project info 

what's involved?

You'll be asked to share your family secret story with me in an interview or written exchange, and to reflect on what the impacts have been for you and those around you. Participation usually takes between one and two hours. If you'd like more information about the project, please get in touch with me via the Callout for participants page. I will be doing a couple more interviews, although the data collection phase is nearly complete.

eligibility criteria

You're likely to be eligible if you're aged over 18, fluent in English, and have discovered or otherwise experienced a reproductive family secret at least two years ago that you are prepared to share. This two-year buffer aims to ensure people have had some time to process their experience before deciding to participate in this study.


This project is being supervised by A/Prof Deb Dempsey, a sociologist and researcher, and A/Prof Roger Cook, a clinical and counselling psychologist and researcher, both from Swinburne University.

benefits of participation

It is possible that sharing your personal story of a family secret will be an enjoyable experience for you, and you might gain insight, meaning or clarity into some aspects of your own life. I hope so!

privacy and anonymity

All interviews or written exchanges will be confidential and each participant will be anonymous. All data collected will be de-identified and a number of privacy-preserving techniques will be applied so that no one will be able to read any of my work and identify you, or anyone else in your family. Data (including transcripts, contact details and recordings) will be kept on Swinburne University's secure cloud server. The only person able to access any of this original material will be me.  


Discussing or writing about personal topics can sometimes bring up emotions. You are welcome to share as little or as much as you like about your family story. There are supports in place if anything comes up for you during or after your participation. 

Remember, participation is completely voluntary, and you can pause or terminate your involvement at any time. You can also decide afterwards to withdraw your contribution anytime up until the data has been processed.

about Katy

I'm a qualified social worker, and I have a background in social policy, research coordination and family violence policy and project work. I'm a member of The Australian Sociological Association and part of their Families and Relationships group. I'm also a member of the European Sociological Society, and a member of their Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives research network. I work as a grant writer in the health and medical education field.

My contact email address is katy.barbier.greenland @  


Questions, clarifications and comments are welcomed! Please get in touch via email or through the Callout for participants page with any queries, or to receive a copy of the project information statement and consent form.

I’m always happy to chat about the project so if you’re interested in speaking with me, please feel free to get in touch.

Thank you for your support! 



Image: Clay Banks

Image: Clay Banks