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Microsoft makes huge grant to Vision Australia PDF
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Australian News
Monday, 04 May 2009

Microsoft made it's biggest-ever Australian grant on Wednesday 22 April to Vision Australia.

The software grant, valued at $6.7million, is not only a massive boost for Vision Australia's service provision, but a testament to the importance of the ground-breaking work that Vision Australia is undertaking through its i-access program to digitise information services for people who are blind or have low vision.

The Microsoft technology grant will bring Vision Australia clients enormous benefits. For example the creation of accessible online communities, blog capabilities and discussion forums, will help people who are blind or have low vision to overcome key social issues such as social isolation and loneliness.

In addition, the creation of an online library will enable clients to subscribe to a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as download the content in a format they can access through assisted technology. This significant development has the potential to enable Vision Australia to create the world's largest digitally accessible library.


Appointments at Vision Group Holdings PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 01 May 2009

Vision Group Holdings Limited recently announced the appointment of Mr Geoff Thompson as Chief Financial Officer effective 01 May 2009. On 2 February 2009 the company announced it had appointed Geoff as Interim CFO whilst it conducted a thorough external search. Geoff is a Chartered Accountant with significant public company CFO and healthcare sector experience. He has also been appointed a Company Secretary.

Mr John Osborne continues in the role as a Company Secretary of the company.

The company further announced the election of Mr Craig Stamp to the Board and his appointment as Managing Director effective 1 May 2009. On 28 October 2008 the company announced the appointment of Mr Craig Stamp as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective 8 December 2008.

Specsavers opens new on-campus store at Flinders Uni PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 30 April 2009
Specsavers will this week open its 21st store in Adelaide. The new "on-campus" store at the Flinders University is the first of up to 11 stores to be opened in SA this year as part of the group's plan to build a wider national presence with 53 new stores and target $200million in revenues.

The expansion of the largest privately-owned optical company in the world will create 200 jobs nationally - about 35-40 in South Australia - for optometrists, trained optical dispensers, optical assistants and people with retail experience.

The 100 sq m training centre, described as an academy for learning, opened in January this year and features a large training area, a mini mock store, an office and kitchen area.
Optical Warehouse benefits from Specsavers' advertising blitz PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 24 April 2009
Queensland-owned optical company Optical Warehouse has jumped to fill the niche for discounted eyewear since it was launched in 2004. Mr Wheeler of Optical Warehouse says that opportunity arose after Specsavers, the UK eyewear group and the world's third-largest such company, entered the Australian market this year.

Mr Wheeler says that Specsavers' advertising campaigns - an Australian version of its long-running UK TV ad can be seen in prime-time slots on local stations - have helped raise consumer awareness for more economical products.

Since UK-owned company Specsavers has been buying out many smaller stores and private optometrists, advertising for discount optical products has risen as companies compete to attract cost-conscious consumers.
Bionic vision science and technology among 9 ideas to be supported in Australia 2020 PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 23 April 2009
The Prime Minister released the Government response to the Australia 2020 Summit on 22 April 2009. The release follows the Prime Minister's commitment to consider fully the more than 900 ideas generated by participants to the Australia 2020 Summit. The Response outlines ideas the government will implement, those it will explore further and those which, at this time, will not proceed. The Response includes ten chapters – based on the topics discussed at the Australia 2020 Summit .

The Government is committed to supporting research where Australia is on the leading edge of innovation as a crucial investment in our nation’s future. One such area is research into the bionic eye, which is a critical advancement for millions of vision impaired Australians and promises the development of technologies to translate into other areas of need. Australia is already a world leader in bionics based on our expertise in the bionic ear. The Government is committed to conducting a competitive grants process to fund this important work.

The bionic vision Science and technology idea is among the last 9 remaining ideas to be supported in Australia 2020.
Flinders to introduce first optometry course in SA PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Flinders University is planning to introduce a new course in optometry that could reduce the flow of local students interstate and boost eye health in indigenous communities.

The course will involve five years of study with the first intake of students in 2010.

Flinders course will fill a crucial gap in optometry training with the only qualifications currently offered in Queensland, NSW, and Victoria. The State’s lack of optometry studies – which provide the skills to manage important eye and vision problems – is compounded by the fact that some South Australian students remain and practice interstate after graduation.

While details are yet to be finalised in consultation with optometry practitioners and the national accreditation body, Flinders optometry course will be introduced as a specialisation in Vision Science within a three-year Bachelor of Medical Science, to be followed by a two-year Master of Optometry.

Flinders newly-appointed Executive Dean of Health Sciences, Professor Michael Kidd, said the new course would further enhance the University’s existing strength in teaching medicine and nursing, and would also draw on Flinders advanced eye and vision research capability.

Flinders initiative will help overcome a shortage of optometrists in rural and remote areas of Australia, and offers a potential boost for the treatment of serious eye problems in indigenous communities.

The University has strong teaching and research activities throughout SA and the Northern Territory with its Rural Clinical School, NT Rural Clinical School, Centre for Remote Health, NT Clinical School and Greater Green Triangle University Department of Rural Health.

Professor Kidd said Flinders regional teaching model, which includes long term placements of medical students in local communities, could be applied to the optometry courses.

Flinders is also exploring possible links and partnerships with optical lens and frame manufacturers in SA.
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