Eye health leaders inspire parliamentary friends

The Parliamentary Friends Group for Eye Health and Vision Care came together this week to listen to the stories from those on the ground, working to improve eye health and vision care both in Australia and our region. 

17 Parliamentary Friends line up in front of guests to show their support

The ‘Leadership inspiring change’ themed event saw leaders from across the sector speak about their experiences in becoming a leader and what motivates them to make a difference to the lives of others. The speakers included: Dr Jessica Gallagher—a legally blind dual paralympian and osteopath; Brandon Ah Tong—a leading disability advocate; Shannon Peckham—Australia’s first female Indigenous optometrist; Dr Hessom Razavi—an ophthalmologist working to close the gap on vision; and Samuel Koim—a Senior Manager for PNG Eye Care working to improve the vision of all Papua New Guineans. (Read more about the leaders on our blog).

The format used this time highlighted the importance of accessibility for people who are blind or vision impaired with tables laid in a high contrast colour scheme, printed menus in Braille and the audio description interactive session. Feedback received was very positive with many politicians enjoying the interactive session and being moved by the inspirational speakers.

Nearly 90 people attended the dinner including 23 parliamentarians, 12 advisers and four departmental representatives as well as special guest Major General Michael Jeffery. Feedback from guests was positive and highlights how the inspiring personal stories of the people who are working to improve eye health and vision care resonates with the parliamentarians and advisers.

Thank you to the ‘Leaders inspiring change’ for taking the time to share their stories and also to the event sponsors Brien Holden Vision Institute, CBM Australia, The Fred Hollows Foundation, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists and Optometry Australia.