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Limited-edition frames raise funds and awareness for equitable eyecare

Specsavers has released limited-edition frames featuring indigenous art as part of its joint effort with The Fred Hollows Foundation (FHF) to close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health.

Priced from $199 for two pairs of single vision spectacles, the limited-edition frames launched in November and are available exclusively at Specsavers stores around Australia.

Specsavers teamed up with contemporary Indigenous artist, Ms Rheanna Lotter – also known as Ngandabaa – to create the frames featuring her artwork, with $25 from each frame donated to FHF’s work in Australia to restore sight, improve access to eye health care and build a workforce of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to deliver this care.

FHF CEO Mr Ian Wishart said access to eyecare in Australia isn’t one-size-fits-all.

“Ninety percent of the problems Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults suffer from are preventable or treatable. If you’re Indigenous and live remotely, your access to something as simple as a cataract surgery might be two, three or four years longer than if you are in a higher socio-economic group,” he said.

“A wealthier Australian may notice vision loss and go to a private specialist before they lose their ability to drive their car. But many Indigenous people can go years before they are screened. By then, they are almost blind – or may have been blind for several years.”

Specsavers and FHF are this year celebrating a decade of partnering to make eyecare more equitable.

Over the last 10 years, Specsavers has donated more than $4 million to FHF and has helped fund initiatives such as The Lion’s Outback Vision Van, a mobile eye clinic that provides ophthalmology care to patients in rural and remote parts of Western Australia, and also support FHF’s work with their partner, the Outback Eye Service in NSW.

Specsavers head of sustainability, Ms Cathy Rennie Matos, said her company and the foundation shared a belief that everyone should be able to access high quality eyecare.

“We are so proud to support the incredibly important work the foundation is doing to close the gap by improving access to eye health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” she said.

“We’re also so grateful for the support of our customers in helping us to make this difference in our community. While a lot of great progress has been made over the past 10 years, we still have a long way to go, and these limited-edition frames are just one way that we can raise money for The Foundation and awareness for Indigenous eye health.”

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