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‘Rising Stars’ of eyecare to gather at Parliament House

05/09/2017By Matthew Woodley
More than 30 ‘Rising Stars’ from optometry, ophthalmology, and low vision and rehabilitation will gather at Parliament House in Canberra next week to discuss the future of the professions.

The ‘Rising Stars in Eye Health and Vision Care’ cocktail event will allow early-career eyecare professionals to engage with MPs and policy decision makers, as well as participate in sessions on how to advocate at a governmental level.


"Optometry’s no longer about just glasses and refractions, we now have to treat the patient and their healthcare as well,"
Cassandra Haines, Optometrist

Vision 2020 CEO Ms Carla Northam said it was important to give early career professionals a voice to share the issues they are passionate about, as they represented the future of the sector.

“Australia is a world leader in eye health and vision care, and early-career professionals in this field are at the forefront of international efforts to eliminate avoidable blindness and ensure community participation for people who are blind or vision impaired,” she said.

“This event is a wonderful opportunity for parliamentarians to meet with the Rising Stars, who will share the latest advances, technological achievements and developments in eye health and vision care.”

One of the optometrists selected for the event, 25-year-old Ms Cassandra Haines from Unley in South Australia, said it was an exciting opportunity to discuss the future of the sector with politicians and other eyecare professionals.

“It will be very good to hear what issues the other early career optometrists are facing in their states, and it’s always good to have that exchange of information,” she said.

“Our health responsibilities have certainly changed following therapeutic endorsement. Especially with things like treating infection and co-managing glaucoma, and in particular the newer field of myopia control.”

Haines, who as one of only around 30 invitees has been identified as a future leader, said myopia control and management was an example of the changing landscape of optometry and the extra responsibilities her profession now faced.

“I do a lot of paediatrics so that’s something I’m particularly interested in. It’s really good to see eye healthcare coming to the forefront of optometry practice. Optometry’s no longer about just glasses and refractions, we now have to treat the patient and their healthcare as well,” she said. 

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The event, which is sponsored by Vision 2020 Australia, Guide Dogs Victoria, Optometry Australia, RANZCO, and Vision Australia, will see around 150 attendees descend on Parliament House for two days, starting September 12.

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