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New 'lower' standards for sunnies soon? PDF
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Australian News
Monday, 02 March 2009
Australia is battling against an international push that would, it is claimed, lower standards for sunglasses that can be worn by motorists.

If the proposals are adopted, warning labels that deem many sunglasses with deep red, yellow and brown tints as unsuitable for driving, would have to be dropped.

Stephen Dain, a University of NSW professor and former head of the School of Optometry and Vision Science, has vowed to resist the changes.

Under Australian standards, sunglasses that block more than 30 per cent of blue light from reaching the eye must be labelled as unsuitable for driving.

The reason, Professor Dain said, was that green traffic signals are green-blue - because blue is easier for "colour-deficient" motorists to recognise.
 
ICEE Sunnies for Sight Day PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 27 February 2009
When Australian kids slip on their sunnies on ICEE Sunnies for Sight Day today - little will they know that they will be helping people in communities from Malawi to Murrin Bridge.

In 2009, thanks partly to their support over six years, ICEE will open a School of Optometry in Mozambique, three locally staffed Vision Centres in Sri Lanka, a School of Optometry in Malawi, a Vision Centre in Papua New Guinea a Vision Centre in Vietnam and a centre in Cambodia, while expanding an Australian Aboriginal Vision programme that stretches from New South Wales to the Northern Territory.

The driving force behind the initiative to alleviate the burden of uncorrected vision impairment is Professor Brien Holden. For 30 years he has addressed vision care needs and spearheads an organisation that is making a real, measureable impact on the accessibility of eye care in world.

As ICEE Chief Executive Office, Professor Brien Holden has created the global army required to tackle this momentous public health issue.

Recently, ICEE research has revealed that access to glasses for correction of presbyopia, the inability to see clearly at near, is not equal across the world, determining that 94% of people with significant near vision disability live in less or least developed counties.

It is well known that health care and education are crucial in lifting people and communities out of poverty. The reality is people living with uncorrected vision impairment are more likely to be excluded from basic education, struggle to provide for their families and have few employment opportunities.

An ICEE Vision Centre is part of the solution to this momentous public health issue. A single Vision Centre provides affordable glasses and eye care on a permanent ongoing basis in areas where no form of eye care services exists, nor is likely to in the foreseeable future. Individually, these centres can potentially provide eye care to a population of approximately 50,000 people.

Locally run ICEE developed Vision Centres will be providing people in all corners of the world with affordable glasses and eye care well into the future.

Join the hundreds of teachers and students today from every corner of Australia who will be slipping on a pair of sunnies, downloading lesson plans, games and activities to learn more about their own vision and how they can help eliminate avoidable blindness.
 
Blindness set to increase PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Vision Australia will start a regular Low Vision Clinic in Leongatha on 26 February 2009. Joelle Champert, Team Manager Vision Australia Warragul, says that Vision Australia is looking forward to establishing closer links with the people in this area.

There are currently around 300,000 Australians who are blind or have low vision and the World Health Organisation estimates this figure is set to double by 2020.

Given this growing incidence, it is vital that the local Leongatha community is aware of Vision Australia and the essential services offered to people who are blind or have low vision.

Phillip from Korumburra was diagnosed with Glaucoma 18 months ago. Phillip's specialist put him immediately in touch with Vision Australia in Warragul.
 
Luxottica ditch claim for compensation from Specsavers PDF
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Australian News
Monday, 23 February 2009
Luxottica allege Janet Grant, a former employee now working for Specsavers, misused more than 100 confidential and copyright documents. It is seeking the return of the documents as well as punitive damages for invasion of proprietary rights.

Mrs Grant switched employers in August last year, following her husband Andrew Grant, who left Luxottica for Specsavers last April. But Luxottica has ditched a claim for compensation from Specsavers, arguing that a court order last September blocking misuse of the documents had limited the harm it suffered.

Luxottica chief executive Chris Beer said his company would be pursuing its intellectual property and commercial rights vigorously. "We welcome competition in the optical marketplace and will continue to compete in a robust fashion, but we draw the line at unethical or unlawful behaviour," he said in a statement.

Specsavers claimed victory in Luxottica's decision to abandon its compensation claim, because it meant the Italian company had bailed out of proving to the court that it had suffered loss. "We always believed that the truth about Luxottica's claim would come out," Specsavers founder Doug Perkins said in a statement.

Luxottica has also launched separate proceedings against another former employee who defected to Specsavers, also relating to what it alleges is the unlawful handling of confidential and proprietary material. Luxottica says it will be seeking substantial commercial damages in that action, which has commenced in the NSW Supreme Court.
 
ODMAFAIR's still #1 PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 20 February 2009
ODMAFAIR has always been the place to meet up and do business, explore new products and market developments and this year's ODMAFAIR will continue to deliver, opening on a positive and dynamic note despite these challenging economic times.

