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Prevention a priority for sector this World Sight Day

Some 75 per cent of blindness and vision loss is preventable or treatable – that’s the key message Vision 2020 Australia is urging the sector to get behind for World Sight Day this year.

With just two months to go until the internationally celebrated day on Thursday 11 October, CEO of Vision 2020 Australia, Jennifer Gersbeck, hopes the eye health and vision care sector will rally to raise awareness of this important message.

“World Sight Day is an important date on the calendar to encourage Australians to think about eye health and this year the focus will be on prevention and encouraging people to get their eyes tested,” Ms Gersbeck said.

“There are a range of activities being developed to encourage the sector to get involved and spread the word,” she said.

“We are excited about the opportunity World Sight Day offers to focus  advocacy efforts and the potential it provides, not only for the sector to unite, but also to encourage all Australians to look after their eyes,” Ms Gersbeck said.

Vision 2020 Australia has developed an inaugural World Sight Day hub as an information portal for Vision 2020 Australia members, the media and politicians.

The hub which can be found at www.worldsightday.org.au hosts a range of fact sheets and media materials which are available for download and can be used to inform activities around World Sight Day.

The hub also features an events section designed to promote key events being run by Vision 2020 Australia members in the lead up to the day.

“We are excited to launch the website as a tool for members to come together to raise awareness about blindness and vision loss,” she said.

On World Sight Day, Vision 2020 Australia will host a special breakfast to celebrate its chair, the Hon Dr Barry Jones’ birthday and his contribution to the eye health and vision care sector.

“The breakfast will be an important advocacy event to deliver World Sight Day messages to parliamentarians and key decision makers,” Ms Gersbeck said.

This year, politicians across the country have come onboard to help spread the word about prevention. Senators Richard Di Natale, John Faulkner, Mitch Fifield, Rachel Siewert, Ursula Stephens and members of parliament Dr Andrew Laming, Amanda Rishworth and Teresa Gambaro have agreed to lend their support as World Sight Day Champions. As part of their role, the champions will be promoting the 75% message through their own websites, participating in media opportunities and raising awareness through social media channels.

Global Ambassador and Paralympian Jess Gallagher will also be speaking to staff at AusAID on Wednesday 10 October, sharing her experiences at the London Paralympics and her work with Vision 2020 Australia’s Global Consortium. 

For more information about World Sight Day visit www.worldsightday.org.au

ENDS

For further information contact:

Louise Rudzki

Vision 2020 Australia

Media and PR Adviser

T 03 9656 2020 or M 0414 784 359

E lrudzki@vision2020australia.org.au

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