By Sarah Davies, Policy and Advocacy Manager
As an outreach optometrist delivering services to the east coast of the Spencer Gulf in South Australia, Ben Hamlyn relies on the support and guidance of the staff at Pika Wiya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation.
In celebrating this NAIDOC week, Ben (pictured above) said, ‘The teachings of First Nations peoples at Pika Wiya provides the guidance that I need to continually ensure I am delivering culturally responsive and appropriate optometry services.
‘From the Aboriginal health workers who identify the patients that require eye care services and ensuring their appointments are scheduled for when I am in town next, to the transport staff who support patients to travel to the clinic, and to the administration and coordination team who deliver a seamless clinic day – I acknowledge and I thank you’.
This NAIDOC week, Optometry Australia is celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week 2021, being held from Sunday 4-Sunday 11 July, is a week of celebration – highlighting the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Earlier this NAIDOC week, Optometry Australia CEO, Lyn Brodie said that important local partnerships between optometrists and community health services are critical to improved and sustainable access to primary eye care and improved eye health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
‘Optometrists delivering outreach services all throughout the country rely on the expertise of teams across health services, including within Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, to ensure eye care services are integrated and safe for their patients’.
Celebrate this NAIDOC week
This NAIDOC week, Optometry Australia is encouraging members to take action by:
- Watching our webcast on improving cultural responsiveness;
- Pursuing some of the tangible actions recommended by Reconciliation Australia
- Participating in a range of local or online NAIDOC week activities; and
- Supporting their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
Optometry Australia will continue to seek opportunities to progress reconciliation within our own organisation and across the profession. If you would like any more information or to contribute to these efforts, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.