Traditionally attracting close to 130 exhibitors, this showing will be no exception with 25 new exhibitors registering their involvement. Add to that an extension of exhibit categories to include shop fittings, loss prevention, and customer loyalty programmes and ODMAFAIR really takes shape as the one-stop shop for forward thinking practices eager to keep abreast of trends.

ODMAFAIR 2009 will not only meet the needs of buyers on many levels, it will bring many of the finest names in optical products and equipment to the industry with exhibitors scouring the world for the latest looks from Europe and the USA.

With the visitor promotion campaign for the three-day optical extravaganza about to launch, no expense will be spared on ensuring the industry knows what they can expect at this year's Fair.

When last held in 2007, ODMAFAIR attracted some 6,500 visitors with key attending groups being the optometrist and dispensers making up some 27% and 23% of overall visitation respectively. In a recent sampling survey of past visitors to ODMAFAIR an outstanding 72% of respondents indicated they are already planning their 2009 attendance.

Of those, 55% reported the main aim for visiting in 2009 will be 'to locate new / alternative suppliers' and 45% 'to see existing suppliers'. With competition the way it is today, it's all good news for those exhibitors looking to expand their exposure, pick up sales opportunities that may not have otherwise presented themselves and to look after their existing client base.

Long time exhibitor, Diane Quaife from OP's Optical Product's is one exhibitor set to take advantage of all ODMAFAIR 2009 has to offer, advising 'we'll have new releases on show, all our brands and new Shopfitting ideas. We recently had a function at the Australian Open and the word on the street in Victoria is that people are planning their visits and bring their staff, so we're in and looking forward to the Fair and all that it delivers.'

ODMAFAIR continues to stand as a unique resource for independent operators keen to keep on top of the game. As Hilton Kilov of Exceleyes, Sydney expressed; 'ODMAFAIR is an important show for independent operators, and certainly offers value to any practice.

Even here in the city we can't afford to rely on reps and the internet to keep up to date - we need to see all that's new and discover what's out there in the market for our clients. An event of this type is the only way we can do that. That's the real value of ODMAFAIR.

It offers good networking opportunities and we get to make that important contact with suppliers and their teams - not just reps. I've been to every ODMAFAIR and feel it important to attend to keep informed', he added.

Continued interstate visitation is expected to be enjoyed too as pragmatic practice owners shrug off negativity and lock their visits in. Peter Lorenz, owner of the Lorenz Eyewear Services in Shepparton also believes that attending the Fair has a significant impact on his practice, advising that being from central Victoria, their main aim is to see companies that don’t come to see them and take advantage of the 'big picture'.

'Our visit gives us a better idea of what's around. We quite often have a list of new or unusual product people have asked us for and we get around crossing things off it. Being able to deliver for our clients is a key success factor in our business. It’s three days and can be hard work, but its all under the one roof and it’s also great chance to catch up with old friends and network too.'

The Fair is also enjoying steady interest from the New Zealand trade, with the 2009 promotional programme spreading in to other near neighbour regions within Asia and the Pacific for the first time. Other new initiatives being planned and firsts for 2009 are the 'Galleria', the 'Designers Studio' and the ODMA Business Lounge providing a range of facilities for exhibitors and their clients.

Back will be the complimentary visitor childcare facilities unique to ODMAFAIR, free Internet lounge, appointment making programme, on-site entertainment and hospitality and the chance to win one of 5 great holiday packages!

Visitors can also look out for another unique workshop and seminar series presented by host body ODMA. These sessions focusing on key issues will be run over the three days of the Fair. As always, ODMAFAIR will be an event offering a wealth of technology, fashion, personalities, information and services but first and foremost, it is a meeting place for business, for making contacts and for discovering the latest market trends – and that's good for everyone!
 
Australian Government helps eye care in Pakistan PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 19 February 2009
The Fred Hollows Foundation recently welcomed the announcement by the Australian Foreign Minister, The Honourable Stephen Smith, of an additional $5.2million in assistance from the Australian Government towards The Foundation’s work in Pakistan, particularly strengthening activities to address childhood blindness.

Speaking at the announcement, held at the Australian High Commission in Islamabad, Fred Hollows Foundation Country Manager for Pakistan, Dr Rubina Gillani, said the funds would assist The Foundation to help Pakistan tackle childhood blindness, with the overarching goal of eliminating all avoidable blindness in the country by 2020.

The funds have been provided as part of the Australian Government’s Avoidable Blindness Initiative, a program that aims to overcome avoidable blindness in the Asia-Pacific region. The initiative is designed on the back of a plan put together by members of Vision 2020 Australia, including The Fred Hollows Foundation. Vision 2020 Australia is the nation’s peak eye and vision care body.
 
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