Giving Back to the Local and Global Community

ProVision is a proud corporate sponsor of Optometry Giving Sight

Optometry Giving Sight is a global fundraising initiative targeting the prevention of blindness and impaired vision due to uncorrected refractive error.

More than 600 million people around the world are blind or vision impaired simply because they do not have access to an eye examination and a pair of glasses. Optometry Giving Sight funds the solution by:

  • Training local people to ensure that people in developing countries have trained professionals on the ground who can provide high quality eye care services.
  • Delivering eye care services by mobilising resources from the global optical community and their patients.
  • Establishing vision centres in underserved communities where optometry did not exist as a profession until recently.

Fund are directed to programs in a range of countries including Sri Lanka, East Timor, Malawi, Mozambique, Peru, Nicaragua, Mexico, China, Vietnam, Indigenous Australia and Papua New Guinea. To make a donation visit the Optometry Giving Sight website.

Transforming Lives Through the Gift of Sight

Many ProVision optometrists take time away from their practices to volunteer in Eye Care Programs, both in developing countries and locally in Australia. Below are just a few examples of the incredible work our members are doing to provide sustainable eye care solutions in underserved communities:

PETER STEWART, OAM – HIGH ON VISION (VIC)
Peter Stewart, together with Peter Lewis and ophthalmologist Dr Mark Ellis, established the Sumba Eye Program in Indonesia in 2007, after making his first trip to Indonesia in 2006 as part of the East Timor Eye Program. He has taken biannual trips to Sumba since. Peter feels very fortunate to be able to provide assistance to the people of Sumba: “We’re at a stage in our careers where we can offer a lot back. We have had a fantastic response from the optical community that supports and believes in us and the Sumba program,” he said.

ROWENA BECKENHAM – BECKENHAM OPTOMETRIST (NSW)
In addition to raising almost $7000 for sight saving eye surgery for the Fred Hollows Foundation in the 2014 Coastrek 50km walk, Rowena participates in regular trips to regional indigenous communities on Royal Flying Doctors flights. On these trips Rowena provides essential eye care to disadvantaged aboriginal communities including Coonabarabran, Coonamble, Cobar, Murren Bridge, Brewarrina, Albury, Bourke, Moree, Broken Hill, among others.

SUSAN WALTON, OAM – SUSAN WALTON OPTOMETRIST (NSW)
A volunteer at the Special Olympics for almost 20 years, Susan is the Australian director of the Opening Eyes branch of the Healthy Athletes program. As part of the program, athletes who may not have quality healthcare available to them are offered free screenings, which detect vision impairments and other eye conditions. Athletes in need receive free glasses. Since 2002, 2061 athletes had been tested Australia-wide, and 477 pairs of prescription glasses, including sporting goggles handed out.

NORMAN RUSSO – RUSSO OPTOMETRY (VIC)
Norm is part of a team that visits Sumba, which includes two eye surgeons, two nurses and three optometrists. During an intensive period they treat hundreds of patients, dispense eyewear and perform operations where required. Together with the other optometrists, Norm works closely with local nurses to train them in the rudiments of eye care including screening and vision testing which promises the availability of long-term eye care in the future. The team also leaves behind necessary optometry equipment for local staff to conduct eye clinics on the island throughout the year.

Other Contributions

ProVision members also contribute through other avenues by:

  • Making regular personal or practice donations,
  • Participating in the annual World Sight Day Challenge in October by donating eye examination fees and monies from associated fundraising activities, and
  • Inviting patients, staff and others to purchase a Gift of Vision.