The Observatory

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Seeing the bigger picture: Disability Inclusion in eye health programs

In a tiny rural community high in the mountains of Timor-Leste I sit on a rickety old wooden bench among a group of elderly Timorese. They wait patiently and excitedly, creating a buzz of chatter and curiosity. The mobile eye clinic has arrived and the team are setting up. The mountain is so high that we are sitting above the clouds, but what lies hidden from view is a tiny village without electricity; without running water; without a health clinic and with only one classroom.

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Q&A with Lisa Briggs

In the fourth interview of our Q&A series Vision 2020 Australia talks to The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation’s (NACCHO) CEO, Lisa Briggs, about Investing in Healthy Futures for generational change: NACCHO 10 Point Plan 2013-2030, comprehensive primary health care and the people who have inspired her during her career. Ms Briggs has a wealth of experience in the field of Aboriginal health, predominantly within the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector.

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The Diabetes and Eye Health Project

Do you know someone who has diabetes? Are you managing the condition yourself? Almost certainly, you’ve answered ‘Yes’ to the first question and you may also have answered ‘Yes’ to the second. In fact, Diabetes Australia estimates that approximately 1.7 million Australians are currently living with diabetes, with about 275 new cases every day. July 14 – 20 is National Diabetes Week and I’d like to tell you about one of the fantastic Vision Initiative activities: the Diabetes and Eye Health project.

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Q&A with Brian Doolan (CEO, The Fred Hollows Foundation)

In the third interview of our Q&A series, Vision 2020 Australia talks to The Fred Hollows Foundation CEO, Brian Doolan about The Foundation’s recent win of The Australian Charity of the Year award, principles for running an effective charity business and key projects in Indigenous Australia and abroad.

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A day in the life …with keratoconus

I was diagnosed with keratoconus when I was fifteen, but I had glasses from age eleven and, against my wishes, was forced to permanently sit at the front of the classroom at school. The new glasses never seemed to be effective for very long and those four years of relatively rapid vision loss was the start of countless visits to optometrists and opthalmologists. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the frequent change in glasses prescription was the first tell-tale sign of this degenerative corneal disease.

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Q&A with Dr Penny Allen

In the second interview of our Q&A series, Vision 2020 Australia talks to Dr. Penny Allen about the amazing Bionic Eye Project currently running in pilot phase. Dr. Allen is an ophthalmologist in the medical and vitreoretinal unit at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH); a medical retina and vitreoretinal surgeon on staff at The Alfred; and Program Leader, Surgical Program at Bionic Vision Australia. She is also an associate at the Centre for Eye Research Australia.

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