Rachael Wilkinson is part of our Gen2 cohort, a member of the Raine Study Community Advisory Committee and also a participant representative on our Scientific Review Committee. She also recently moved interstate, but still joins our meetings via Skype or Zoom and we really appreciate her commitment to the Raine Study!
We had a quick chat with Rachael recently to ask her about her experience with the Raine Study throughout her whole life.
The Raine Study has been part of your life, what does it mean to you? Why do you keep participating?
The Raine Study is very important to me because it is something I have always been really proud of. Our information has been a valuable contribution to society because it has been used to progress health research for almost three decades now! I think that’s pretty amazing. For this reason I will participate in the Raine Study for the rest of my life.
What has your experience with the Raine Study been over the years? How has perhaps your perception of what you have been involved in changed from when you were a child, teenager and now adult?
I am very lucky in the sense that my Mum made a point of always stressing to me how important the Raine Study was for the good of the world and it was something I was able to grasp from a young age. When I was very small, I found the sessions with all the strange and exciting people and tests to be fun – even though at that time I didn’t quite understand what it was all about. As I got older the follow-ups became more of a hassle, but I was able to understand intellectually how valuable our contributions were. I still feel this way as an adult. I also now consider the extra health screening we get access to, as participants, to be a valuable privilege.
Why do you see the Raine Study as important?
I think the Raine Study is important because our data has been collected with such integrity for so long. In addition to the current data we can provide, we will also act as a time capsule for our generation. Young people are the future, studying us is important.
What has been your most memorable Raine Study moment over the years?
The sleep study, for sure. It felt very strange!
Why did you choose to be part of the Community Advisory Committee?
I chose to be part of the Committee because I really believe in the value of the Raine Study and want to see it last my lifetime, perhaps even beyond. As I am no longer based in WA, I think it is also an opportunity to represent participants who are interstate and overseas but still want to participate in this fascinating and important study.