes the children and families that can help address inequities in population health outcomes. 

“It’s wonderful that GenV is starting to communicate with so many different people in the community in their language. 

“GenV can only achieve its aims of reducing the burden of common health problems such as asthma, food allergies, obesity and mental illness by meaningfully inviting everyone – all newborn babies born in Victoria and their parents – to take part in GenV,” she concluded.