Illawarra Born is a scientific research study of child and family development.

The study provides an opportunity for Illawarra families to work with academic and clinical researchers to better understand and better respond to the environmental, lifestyle and genetic factors influencing wellbeing and health.

Illawarra Born is a multi-disciplinary collaborative study involving University of Wollongong and Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District researchers.

Research team

The research team consists of psychologists, doctors, obstetricians, paediatricians, epidemiologists, geneticists and social scientists. The current investigators represent a mix of highly experienced and promising early career researchers, as well as PhD candidates.

The Illawarra Born Scientific Committee is made up of six highly experienced and enthusiastic clinicians and academics:

  • Senior Professor Brin Grenyer (committee chair and Scientific Director) is a practicing clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Wollongong.
  • Professor Alison Jones is the Executive Dean, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health at UOW and also works clinically in general medicine and toxicology.
  • Associate Professor Chris Georgiou, an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Wollongong Hospital and an academic with the Graduate School of Medicine, UOW.
  • Associate Professor Peter Caputi is with the School of Psychology at UOW and has received international recognition for his work in measurement issues in applied and clinical psychology.
  • Professor Vicki Flood is the Professor for Allied Health at the University of Sydney.
  • Professor Ian Wright is a practicing paediatrician and chair of Paediatrics and Child Health Research, a joint appointment between the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and the University.

Team members

Dr Michelle Townsend is the research coordinator of the Illawarra Born study. Michelle has 20 years’ experience in the child welfare field and her research interests are in the areas of child development and well-being.

Ms Judy Pickard is a clinical psychologist undertaking her PhD at the University of Wollongong. Michelle and Judy will be undertaking data collection throughout the feasibility study.

Collaborative investigators include:

  • Dr Moira Williamson, Head of Program, Midwifery, Central Queensland University
  • Dr Theresa Larkin, Lecturer in Medical Sciences (Anatomy), Graduate School of Medicine, UOW
  • Dr Angelique Hoolahan, School of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of New South Wales
  • Associate Professor Karen Charlton, Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Medicine, UOW
  • Ms Judy Pickard PhD Candidate, UOW
  • Senior Professor Rodney Croft, Director Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research, UOW
  • Associate Professor Lindsay Oades, Director of the Australian Institute of Business Wellbeing, Sydney Business School, UOW
  • Dr Natascha Klocker, Lecturer, Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, UOW
  • Dr Megan Kelly, Researcher, Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, UOW