L-R, Dominique Birbeck, Ani Galoyan and Madeleine Jones
By Helen Carter
Final year optometry students, Dominique Birbeck, Ani Galoyan and Madeleine Jones are the 2019 recipients of The Judy Glover Memorial Scholarship.
Dominique from Flinders University, Ani from The University of Melbourne and Madeleine from Deakin University will spend a week providing eye care in the Kimberley region in Western Australia from May 5.
They are excited about the opportunity and looking forward to it.
The scholarship was established in memory of fifth generation Scottish optometrist Mrs Judy Glover, and the wonderful work she did in outback Australia, and is managed jointly by Lions Outback Vision and Optometry Giving Sight.
Judy's late father, Peter and one of her brothers, Geoffrey were also optometrists. The scholarship is now mostly funded by her family including her husband John who still lives in Western Australia, and her brothers and mother in Scotland.
Judy was passionate about providing eye care to Australians in marginalised and remote areas and was an active member of the North West Eyecare Programme (NWEP) before her diagnosis.
NWEP provided eye care to regional towns and remote Indigenous communities in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions and provided coordinated care, working closely with the visiting ophthalmology service from Perth.
Judy Glover in her beloved outback
By exposing final year optometry students, Judy’s family hopes that her legacy will live on in the passion and conviction students develop for the cause when undertaking eye care in remote areas during their trip to North Western Australia.
Under the guidance of a senior optometrist, John Farmer, they will be exposed to all facets of public health and eye care, from remote community consultations through to surgeries. They will visit remote communities, observe optometry clinics and be involved in school screening in a remote Indigenous community.
They can expect to see trachoma, diabetic retinopathy and pathologies not commonly presenting in mainstream optometry.
The trip will enable the students to increase their understanding of Indigenous eye health and the Indigenous culture, expose them to uses and management of therapeutic drugs and the difficulties and heightened logistics of working in remote areas.
They will collaborate with specialist ophthalmologists, observe ophthalmological consultations and surgery in regional hospitals, assist in pre and post assessment of surgery patients and interact with final year medical students.
Recipients submit a report after the trip to Optometry Giving Sight and give a presentation on the experience to their school of optometry.