Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Currently blindness rates in Indigenous adults are 6 times the rate in mainstream with low vision rates at 2.8 times the rate in mainstream. Major causes of blindness in Indigenous adults are cataract, optic atrophy, refractive error, diabetic eye disease and trachoma. Eye health is closely associated with other aspects of poor health and well being in communities including chronic disease such as diabetes and trachoma due to poor hygiene, falls in older people to name a few.1

two boys playing ball game

Vision 2020 Australia has identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as a key population group.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee was formed in 2005 to provide a forum to facilitate collaboration among member organisations that are committed to eliminating avoidable blindness and reducing the impact of vision loss in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The Committee works closely with the National Aboriginal and Community Controlled Heath Organisation and its affiliates to ensure its strategies are consistent with priorities identified by Aboriginal Medical Service providers in all states and territories.

Through this collaboration, improvements in service delivery and culturally appropriate awareness raising initiatives are identified and advanced.

Highlights  

  • Membership on Visiting Optometrists Scheme National Advisory Committee
  • Membership on Eye Health Teams for Rural Australia National Committee
  • Membership on VACKH (Victorian Aboriginal Committee on Koori Health)
  • Membership on Vision CRC Models for vision care delivery

Vision 2020 Australia acknowledges funding from The Fred Hollows Foundation for its work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advocacy.

1Taylor HR, 2011, The Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision, Indigenous Eye Health Unit, Melbourne School of Population, The University of Melbourne.

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