Joondalup Health Campus
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‘ORIGINS’ project to benefit from $26 million funding boost announced by the Prime Minister and the Paul Ramsay Foundation

Oct 25, 2017

The Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, has announced that his Government is joining forces with Telethon and the Paul Ramsay Foundation to collectively donate a whopping $26 million towards the ORIGINS project.

The ORIGINS Project is being run collaboratively between Joondalup Health Campus (JHC) and the Telethon Kids Institute (TKI).

The ORIGINS Project is one of the most comprehensive studies ever undertaken into how a child’s early environment, including before birth, influences the risk of a broad range of chronic child health problems, including allergies, asthma, autism, diabetes and obesity – and what we might do to reduce this risk.

The funding announcement was initially made during the Telethon weekend (21 & 22 October) by the Ramsay Health Care Board Chairman and Director of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Michael Siddle, and Joondalup Health Campus Chief Executive Officer, Kempton Cowan.

As part of the funding arrangement, the Paul Ramsay Foundation will donate $13 million, which will be matched by the Federal Government, who will donate the funds through Telethon.

The ORIGINS project will follow a birth cohort of 10,000 individuals, beginning from pregnancy until the child is five years old.

It will collect a broad range of data and provide participating parents and children with health check-ups and follow up support when a risk factor is identified, to help prevent or minimise future health issues.

JHC Head of Paediatrics and ORIGINS Co-Director Professor Desiree Silva said the philanthropic investment was significant.

“This invaluable contribution will enable a unique large scale investigation into how pregnancy and early life exposure can influence a child’s growth, development and life-long health,” Professor Silva said.

“What’s exciting about ORIGINS is the breadth and depth of the study. It lets us explore the early causality of Australia’s growing and debilitating chronic illnesses, and identify and implement interventions”.

The project is co-directed by Professor Susan Prescott at the Telethon Kids Institute, who emphasised that ORIGINS will address many of the most pressing health issues of our time.

“One of its unique virtues is the ability to translate the findings by rapidly integrating them into both clinical practice and community activities. This hasn't been the case in other longitudinal birth studies,” Professor Prescott said.

If you are interested in participating in ORIGINS, please call (08) 9408 3118 or email: originsproject@telethonkids.org.au


Prime Minister, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP with Executive Chairman of Seven Group Holdings Limited, Kerry Stokes AC

ORIGINS participants Julian and Amelia van der Watt