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ARC grants to help fight against bacterial infection PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Two Discovery Grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC) will help Sydney researchers develop novel new ways of protecting against dangerous bacterial infection. The ARC will provide funding of $300 000 to assist research at the University of New South Wales investigating the possibility of disrupting chemical communication in bacteria as a new way to fight infection. Research at Macquarie University seeking to develop new and natural methods to protect humans and animals against pathogens – before they invade the body – will receive $320 000.

According to the researchers, serious health problems caused by pathogenic microorganisms are in sharp increase due to an aging population, escalating numbers of immunocompromised people and the increased resistance of microorganisms to currently available antibiotics. Professor Mark Willcox, Chief Scientific Officer at the Institute for Eye Research, and a member of both project teams, says that due to the increased application of antibiotics for disease control, many pathogenic bacteria have developed resistance to existing treatments.

Vision Australia and Apple present info sesson about accessibility PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 19 November 2009

Apple's flagship Sydney store will host Vision Australia Senior Adaptive Technology Consultant David Woodbridge as he presents an hour-long accessibility information session on Thursday 19 November.

'Accessibility: Out Of The Box' will focus on the intelligent accessibility features that are built into Apple products. Apple has an ongoing commitment to ensuring wide access to technology. In recent years, it has released a number of accessible products that have been very well received by the local and international blindness and low vision community, namely the iPhone 3GS, the iPod Touch and the latest operating system, Snow Leopard.

Anyone with an interest in accessibility, technology or both is very welcome to attend this free presentation that proves everyone can enjoy technology. Accessibility: Out Of The Box runs from 5pm at the Apple Store, 367 George Street, Sydney.

Tragic state of health for Indigenous males in Australia PDF
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Australian News
Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The AMA has released its eighth Indigenous Health Report Card, this year putting the focus on the tragic state of health of Indigenous males - boys, adolescents and men. It was launched in Darwin by Indigenous Health Minister, Warren Snowdon, and AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce.

Indigenous males are much more likely to die earlier from preventable causes than non-Indigenous males and Indigenous females. At every age - from boyhood to manhood - Indigenous males experince higher rates of diseases and conditions that are totally preventable.

There is evidence that the loss of status, self-esteem and sense of purpose experienced by many Indigenous men is intimately bound up with their poor health as both a cause and an effect.

In this Report Card, the AMA sets out some solutions to help improve the health and quality of life of Indigenous males, and gives examples of Good News Stories where innovative programs are providing healthier lifestyles for men and boys alike.

Australian Government gives ground on cataract rebate PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 30 October 2009

The federal government's backed away from its plan to halve the Medicare rebate for cataract surgery but patients are getting only $28 extra for standard procedures.

The decision, announced by Health Minister Nicola Roxon on Thursday, was forced on the government after non-Labor senators disallowed a regulation halving the standard rebate to around $312 from Sunday. The government will make a new regulation providing a rebate of $340 for standard procedures. Patients will be refunded $675 for more complex procedures, up from around $638. The new rebates are safe until November 16, when the Senate next has the opportunity to disallow the latest regulation.

Fred Hollows Foundation receives the Gold Star Award PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Fred Hollows Foundation has received the Gold Star Award for non-profit video advertising at the International Fundraising Congress in The Netherlands. The 90 second commercial features footage of the late Professor Fred Hollows and stories of people from around the world who have had their sight restored.

The Fred Hollows Foundation’s award winning advertisement has been showing on Australian television since June this year. It has received widespread coverage thanks to support from the Australian media and The Foundation’s agency, Adpartners. The other finalists for best non profit video advertisement included Action Aid, RSPCA and Operation Smile.

Vision Australia partnership secures national health grant PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Vision Australia, in partnership with the Audiological Society of Australia and researchers from the University of Sydney (Centre for Vision Research and Menzies Centre for Health Policy) have been successful in securing funding in the first nationwide National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership for Better Health Grants.

These grants were designed to help researchers work directly with health organisations so that research results can be better tailored to real world situations. Partners bring both financial support and clinical expertise to the research.

The project, entitled 'Developing service policies for Australians with dual sensory impairment: An integrated collaborative pilot project', is led by Professor Stephen Leeder along with Associate Professor Jie Jin Wang, Professor Paul Mitchell, Dr Catherine MacMahon and Jane Ellis.

This is one of only six University of Sydney projects and 27 nationwide projects to receive funding under the new scheme. The project has been awarded $318,651 over 3 years to pilot an integrated, collaborative service model for assessment and rehabilitation of dual sensory impairment (DSI) in older people.

Separate vision and hearing rehabilitation systems currently operate in Australia, and these often fail to service and support older people with DSI in a coherent and collaborative manner.

In the project, clients who attend selected NSW Vision Australia clinics will be screened for hearing loss to facilitate timely referral to hearing service providers and ensure clients receive the rehabilitation they require to optimise their sensory function and independence.

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