New funding to target eye health in Victorian CALD communities


New funding announced this week for Vision 2020 Australia’s Vision Initiative program will deliver a boost for the eye health of Victorians from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. 

Vision Initiative Manager Dee Tumino said the $110,000 funding commitment from the Victorian Government would fund two projects specifically developed to support ‘at-risk’ Victorians as part of the Vision Initiative Pilot Projects.

The funding is great news for people from CALD communities who are often more at risk of vision loss due to lower rates of engagement with eye testing,” Ms Tumino said.

According to the 2008 Victorian Health Population Survey, nearly 30 per cent of Victorians who spoke a language other than English at home had never had an eye examination.

In local government areas with high levels of cultural diversity, non-tested rates increased to over 45 per cent.

Ms Tumino said $75,000 would be allocated to the development of an eye health multimedia resource for CALD groups which aimed to break down the barriers to eye examinations.

The funding will be used to develop six short videos to explain the role of eye health professionals and the importance of regular eye examinations in six different languages,” Ms Tumino said.

“The work we have been doing has highlighted there is a lack of information on eye health and eye testing available in languages other than English,” she said.

The multimedia resources aim to demystify eye health for those who speak Italian, Greek, Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin, or Cantonese.”

The remaining $35,000 will be allocated to conduct research in the local government area of Darebin. Targeting Greek and Arabic communities, this will enable the Vision Initiative team to gain further insights into how these groups are accessing eye health services and information to better adapt activities of the Vision Initiative Pilot Projects. 

The Vision Initiative Program is currently running the pilot projects in four areas – Darebin, Greater Geelong, Greater Shepparton and Latrobe – in response to the higher proportion of people in these areas who are more at-risk of blindness and vision loss.



About the Vision Initiative

Managed by Vision 2020 Australia, the Vision Initiative is the Victorian Government’s public health response to the National Framework for Action to Promote Eye Health and Prevent Avoidable Blindness and Vision Loss. Commencing in 2002, the aim of the Vision Initiative is to prevent avoidable blindness and address the impact of vision impairment in the Victorian community. For more information visit: 

About Vision 2020 Australia

Established in October 2000, Vision 2020 Australia is part of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, a global initiative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). As the national peak body for the eye health and vision care sector, Vision 2020 Australia represents over 50 member organisations involved in: local and global eye care; health promotion; low vision support; vision rehabilitation; eye research; professional assistance; and community support. For more information visit: 

Media Contact

Louise Rudzki, Vision 2020 Australia (03) 9656 2020, +61 414 784 359