CEO Vision 2020 Australia Carla Northam (L) and Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Health Gabrielle Williams Image: Les O’Rourke
By Rhiannon Riches
Vision Initiative, a Victorian Government funded program which targets areas across the state identified as having high proportions of residents who have never had their eyes tested, is expanding for a second time.
Initially launched as a pilot in Greater Geelong, Darebin, Greater Shepparton and Latrobe in 2013, it expanded to include Brimbank, Greater Dandenong, Swan Hill and Campaspe in 2016.
Yesterday, Victorian Secretary for Health, Gabrielle Williams, announced the Vision Initiative will be rolled out to a further six local government areas: Bass Coast, Central Goldfields, Glenelg, Hepburn, Moira and Whittlesea.
High proportions of people in these six locales have never had an eye examination, according to the most recent Victorian Population Health Survey.
Managed by Vision 2020 Australia on behalf of the Victorian Government, the Vision Initiative aims to prevent avoidable blindness and vision loss through working with health providers in local areas to create better identification and referral of people at risk of eye disease and those affected by sight loss.
‘At a local level we work with primary health networks, primary care partnerships and local councils to deliver initiatives to primary health providers and people at risk of eye disease in each community,’ Vision 2020 Australia CEO, Carla Northam, said.
‘We also work with state-level organisations like Diabetes Victoria, Australian College of Optometry and Vision Australia to help roll out these initiatives.’
2013: Launch of the pilot in Greater Geelong, Darebin, Greater Shepparton and Latrobe
Vision Initiative starts conversation to reduce risk
2015: Results of the pilot revealed
Local government program reaps results
2016: Launch of the second phase in Brimbank, Greater Dandenong, Swan Hill and Campaspe
Victoria’s Vision Initiative expands