The Hazelwood Health Study is inviting Latrobe Valley and Sale residents to back-to-back community engagement sessions next week.
The engagement evenings will be held at the Morwell Bowling Club on Monday 9 October and at the Bond Street Event Centre in Sale on Tuesday, 10 October.
Former ABC Radio presenter Gerard Callinan will moderate the sessions which will, for the first time, feature roundtable discussions between study researchers, staff and the community. HHS Co-Principal Investigator Professor Judi Walker said the discussions will focus on what the study has achieved and how the recent findings can be used to benefit the community.
“Not only are the sessions an opportunity for us to talk about the world-first study, its latest findings and where we are headed to next, but more importantly a chance for curious residents to sit with researchers and ask us questions about our work,” Professor Walker said.
HHS Community Advisory Committee representative Shane Wilson said the community had many questions about the study and the engagement session was the ideal forum to get answers.
“The Hazelwood Health Study has been working diligently for about three years, but for many community members they do not get to see the hard work that is happening behind the scenes,” Mr Wilson said.
“The researchers and staff at the study want to share their findings and discuss the research underway with the community – this is the perfect opportunity to bring your questions and thoughts to the study’s attention. They are ready and happy to answer your questions.”
Community representative from Sale Ruth Churchill said the findings had major implications for not only the Latrobe Valley, but the Sale community, and urged residents to attend the engagement sessions.
“The study’s results can be used to guide health service providers in both the Sale and Latrobe Valley communities. Sale may have been much less impacted by the mine fire, but it plays a crucial role in this study,” Ms Churchill said.
The Hazelwood Health Study is a long-term independent study led by Monash University in conjunction with its study partners – Federation University Australia, the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research, The University of Adelaide and CSIRO.