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By Jennifer Gersbeck | On Tuesday 1st September 2015 | 0 Comments

Brien Holden at the launch of an optometry school in Vietnam

To say the last 12 months have been disappointing for the Australian aid sector is a gross understatement.

The Australian Government’s May Federal Budget delivered the biggest single-year cut to foreign aid in Australia’s history, a move that has undoubtedly hurt the country’s international reputation. The Budget revealed $1 billion--20 per cent of Australia’s current foreign aid budget--would be cut, bringing the total cuts to the aid program since the Abbott Government was elected in 2013 to $11.3 billion.

Australia’s aid budget is now the weakest in history.

The scale and immediacy of the cuts has forced Australia to break commitments made to partner governments and organisations all around the world and will lead to untold harm to millions of families and communities that Australian aid previously reached. Caught up in the Budget cuts is funding for the Vision 2020 Australia Global Consortium.

For the past eight years I’ve felt very proud of Australia’s leadership role in the elimination of avoidable blindness across the Asia Pacific region – now I...

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By Priya Morjaria | On Thursday 27th August 2015 | 0 Comments

Priya and others at ECO2015

For optometrists around the world, 14 – 16 August 2015 were a few days that made us feel like we could take over the world (I exaggerate not)! There were over 3,000 delegates present at the first World Congress of Optometry held in ‘the city of eternal spring’--Medellin, Colombia. The congress was held in partnership with Federación Colombiana de Optómetras (FEDOPTO) and the World Council of Optometry (WCO) and it was filled with nearly 200 academic lectures and workshops.

Given my background in public health optometry I was very keen to attend the public health sessions, however, the congress also gave me an opportunity to catch-up on those much needed COPE/CET hours I needed. (I can now tick off Gonioscopy from my list, thanks to the wonderful teachers from the New England College of Optometry, Dr. Bina Patel and Dr. Meng Meng Xu).

It would not be complete to talk about #WCO2015 without mentioning the fitting tribute that was made to Professor Brien Holden at the opening ceremony by Professor Kovin Naidoo. The emotional tribute had delegates from all across the globe wiping their tears in the moment of silence held to acknowledge the contribution Brien made to all aspects of optometry, both clinical and...

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By Alessandro Di Capua | On Wednesday 19th August 2015 | 0 Comments
Pickles from Durban
Looking at my notes on the plane back from Durban - which ran into several pages - I was amazed at how much we were able to pack in to a 3-day flying visit to the host city for the 10th General Assembly (10GA).
 
Joanna Conlon (IAPB’s Director of Development and Communication) and I, along with Janine and Rachel from the 10GA professional conference organiser, MYT, had arrived just 80 hours earlier in a rainy and grey Durban. This was our second recce in preparation for the General Assembly in 2016 (27-30 October at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC)).
 
Over the next couple of days however, the cold and rain gave way to so much warmth. Not only had the weather turned sunny - 25C - (which would make winter here much preferable to summers back home in London), but everyone we met welcomed us with hospitality and enthusiasm. I am convinced that the Durbanites’ warmth perfectly matches the city’s temperate weather (“while we go around in t-shirts, it snows in Cape Town”, locals were proud to remark).
 
Over a whirlwind of meetings and site-visits, we got many glimpses of the good-natured hospitality and professionalism 10GA delegates can expect to experience at the Assembly next year. From the patient and dedicated staff who...
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By Tejah Balantrapu | On Monday 10th August 2015 | 2 Comments

Helen Keller on USD10 note - illustration

In 2013, the United States Treasury Department had announced that an American woman’s image will be placed on the new $10 bill, scheduled to be introduced by 2020 (the 100th anniversary of the passage of the nineteenth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote).  The Treasury has invited public input into which woman that should be.  The Helen Keller Foundation is requesting our support for Helen Keller.

The Treasury lists criteria for selecting such an icon: "Democracy is the theme for the next redesigned series and the Secretary will select a woman recognized by the public who was a champion for democracy in the United States". We believe that Helen Keller is a great example of democratic values, especially as she embodies the rights of the disabled as well.

The Helen Keller Foundation has a made a video supporting Helen Keller's nomination.

Many of us have nominated Helen Keller here, and we encourage you to do the same. You can also tweet your support by using the Hashtag: #TheNew10

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