The creator of a frames collection that showcases and directly supports the work of Aboriginal artists has partnered with Bond University to offer complimentary spectacles to all Indigenous students at the Gold Coast institute.
Jukurrpa Designs, launched in 2019 by eyewear designer and UK-qualified dispensing optician Mr Murray O’Keeffe FBDO, is supplying its collection of frames, including lenses, to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who require glasses at the university.
The full cost of the eyewear – approximately $4,500 in value – has been covered by Jukurrpa Designs. A full eye test is also recommended for the students before the glasses are dispensed.
The collection features licensed work from the art centre Warlukurlangu Artists of Yuendumu, one of the longest-running Aboriginal-owned art centres in Central Australia, who receive a 10% royalty for every pair sold.
O’Keeffe said he was proud and honoured to partner with Bond University.
“We will also supply any lenses needed, no matter what their prescription requirements are. We are so happy to be involved and contributing to their vision and needs to help further their education,” he said.
O’Keeffe, who is also the managing director of Brisbane company eyesaBOve, said he had always wanted to give back to the wider Indigenous community closer to home. He devised the initiative after stumbled upon the Bond University Indigenous program, which provides a pathway for Indigenous students to study.
“I saw a lot of the Indigenous students wearing glasses and knew this is where we can help, supplying our Jukurrpa Designs frames and lenses, so they don’t have to worry about that financial aspect of studying,” he said.
“It’s important that their eyesight is perfect when studying and doesn’t cause any symptoms, due to possibly an old prescription or scratched lenses, damaged coatings, that may affect their vision, whether reading, lectures or on the computer a long time.”
The initiative kicked off last month when the first 10 Indigenous students chose their pair of Jukurrpa Designs frames.
“It was great to see them all happy and proud to wear a pair that is linked to their Aboriginal culture,” O’Keeffe added.