The Observatory

Vision 2020 Australia Global Consortium Pacific Reflections and Planning Workshop

Fiji, November 5-7 2012

The three day Pacific Reflections and Planning Workshop was attended by member agencies of the Vision 2020 Australia Global Consortium working in the Pacific, and their local partners. The workshop provided a platform for participants to share successes and challenges experienced while implementing their programs, explore common and new strategies, and participate in discussions around lessons learned.

Day 1 allowed time for reconnection amongst participants, a review of the program and issues to be addressed, and an opportunity to hear from regional representatives including AusAID, The Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand and Strengthening Specialised Clinical Services in the Pacific (SSCSiP).

Day 2 provided an opportunity for Global Consortium members and their partners to present and to begin reflecting on key themes to guide future planning.

Day 3 focused on identifying opportunities for collaboration and how members and their partners could work more closely with national governments.

The external presentations, discussion of current projects, and review of the outcomes of the 2011 reflections process, allowed workshop participants to identify a number of key themes that can be used to guide planning for the future. These themes, along with some key actions for 2013 and beyond, are currently being synthesised into a Workshop Report for distribution.

Day 4 offered participants the option to join two field trips to Consortium supported eye health and vision care facilities in Suva, the Pacific Eye Institute and the Fiji Society for the Blind. These visits were a great opportunity to see first-hand that through working together in partnership, programs can achieve more and have a greater, long lasting impact.

Overall the workshop was a great success. It was covered in local media in the Fiji Times and Fiji Sun newspapers, as well as a piece on the Fiji TV News. Most importantly, feedback from members confirmed that the workshop had provided a valuable opportunity to network, contribute to discussions, and share current challenges, success stories and ideas. The workshop has provided an avenue of open and ongoing dialogue for those with a vested interest in eliminating avoidable blindness and vision loss in the Pacific.

Courtney Saville and Naomi Thomson from Vision 2020 Australia at the Pacific Workshop

Courtney Saville, Global Advocacy Assistant, Vision 2020 Australia and Naomi Thomson, Global Consortium Program Manager

Tim Ford, Rhonda Chapman and Paulo Baleinakorodawa_Pacific Workshop 2012

The workshop facilitators: Tim Ford; Rhonda Chapman (lead) and Paulo Baleinakorodawa

 Pacific Workshop 2012

Attendees taking part in discussions on the first day of the Pacific Workshop

Pacific Workshop 2012 attendees

Group photo of all Pacific Workshop attendees, taken during an impromptu fire drill!

Komal Ram & Dr Jambi Garap at Pacific Workshop 2012

Komal Ram, Western Pacific Regional Project Manager, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (co-organiser); and Dr Jambi Garap, Chair, Papua New Guinea National Prevention of Blindness Committee

 Vilisi Salavabisi, Mereoni Daveta, Sagato Vaoliko, Maraia Matakibau and Eremasi Sunkanaisoro at the Pacific Workshop 2012

Vilisi Salavabisi, CBR Coordinator, Fiji Society for the Blind; Mereoni Daveta, Disability Inclusive Coordinator, Access to Quality Education Program; Sagato Vaoliko, Vision Services Coordinator, Senese Inclusive Education; Maraia Matakibau, CRA Coordinator, Fiji Ministry of Health; and Eremasi Sukanaisoro, National Rehabilitation Medicine Hospital, Fiji

John Hue, Dr Mundi Qalo, Tricia Keys and Dr Lucilla Ah-Ching at the Pacific Workshop 2012

John Hue, Solomon Islands Project Officer, Foresight Australia; Dr Mundi Qalo, Pacific Co-Chair, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness Pacific Region; Tricia Keys, Programmes Manager Asia Pacific, The Brien Holden Vision Institute; and Dr Lucilla Ah-Ching, Eye Clinic Coordinator, Samoa

 Dr Ana Cama, Oliver Sokana and Vika Vakaloloma at the Pacific Workshop 2012

Dr Ana Cama, Secretariat Coordinator, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness Pacific Region; Oliver Sokana, Pacific National Trachoma Coordinator, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness Pacific Region; and Vika Vakaloloma, Project Officer, Vision 2020 Fiji

Group visit to Fiji School for the Blind in Suva_Pacific Workshop 2012

Group photo taken during a visit to the Fiji School for the Blind in Suva, an optional activity on 8 November

Photographs taken by Vision 2020 Australia.

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About the Author

Courtney Saville

Courtney graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (International Studies) from Deakin University in October 2011. During her studies, Courtney took part in the Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies (ACICIS) program for one year in Indonesia, and a six month legal internship in Cambodia. Courtney has followed her interest in Indonesian studies, and recently graduated with First Class Honours from the Honours in Indonesian Language Program at Deakin University, and was selected as an Australian delegate for the inaugural Conference of Australian and Indonesian Youth in October this year. Courtney has been working with Vision 2020 Australia in Global since January 2011 to continue expanding her knowledge of international development.View author's posts
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