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Self determination key to closing the gap – National Close the Gap Day 2024

Self determination key to closing the gap – National Close the Gap Day 2024

Although there has been progress made in areas of the Closing the Gap Strategy, First Nations peoples still experience vision loss and blindness at three times the rate than of non-Indigenous people.

More needs to be done to Close the Gap.

On National Close the Gap Day 2024 (21 March), RANZCO urges the Australian Government to further work towards strategies, with a strong focus on self determination, to improve the health and life expectancies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

RANZCO is further committed to reconciliation and to strengthening the Indigenous ophthalmic workforce.

Read more in the media release.

This National Close the Gap Day, RANZCO calls upon the Australian Government to establish stronger accountability to achieve health equity for First Nations peoples. We support embedding the concept of self-determination in all strategies.

ANZEF’s Grant Round 2024 – Applications open 20 March

ANZEF’s Grant Round 2024 – Applications open 20 March

Do you have a project to improve eye health equity and access that needs funding?

The Australian and New Zealand Eye Foundation (ANZEF), RANZCO’s philanthropical arm, is launching their grant round for 2024!

ANZEF’s annual grant rounds support initiatives that advance eye health equity and access for communities in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, and the Asia-Pacific region.

These grants are open to RANZCO members and associates, and organisations and professionals working in eye health, global health and ophthalmic education.

Applications open 20 March and close 8 May, with recipients announced in September 2024.

ANZEF Grant Rounds 2024

 

Find out more about ANZEF’s Grant Round 2024 via anzef.org/grants

How Are Your Children’s Eyes?

How Are Your Children’s Eyes?

Over the holiday period, RANZCO has been promoting some key public health messaging on eye health issues through both mainstream and social media.

In the lead-up to Christmas, Dr Shanel Sharma was interviewed by SBS news and highlighted the eye health risks of common children’s toys, including lasers and swords.

She provided some practical advice including encouraging parents to choose age-appropriate toys, supervise playtime, teach toy, avoid high-risk toys and provide eye protection for high risk activities.

On New Year’s Eve, RANZCO issued a media statement warning of the risks to eye health of fireworks and champagne cork popping, suggesting practical strategies to enjoy festivities without taking unnecessary risks.

Over the last two weeks of January we released three media statements, along with supporting social media posts, focusing on children’s eye health to capitalise on the holiday and back-to-school period.

Last week, we put out a statement urging parents to seek a back-to-school eye check for their children in order to identify any vision issues and to set them up for a productive year of learning and growth.

In the release, Dr Sharma outlined the important connections between vision and children’s social, emotional and educational outcomes and highlighted the collaborative approach to vision screening supported by RANZCO.

Over the Australia Day weekend, we released a statement reminding parents of the dangers of UV radiation on eye health and providing some useful information on how to choose protective sunglasses.

Finally, as children return to school after school holidays, we are encouraging parents to prioritise their children’s eye health by giving them ten practical tips which they can follow to maximise their children’s visual potential and avoid preventable harms.


Read all media releases:

Prof Robyn Guymer AM named top researcher in 2024

Prof Robyn Guymer AM named top researcher in 2024

Congratulations to RANZCO Fellow Prof Robyn Guymer AM on being named one of Australia’s top researchers in ophthalmology and optometry (in the Health & Medical Sciences discipline) in The Australian’s 2024 Research magazine.

This acknowledgment recognises Prof Guymer’s long-standing commitment to preventing vision loss and dedication to eye health.

“The Australian’s 2024 Research magazine names the top researcher and top research institution in each field of research, based on the number of citations for papers published in the top 20 journals in each field over the past five years.”

Read more about those recognised in The Australian’s 2024 Research Magazine.

Prof Robyn Guyer AM at RANZCO 53rd Congress 2022

Prof Robyn Guyer AM at RANZCO 53rd Congress 2022

Sun safety in preventing UV eye damage

“Children get the actual damage but in adulthood is when you get the disease… 10% of all skin cancers occur around the eyelids–where you can’t put sunblock on.”

Did you know that one in three of us has UV eye damage, with children being the most at risk? RANZCO Fellow Dr Shanel Sharma spoke to 7NEWS Australia on why appropriate and adequate eye protection is needed to prevent UV eye damage and optical sunburn (overexposure to UV light).

We remind you to be vigilant in sun safety, with not just your skin but also your eyes, and that being ‘sun smart’ should be top of mind whenever you go outdoors. Watch the 7 News report.

54th RANZCO Congress in Perth – Award Winners

Congratulations to the RANZCO Congress Award Winners! Presented at the Graduation and Awards Ceremony on Saturday 21 October 2023, these awards recognise and thank those who have demonstrated outstanding support and contribution.

  • College Medal – Prof Nitin Verma
  • College Medal – A/Prof Alex Hunyor
  • Distinguished Service Award – Dr Ross Littlewood
  • Distinguished Service Award – Dr Richard Rawson
  • Distinguished Service award for service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health – Prof Hugh Taylor
  • Federal Meritorious Service Award – Prof Nigel Morlet

Fellows of the College are invited to nominate those who they believe are worthy of an award, to be presented each year at RANZCO’s annual Congress.

Read Insight magazine’s highlights of Congress.

RANZCO 2022-2023 Annual Report

The RANZCO 2022-2023 Annual Report is now available, highlighting major changes and undertakings that occurred throughout the 2022-2023 financial year.

Reflecting on another year of opportunities and challenges, RANZCO was able to host their first major face-to-face Congress since COVID-19, successfully launched Vision 2030 and beyond Aotearoa New Zealand and continued to make strides with Vision 2030 and beyond Australia, amongst many other initiatives and projects undertaken by the College.

2022/2023 Annual Report

Visit the Annual Reports page to read past reports.

Prof David Mackey AO receives Glaucoma Australia’s 2023 ‘Quinlivan’ Research Grant

Prof David Mackey AO receives Glaucoma Australia’s 2023 ‘Quinlivan’ Research Grant

“We lack data on the normal range of IOP in children and have presumed it is the same as for adults. Funding from the Quinlivan Research Grant will enable us to collect and analyse data from young participants in the Raine Study, whose parents have been followed by researchers for their entire lives. This will enable never-before possible research into the genetic, lifestyle and intergenerational aspects of IOP, as well as the creation of an IOP reference range for children.”

Congratulations to RANZCO Fellow and councillor Prof David Mackey AO, who has been awarded the Glaucoma Australia’s ‘Quinlivan’ Research Grant for 2023. Prof Mackey seeks to investigate the normal range of intraocular pressure (IOP) in children and young adults and if it can predict later glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. The main risk factors for glaucoma are family history, genetics and elevated eye pressure.

Read the media release.

Prof David Mackey AO

Prof David Mackey AO

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RANZCO acknowledges our First Australians, the Traditional Custodians of the land
on which we live and work, and pays respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
Gadigal people of the Eora Nation are the traditional custodians of the land
where the RANZCO head office is located.
In recognition that we are a bi-national College, we also
acknowledge the Rangatiratanga of Māori as Tangata Whenua
and Treaty of Waitangi partners in Aotearoa New Zealand.