A mother and father holding their baby

Newborn recruitment has closed for a world-first study that is tracking the health of an entire generation. However eligible parents and carers in Victoria can still enrol their children at any age.

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI)’s Generation Victoria (GenV) will follow the health and well-being of Victorians from birth to old age, making it one of the largest-ever birth and parent cohort studies.

More than 115,000 participants have so far signed up for the study, which recruited 45,000 babies and 70,000 parents/guardians at every birthing hospital in Victoria over the past two years.

GenV Scientific Director Professor Melissa Wake said study recruitment had been extremely successful despite being in the midst of a pandemic.

 Western Health CEO Russell Harrison, Western Health Associate Professor Joanne Said, Gen V Scientific Director Melissa Wake and Medical Research Minister Ben Carroll

GenV Scientific Director Professor Melissa Wake (second from right) announces the closing of the birth window for the GenV study alongside Western Health CEO Russell Harrison, Western Health Associate Professor Joanne Said and Medical Research Minister Ben Carroll.

“Capturing a health snapshot of a generation of Victorians is one of the main aims of GenV and we are thrilled to have recruited such a large sample size to do so,” she said. And the fact that we were in a pandemic makes it even more special. GenV is now unique worldwide in being able to shed light on its long-term effects.”

“This study will provide a statewide picture of health and well-being while working to reduce the burden of modern epidemics that disproportionately affect children like depression, obesity and allergies.”

Professor Wake said, while newborn recruitment had ended, all children living in Victoria and born between October 4, 2021 and October 3, 2023 could join at any time.

“The door is always open to anyone whose child was born within that two-year birth window, including those who migrate to Victoria,” she said. Joining is easy, quick and online. We hope GenV will continue to grow over time.”

GenV asked families involved to share information about themselves and the health and development of their newborn, via surveys and the collection of samples. The next phase of the study will see researchers build a data repository and create data linkage to be used in trials.

Medical Research Minister Ben Carroll speaks to Wesley and Madelaine

Wesley and Madelaine Hendricks with baby Macy speaking to MP Ben Carroll.

Professor Wake also acknowledged the scale, representativeness and inclusivity of GenV.

“Representing Victoria’s diversity is extremely important and I’m proud to say that GenV includes more than 25,000 participants from regional Victoria, over 9,000 participants from the least advantaged neighbourhoods, 7,400 families who speak a language other than English at home and over 700 parents who identify as First Nations,” she said.

“The strength of GenV is not just observing but designing interventions to improve people’s lives now and in the future. This is for every child in Victoria and their parents, the study will achieve amazing things.”

GenV is led from MCRI and is funded by the Paul Ramsay Foundation, the Victorian Government and The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation.

If your child was born in Victoria between October, 4, 2021 and October, 3, 2023, and you’d like to include them visit GenV.

Wesley, Madelaine and Macy

Madelaine, Wesley and Macy Hendricks at the announcement with MP Ben Carroll.