09:00, 24/7/2014: Brisbane, Australia. 22°C.

We wake up on a sunny morning in Brisbane. Workers are at their desks, others getting coffee. HMRI is busy with other matters:

One study, 300+ collaborating researchers and 60,000 participants.

The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH)

Since ALSWH begun at the University of Newcastle in 1996 with funding from the then named Department of Health and Ageing (now the Department of Health), ALSWH has tirelessly followed the health and well-being of over 40,000 Australian women. Just last year another cohort aged 18-23 was added to these alumni, ALSWH’s total participant population totalling over 60,000 women between the ages of 18-93. ALSWH boasts a rich data source, capturing information across the life-course of each individual and across generations of Australian Women. This well-spring of data is an unprecedented resource sought after by researchers all over the world and of course, here at home. Of almost 300 collaborators who work with ALSWH data, 232 are located around Australia.

Since inception, ALSWH has spread its influence.  From its Novocastrian origins, ALSWH has grown to have a QLD base office at the University of Queensland in Brisbane and collaborators from 30 Universities across Australia, from Sydney to Perth, Rockhampton to Adelaide.

With more collaborators comes a greater wealth and resource of experience and intellect which leads to an increase in innovation, progress and development. It is important that the researchers cover the breadth and length of the country, as participants do; ALSWH researchers take pride in the advocacy they provide participants and are passionate about highlighting issues relevant to, or impacting their health and well-being.

Our morning has started with a national conversation on women’s health!

ALSWH is led by Professor Julie Byles.

**Professor Julie Byles is Director of the Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing; a Priority Research Centre at the University of Newcastle.