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Rising Stars rub shoulders with political elite

13/09/2017By Matthew Woodley
Vision 2020 Australia’s inaugural Rising Stars in Eye Health and Vision Care event took place at Parliament House last night, which gave 30 early-career eyecare professionals the opportunity to meet and mix with MPs across the political spectrum.

The event, opened by the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Group for Eye Health and Vision Care, was intended to introduce the next generation of optometrists, ophthalmologists and low vision experts to the world of advocacy.


"Being recognised here is really wonderful because people outside of optometry know what eyecare is, and it gives us a platform to communicate with these MPs and that’s probably an opportunity we’d not really have otherwise."
Carina Trinh, Young Optometrists cofounder

It followed Optometry Australia’s Advocacy Workshop and was also attended by Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services the Hon Jane Prentice MP, Leader of the Australian Greens Senator Richard Di Natale, the Hon Warren Snowdon MP and Senator the Hon Lisa Singh.

One of the rising stars in attendance, Young Optometrists co-founder Ms Carina Trinh, said these types of events were important for early-career professionals that wanted to make a difference in both eyecare and the greater community.

“We need somewhere to channel that and figure out what directions to take. So the advocacy workshop today was fantastic because now we understand what needs to be in place, who we need to connect with, and how to communicate to make that happen,” she said.

“Being recognised here is really wonderful because people outside of optometry know what eyecare is, and it gives us a platform to communicate with these MPs and that’s probably an opportunity we’d not really have otherwise.”

Attendees of the Rising Stars in Eye Health & Vision Care event, Parliament House
Attendees of the Rising Stars in Eye Health & Vision Care event, Parliament House

Meanwhile, Vision 2020 Australia board director Mr Andrew Harris said he was inspired to hear about the kind of work the next generation of eyecare workers were performing.

“Rising Stars provides a platform for early-career professionals to discuss the issues they are passionate about, from improving access to eye health services to ensuring the NDIS meets the needs of people who are blind or vision impaired,” he said.

“Rising Stars would not have been possible without our event partners Guide Dogs Victoria, Optometry Australia, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists and Vision Australia – who not only nominated our 30 rising stars, but play a key role in the development of the sector’s future professionals.”

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