Vision 2020 Australia is once again preparing for World Sight Day (WSD), which this year falls on Thursday 10 October. The theme for 2013 is ‘Universal Eye Health’ which was born out of the new Global Action Plan launched earlier this year. The Action Plan’s purpose is to increase access to comprehensive eye care services that are integrated into health systems, and reduce avoidable blindness and vision impairment by 25 per cent by 2019.
In keeping with the main thrust of the new Action plan, Vision 2020 Australia is developing the 2013 WSD advocacy activity around the ‘Universal Eye Health’ theme and creating some core communications around the more public-facing message of ‘Get your eyes tested’. This is an exciting opportunity in a year when the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust has been launched in Australia and will provide the sector with a chance to raise awareness in a global context about eye health and vision care issues in Australia, with key members of parliament and other high-profile Australians.
This year, Vision 2020 Australia has also ramped up its WSD Champions program on the back of its successful 2012 activity. Both the number, and enthusiasm, of the members of parliament confirmed to promote the day is increasing which is both important and strategic in an election year.
Vision 2020 Australia will also be running a media campaign on WSD to focus attention on the important ‘Get your eyes tested’ message. To help us promote this message, Dr Andrew Rochford, presenter on Channel Ten’s The Project, has agreed to be a WSD Ambassador. In addition, Vision 2020 Australia is conducting a survey, which will form part of the content for the media campaign.
With just two months to go, Vision 2020 Australia is urging the sector to get behind WSD. To make this as easy as possible, Vision 2020 Australia has prepared a suite of information for each member organisation to use. The World Sight Day toolkit can be found at:www.worldsightday.org.au and includes fact sheets, media support materials, and more!
The following are some ways your organisation can be involved:
- 1. Hold an event with your key stakeholders.
- 2. Invite the media to an event.
- 3. Develop a media release and add the ‘Get Your Eyes Tested’ message.
- 4. Create some noise via social media by writing a blog, adding a post to your Facebook page or tweeting. Don’t forget to use this year’s WSD hashtag #WSD13.
- 5. Add the new 2013 WSD Twibbon to your social media accounts (coming soon)
- 6. Conduct some advocacy activity – invite a Minister or MP to an event, write them a letter, encourage them to get an eye test.
- 7. Get staff together for a WSD morning tea and invite a guest speaker.
- 8. Show some creative flair and take part in the Vision 2020 Australia photo campaign with your ‘Get Your Eyes Tested’ sign!
Look out for more information coming your way on how we can all make WSD bigger and better than ever.