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Australian Hand Difference Register

The newly established Australian Hand Difference Register (AHDR) is a database of children born with a hand difference and/or arm difference. The AHDR is managed by researchers at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, which is located at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. To begin with, the AHDR will focus on children attending The Royal Children’s Hospital, before being extended within Victoria, and then Australia-wide.

The AHDR aims to:

  • find out how many children are born with a hand/arm difference in Australia
  • learn more about possible causes and risk factors
  • gain information to help plan services
  • identify possible participants for future research

The AHDR is currently funded by Aussie Hands (The Aussie Hands Foundation Inc.), a support group for people who have a hand difference and their families, and additional funding has been obtained from the Australasian Foundation for Plastic Surgery. Funding organisations do not have access to any individual or confidential information contained on the AHDR. 

The launch of the AHDR

On Thursday 31st May, Dr Richard Barnett, Chair of the Australasian Foundation for Plastic Surgery, officially launched the Australian Hand Difference Register at The Royal Children's Hospital. 

Dr Barnett welcomed everyone and officially launched the AHDR. The audience were also priviliged to hear from Mrs Elizabeth Serpell, founder of The Aussie Hands Foundation; parent Ms Alice Gower and her daughter Miss Cassie Tibbits; and Mr David McCombe, RCH Paediatric Hand Surgeon. 

Clockwise from left: Dr Barnett welcomes the audience; Dr Richard Barnett, Ms Alice Gower, Miss Cassie Tibbits, Mr David McCombe & Mrs Elizabeth Serpell; Cassie Tibbits wows the audience with her story