Education and Engagement

Team members

Amanda Chau placeholder
Bronwyn Terrill Andrew Gibb Amanda Chau Lauren McKnight

Mission statement

The KCCG Education and Engagement team aim to develop, deliver and evaluate effective educational programs and resources for researchers, health professionals and communities in the rapidly-changing area of genomics.


Education and engagement is necessary to fully realise the benefit of genomic medicine. Important public and professional communities include stakeholders such as funders, clinical specialists, patient advocacy groups, school teachers and media representatives.

Education specialists internationally are developing approaches and competencies to enhance the clinical genomic workforce. In Australia, coalitions such as the Australian Genomics Health Alliance are investing in foundational research to support health professional education such as needs assessments, mapping and evaluation frameworks. Research projects such as the Australian Research Council-funded Genomics: National Insights of Australians (GeNIOz) are providing information about community expectations and understanding. However, little investment has been made to date in Australia in the development or delivery of education programs, activities and resources.

Core activities

Research and Evaluation

Community-focused research to inform genomics education and communication

  • Genomics: National Insights of Australians (GeNIOz): Australian public attitudes to and expectations of personal genomics, funded by the Australian Research Council (2015-2018). This collaboration involves an interdisciplinary research and practical from Sydney, Melbourne, the UK and Canada. This project has surveyed and interviewed members of the Australian public to assess their attitudes and understanding of and current engagement with personal genomics, and look at the ethical implications of this emerging science.
  • Learning with molecular animations: teacher roles in knowledge transformation, funded as a Garvan-Weizmann Centre seed grant (2017-2019). This project is a collaboration between Garvan investigators A/Prof Marcel Dinger, Bronwyn Terrill and Dr Kate Patterson with Professors Ron Blonder and Anat Yarden from the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Genomics education for medical specialists

Genomics education in primary care

  • Assessment of educational needs and existing practice guidelines
  • Adaptation of existing international resources

Genetic counselling in the genomic era

  • Australian stakeholders’ views of the impact of genomics on genetic counselling (research student Kirsten Boggs; supervisors A/Prof Marcel Dinger and Bronwyn Terrill) and extended in a study focused on mapping the evolving landscape and practice of genetic counselling in the genomic era in the Australasian context (research student Tanya Dwarte: supervisors Bronwyn Terrill and A/Prof Marcel Dinger). These research projects have been conducted as part of the University of Sydney Master of Genetic Counselling.

Education and communication

Genomics-focused education: resources, courses and tools

  • Genomics Education Module (GEM) in partnership with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians: an online module to introduce medical specialists to clinical genomics. This resource aims to help specialists appropriately discuss genomics with patients, refer patients to genomic testing and be involved in its broader integration into healthcare. The module is planned for release in 2018.
  • Clinical Genomics Research online module, funded by the NSW Health Office of Health and Medical Research in partnership with the Centre for Genetics Education and Bioplatforms Australia. This resource will be for clinician-researchers who are interested in doing genomics research and will cover diverse topics including bioinformatics, genomic technologies and ethical considerations. It is expected to be complete in early 2018 and will be hosted by the Centre for Genetics Education.

building on the success of past genetic specialist courses such as the Clinical Genomic Data Analysis course, which offered opportunities for hands-on experience with clinical genomic data. Week-long intensive courses were offered in 2015 and 2016 in association with Bioplatforms Australia.

Scientific and stakeholder events

The KCCG Education and Communication team hosts and collaborates on seminar programs, conferences and symposia focused on clinical genomics research and practice, including:

  • Annual Australian Clinical Genomics Symposium: Garvan (KCCG) and the Australian Genomics Health Alliance host the Annual Australian Clinical Genomics Symposium, Illumina and Murdoch Children's Research Institute. The event has now run for two years: 2016 and 2017. Attendees across the two years have included more than 300 geneticists, genomicists, medical specialists, genetic counsellors, project officers, educators and ethicists.
  • Sydney Genomics Collaborative Scientific Symposium: The Sydney Genomics Collaborative is a program funded by NSW Health, with three programs: the Medical Genome Reference Bank, the NSW Genomics Collaborative Grants and the Genomic Cancer Medicine Program. The goals of this Symposium are to: update attendees on the Collaborative’s programs and progress; hear from the research teams who have been awarded NSW Genomics Collaborative grants; and connect members of the research and clinical community to establish or enhance strategic collaborations.
  • KCCG Capabilities Showcases: quarterly evening events for stakeholders showcasing KCCG’s diverse capabilities.

Past and future events are advertised on the KCCG Events page. Email us to subscribe to updates.

Media and communications

Together with the Garvan Research Foundation and KCCG Centre Management, the Education and Communication team maintain the community-focused genomics pages and KCCG's presence on the Garvan Institute website.

The KCCG Education and Communication team is also responsible for clinical genomics-focused media, social media and announcements and the quarterly KCCG News(letter).

You can subscribe to KCCG News, or see our updates on Twitter @kinghorngenomes.


Garvan collaborations

Garvan Insititute Communications team

Garvan-Weizmann Visualisation team
Dr Kate Patterson, Visual science communicator

External Collaborations

Weizmann Institute of Science

Professor Anat Yarden, Department of Science Teaching
Professor Ron Blonder, Department of Science Teaching

University of Sydney Master of Genetic Counselling, Sydney Medical School Northern

A/Prof Kris Barlow Stewart
Dr Jane Fleming
Dr Rosie O’Shea

Genomics: National Insights of Australians (Genioz)

Professor Brenda Wilson, School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa
Professor Sylvia Metcalfe, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute & University of Melbourne
Dr Kathleen Gray, Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre, University of Melbourne
Dr Anna Middleton, Society and Ethics Research, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
A/Prof Ainsley Newson, Sydney Health Ethics, University of Sydney
A/Prof Clara Gaff, Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance
Ms Chriselle Hickerton, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Dr Jacqueline Savard, Sydney Health Ethics, University of Sydney

Australian Genomics Health Alliance Program 4: Genomics Workforce, Education and Ethics

A/Prof Clara Gaff, Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance
Prof Sylvia Metcalfe, Murdoch Children's Research Institute and The University of Melbourne
A/Prof Ainsley Newson, Sydney Health Ethics, The University of Sydney
Ms Kate Dunlop, Centre for Genetics Education, NSW Health
Dr Debra Graves, The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
Dr Belinda McClaren, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
Dr Amy Nisselle, Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Clinical Genomics Research Resource
Katherine Champ, Bioplatforms Australia
Kate Dunlop, Centre for Genetics Education
A/Prof Ainsley Newson, Sydney Health Ethics, University of Sydney
Gayathri Parasivam, Sydney Children’s Hospital Network
Dr Paul Snelling, Department of Renal Medicine, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital