Genomic medicine for every Victorian who needs it.

Consumer and community perspectives are essential to ensure that genomic medicine is safe, equitable and accessible.

Here is how Melbourne Genomics engages with community groups and healthcare consumers.

Community Advisory Group (CAG)

Our award-winning Community Advisory Group was established just weeks after Melbourne Genomics was formed in 2013. It was one of the world’s first community groups to advise on the clinical implementation of genomics.

The CAG advises on community engagement for each of our projects: when it is needed, how to approach it, and whose voices must be heard.

Its members are champions of consumer rights in healthcare. They contribute to multiple boards, advisory bodies, and support groups for people living with genetic conditions.

Their collective contribution has:

  • championed the role of consumer experience in genomic medicine
  • influenced research on the perspectives of people undergoing genomic sequencing
  • presented a workshop for community advocates working in healthcare
  • informed the development of community-facing materials
  • contributed to the development of genomic information systems
  • shaped policies, procedures and planning
  • influenced how our work is evaluated

The CAG won the Outstanding Achievement: Better Care Victoria Innovation Award in the 2017 Minister for Health Volunteer Awards. A study on their impact was published in Research Engagement and Involvement in 2021.

CAG members in 2017: Louisa Di Pietro, Margaret Sahhar, Heather Renton, Liat Watson, Janney Wale and Jane Bell.

Meet the knowledgeable, passionate people in our Community Advisory Group.

Community Engagement Framework

Co-designed with the CAG, this framework describes how and why we plan, implement and evaluate community engagement.

Consumer panels

On advice from the CAG, we invited people with lived experience to inform the patient-facing aspects of our clinical projects. The following people meet periodically to review patient materials and provide advice to the project teams.

Cancer Statewide project

  • Bonney Corbin
  • Jo Cockwill
  • Victoria Sharp

Paediatrics Statewide project

  • Heather Renton
  • Hollie Feller

Dementia Clinical Change project

  • Paul Flavel
  • Isabelle Burke
  • Felicity Peel

Transplant Clinical Change project

  • Lorien Kaye
  • Andrew Chapman
  • Albert Fenech
  • Susan Wilson
  • Chris D 
  • Nada F

Some consumers have opted not to be identified. We respect their privacy and are grateful for their many contributions.

Patient stories

Meet people whose lives have been changed by genomics and whose stories inspire clinicians across the Alliance.


We could talk genomics all day, but we’ll send you only what’s useful and interesting.

Melbourne Genomics acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, on whose lands we work, and all First Nations peoples across Victoria. We pay respect to Elders past and present. We also acknowledge the First Nations health professionals, researchers and leaders who are shaping the future of genomic medicine.

© 2014–2024 Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance