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Events

UNSW recognises high standards

31/07/2019By Lewis Williams PhD
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At the School of Optometry and Vision Science’s annual prize giving ceremony, the school’s top graduates were recognised for their excellence. LEWIS WILLIAMS details the event’s proceedings.

The School of Optometry and Vision Science (SOVS), UNSW, held its annual prize giving ceremony as a lunch at Doltone House, Sydney, on 14 May.

The event acknowledges those about to graduate and students who reached noteworthy levels of academic, clinical, or research excellence during their time at UNSW, with a focus on the 2018 academic year.

Some of the awards were presented to current undergraduates in acknowledgement of their achievements at various stages of the course.

The master of ceremonies for the event was head of school Professor Lisa Keay, assisted by outgoing head of school Professor Fiona Stapleton on whose watch most of the attendees were students.

The guest speaker was Dr Angelica Ly, the Centre for Eye Health’s integrated care coordinator and lead clinician. She is also a Director on the board of OA NSW/ACT.

Future prospects

Ly suggested that the graduating class should get ‘comfortable’ in their new roles, but warned that optometric practice was not all ‘fun and games’ as there were still many challenges ahead.

She estimated that of the approximately 5,500 optometrists in Australia, some 2,000 are in NSW. To some extent, they are their competitors. She recommended that the new graduates maintain their links to one another in order to retain the ability to learn as a group.

Ly advised the cohort to consider how much they should give back to the profession and to colour their thinking with whatever expertise they develop over their career. She suggested a five to 10 year period for progress to be made towards developing, and then sharing, that expertise.

Although she divided practice pathways along the retail and medical models, she also acknowledged other practice possibilities such as educational institutions, hospitals, volunteering, and public health. She suggested that the audience lives up to their own standards and recommended lifelong learning to those present.

She then spoke briefly about her employer, the Centre for Eye Health (CFEH), which has optometrists and ophthalmologist on staff in order to offer a more cohesive and comprehensive service.

Despite the equipment, resources, and staff available at the CFEH, she admitted that it did not always have all the answers.

She concluded her address by congratulating the graduands and wished them all every success for their futures.

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The stars

Yet again, a SOVS student, Ms Patricia Tsong, has been awarded the prestigious University Medal (UNSW) as well as other awards (Luxottica and Specsavers Prizes), confirming that the high entry standard into the double-degree course has been maintained.

The Neville Fulthorpe Prize went to Ms Courtney Priestly and the Dr Andrew Whatham Prize went to Ms Amanda Sobbizadeh.

Mr Kevin La, outgoing OptomSoc President, delivered the valediction speech on behalf of the graduating class.

 

SOVS, UNSW Annual Prize Giving Ceremony


 

Fiona Stapleton
Fiona Stapleton
Lisa Kaey
Lisa Kaey
Angelica Ly
Angelica Ly
Patricia Tsong and Angelica Ly
Patricia Tsong and Angelica Ly

Courtney Priestly and Judy Rainsford
Courtney Priestly and Judy Rainsford
Amanda Sobbizadeh and Val Whatham
Amanda Sobbizadeh and Val Whatham
Kevin La
Kevin La

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