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Spotlight on Branavie (Bran) Ranjithakumaran

January 2021

Meet Bran, Acting GenV Area Manager at Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s at Sunshine Hospital (and soon-to-be Area Manager at Box Hill Hospital in early 2021).

I’m a nutritionist and dietitian by backgroundand initially wanted to work as a hospital-based children’s dietitian. After completing my hospital placements I realised that sort of work was not for me and I started looking for work that was a little more abstract for my qualifications and skillset. I ended up joining the Health Services Research Unit at MCRI for around 18 months before moving across to the GenV project. 

initially started with GenV as a recruiter  one of the lovely people who approach families after their newborn arrives to ask if they want to be part of GenV. Throughout the course of 2020 (and all the surprises it brought!) I was lucky enough to be asked to be the Acting Area Manager for our pilot site, Joan Kirner Women’s and Childrens at Sunshine Hospital. It has definitely been a journey! 

“My biggest focus day-to-day is supporting our amazing GenV team at the hospitalThe role for the recruiters is pretty solo so I want to make sure we remember we’re part of a bigger team and amazing initiative. I want to make sure that everyone feels supported, heard, and advocated for whilst we’re in the early stages of such a huge project. It’s important to have breaks together, problem solve together, and celebrate our big wins together too!  

I see GenV as a pioneering research project; nothing like it has been achieved in Australia before. It has the potential to speed up research processes which can give kids – who become adults – the best chance at living their best lives and addressing issues that are relevant to them in a timely manner 

The one feature of GenV that I am constantly in awe of is that it is quite literally open to every single person who gives birth in Victoria. Idoesn’t matter what your cultural background isyour ability to speak English, where you live, or any other characteristic – anyone can join GenV. Being on the maternity ward and seeing how grateful families are to be asked to join makes my heart swell.  

As a person from a diverse backgroundand as a researcher and a health professional, I can see what an impact having people from all cultural backgrounds included in research can have. It can help better shape treatment, guidelines, and foster cultural understanding within the community. Being a part of GenV is also allowing me to learn so much more about the world and the people in it… without having to travel! 

Overall, I just feel incredibly lucky that in addition to my managerial duties, I get to spend my time talking to families during one of the most exciting times of their lives. The things I have learned from people in a short amount of time, the conversations I’ve had, and the babies I’ve been able to meet in the first 24 hours of their lives is an incredible honour, privilege, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A big thank you to all the families I have met – I look forward to meeting many more throughout 2021!”