Rain, hail or shine - Landmark study rolls on

The largest, longest-running and most significant study of the lives of Indigenous babies born in Australia continued its fourth wave of data collection throughout 2014.

The Aboriginal Birth Cohort (ABC) Study has spent the past three decades checking for the earliest signs of chronic disease such as diabetes, heart, kidney disease, anxiety and depression in 686 Aboriginal people born between 1987-1990.

Now in its 27th year, the research team is currently conducting its fourth wave of data collection with participants now aged 23-27 years.

 “We don’t expect all our participants to come and see us in Darwin; we go to them,” project manager Belinda Davison explains.

“Visiting each of the 40 remote communities and outstations we work with across the Top End involves travelling vast distances, sometimes by light plane but more often bumping along in four-wheel drives in all weather.

“This wave’s success in seeing more than 430 participants has been largely due to the help, advice, assistance and general goodwill of the many communities and participants involved.”