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Barwon Health / Maternity Services

(03) 4215 2060

Generation Victoria (GenV)

Barwon Health is proud to support GenV, a new research project led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute that aims to help improve long-term health and wellbeing for children and parents.

When you have your baby at Barwon Health, you will be approached by a staff member from Murdoch Children’s Research Institute to be part of a research project called Gen V.

What is GenV?

GenV is a sophisticated research project with a simple goal: a better approach to child and adult health and wellbeing in Victoria.

GenV will launch at Barwon Health from mid-2021 and over two years, every family having a baby at Geelong University Hospital – and at birthing hospitals across the state - will be offered the chance to participate, no matter their background or location. 

GenV is asking parents of newborns across the whole of Victoria to be a part of GenV by safely and securely sharing information about themselves and the health and development of their newborn.

For the first time ever, this will give us a complete picture of the health and wellbeing of a whole generation, allowing us to unlock discoveries that improve the lives of all families.

GenV is one of the world’s largest-ever birth and parent cohort studies. It will follow babies and their parents to help solve problems like asthma, food allergies, obesity and mental illness. By 2035, GenV’s vision is to have helped create a happier and healthier future for many children and parents. Find out more about GenV.


Why join GenV?

By taking part in GenV, you will help researchers find better ways to treat, predict and prevent health problems. You can help create a better future for all families – now and tomorrow.

GenV will involve information that gives a more complete picture of community health and wellbeing. This includes how children develop, how people age, and how health changes across generations.

What does GenV involve?

Taking part is simple. A GenV team member visits or contacts you soon after your baby is born, usually in the hospital. We ask your consent for your baby to take part, and one or more parents or guardians.

Information about you and your baby is collected on the spot. If you agree, we collect a saliva swab from inside the cheek of you and your baby’s cheeks, to look more closely at how genetics and biology affect health and wellbeing.

As your child grows, GenV stays in touch and collects brief information about you and your child. Sometimes, services may help GenV with assessments like an extra vision test. We also add information and samples that services already collect. So GenV takes very little of your time.

Who is conducting GenV?

GenV is led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, is supported by the Royal Children’s Hospital and University of Melbourne, and is funded by the Paul Ramsay Foundation (PRF), the Victorian Government and the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation.  

It is supported by:

  • Your birthing and local children’s hospitals, including Barwon Health
  • Victorian universities and research institutes
  • Leading experts in Victoria, Australia and around the world
  • Local families and communities, who have helped to design GenV

How GenV could make a difference: an example

Sarah gives birth to her daughter, Kate, at a local hospital. A couple of days later she and her partner are approached by a GenV team member and agree to take part. At age four, Kate becomes ill. She is often tired, and not eating or sleeping properly. Her parents take Kate to many different specialists. After months of searching for an answer, Kate was diagnosed with a complex food allergy that needs a special diet.

Researchers using GenV data had been looking at links between food allergies and a broad range of health data. With the complete picture of child health provided by GenV, they find a number of children have a pattern of symptoms like Kate’s.

The researchers shared this knowledge with doctors and other scientists. GenV’s data and samples helped in the discovery of a more precise test for this allergy. With the new test, other families were saved the experience of having a sick child with no diagnosis quickly available.

Last Modified: Tuesday, 04 May 2021