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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.

David Mann Wins UNSW Speed Thesis Competition 2009 PDF
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Australian News
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
An Associate Lecturer and PhD student in the School of Optometry and Vision Science has won the inaugural UNSW Speed Thesis Competition 2009. The competition gave research student's the chance to demonstrate their outstanding communication skills by explaining what their research is about, and why it is important, to a non-expert audience in under 3 minutes. First prize was $3,000. David Mann won the competition on 9 October 2009 with his presentation based on his PhD thesis, entitled 'Vision for Interceptive Actions in Sport'.
New Optometrical Benefits Schedule PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 23 October 2009

The Medicare benefits for optometric services will rise from 1 November 2009.

The new schedule can be found at

Specsavers opens its 200th store in Australia PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 22 October 2009

It has taken Specsavers just 18 months to open 200 stores in Australia. Co-founders Dame Mary Perkins and Doug Perkins officially opened the company’s 200th Australasian store together in Hurtsville, New South Wales.

The company’s first store in Australia was opened in Melbourne and Mr Perkins now spends most of his time overseeing the new store openings on this side of the world.

This year's NSW Telstra Business Women's Award goes to Luxottica's Rhonda Brighton PDF
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Australian News
Monday, 19 October 2009

An overwhelmed Rhonda Brighton of Luxottica, accepted the 2009 Telstra NSW Business Woman of the Year award at the awards ceremony at The Westin in Sydney held last Thursday.

As the winner of the Hudson Private and Corporate Sector Award, Brighton was in contention to with the overall Telstra NSW Business Woman of The Year Award and graciously accepted the award, joking that her mum had no idea what she did but was going to be very proud nonetheless.

As the senior vice president of HR and Communication, Asia Pacific and Africa for Luxottica, Brighton develops and delivers the strategies which influence the working environment of 8,500 of the company’s regional employees.

Now in its 15th year, the Telstra Business Women’s Award program recognises and nurtures the vital role of women in business. According to Holly Kramer, group managing director, Telstra product management and Telstra Business Women’s Award ambassador, the participants in the program share the important qualities of resilience, adaptability and dedication.

National Identities Plead for Indigenous Australians to ‘Get your Eyes Checked’ PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 16 October 2009

‘Get your eyes checked’ and ‘Look after your eyes’ are the messages Indigenous Australians are hearing from rugby great, Mark Ella AM and Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Service Delivery, the Hon. Warren Snowdon, MP. The two came together to launch I See for Culture, an education resource designed to help teach eye health and reduce avoidable blindness and vision impairment in Indigenous communities.

The Minister applauded the initiative and encouraged communities to use the resource to address the need for eye care education with their patients. Joining them, Professor Brien Holden, Chief Executive Officer of ICEE, said that Indigenous Australians are in desperate need of eye care to halt the growing numbers who are needlessly blind or vision impaired.

According to the results from the National Indigenous Eye Health Survey 1, said Holden, half of all vision loss in Indigenous adults and children is due to uncorrected refractive error, or the need for a pair of glasses to see clearly. The report said 39% of Indigenous adults cannot see normal print.

Additional the survey results highlighted that blindness rates in Indigenous adults (1.9%) are 6.2 times the rate in mainstream. “These numbers will only increase in Indigenous communities if we do not act now to provide eye care access, in a culturally appropriate manner, to all communities,” Holden added.

The I See for Culture eye health education resource kit was recently developed by ICEE in collaboration with other eye care and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations via funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (Eye Health Demonstration Grant).

The kits are designed specifically for use in rural and remote Indigenous communities, to allow health workers to explain and discuss eye health and vision conditions with their Indigenous patients. The kits include two posters for display at health centres featuring former Wallaby Captain Mark Ella. Ella, the first Indigenous person to captain a national side, knows what its like not to have good vision.

Also at the launch in the lead up to World Sight Day was Chief Executive Officer of Vision 2020 Australia, the peak body for eye health and vision care in Australia, Ms Jennifer Gersbeck. She noted that around 500,000 Australians are affected by vision impairment or blindness which is expected to double over the next 20 years unless people are pro-active about saving their sight. She urged all Australians over 40 to get their eyes checked. ICEE office in Darwin provides regular optometry clinics at Danila Dilba, outreach optometry clinics across the NT and training workshops in eye health for Aboriginal Health Workers.

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