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Specsavers Bundaberg supports indigenous eye health

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Artist Sarrita King with the limited edition frames.

Bundaberg locals will be able to continue to support eye care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people with Specsavers launching their limited edition frames in partnership with the Fred Hollows foundation.

This is the seventh year that Specsavers and The Fred Hollows Foundation have come together to launch limited edition frames to raise awareness and funds for The Foundation, with this year’s frames featuring the artwork of contemporary Aboriginal artist, Sarrita King.

$25 from each pair of frames sold will go to The Fred Hollows Foundation to help them carry on Fred’s vision and save people’s sight.

Specsavers Bundaberg is celebrating the 30-year anniversary of The Fred Hollows Foundation as they share a mutual goal of closing the gap in eye health by working collaboratively with communities to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples can access high quality, culturally safe and patient centric eye care.

To date, Specsavers Bundaberg has contributed over $14 000 to the $5 million donated by the eyecare retailer towards The Foundation’s programs in Australia, with hopes of donating a further $1 million this year.

“Our donations support CheckUp, an organisation dedicated to delivering better health for people and communities who need it most in Queensland,” said Specsavers Bundaberg Optometrist, Christopher Rodgers.

“The Foundation’s partnership supports two Eye Health Coordinator positions working to deliver culturally competent eye health services to communities in Palm Island and Gigdee Healing (servicing Mt Isa, Doomadgee and Mornington Island).

The Eye Health Coordinators play an essential role in delivering and educating people on the importance of cultural competency in eye health, which is essential when delivering eye health to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients to build trust and help to ensure that patients came back for routine services if needed.”

The artwork featured on the frames this year is called ‘Lightning’.

bundaberg specsavers frames
The limited edition frames.

Representing the memory of the electrical storms in the tropical climate of Darwin where Sarrita spent her youth, this painting captures the subtle beauty within the storm and the way in which the elements gracefully twist and turn between the dramatic lightning strikes.

The lightning would crack across the entire sky, creating lines like cracked earth. Sarrita would discover new patterns and colours every time she witnessed these natural light shows.

The Fred Hollows Foundation Chair Jane Madden, says access to eye care in Australia isn’t one-size-fits-all.

“Culture must play a part when it comes to delivering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health care,” Chair Jane Madden said.

“Building a workforce of trained eye health professionals who deliver culturally competent eye care is the only way that Australia can move towards closing the gap in eye health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

“We are so grateful for Specsavers’ support of this important work to make a difference and change lives for our First Nations Peoples.”

Eye and vision problems are the most common long-term health conditions experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, with 1 in 3 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing some form of vision issue.

Currently, it’s estimated that over 18,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults over the age of 40 are living with vision impairment or blindness. However, over 90 percent of the eye problems that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults experience are preventable or treatable.

“We’re proud to support programs that are addressing some of the key issues faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples when it comes to improving eye health and vision, and we want the community to come on this journey with us.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are three times more likely to have vision loss or blindness than other Australians, and we want that to change.

“We can’t thank the community enough for their continued support, but there is still work to be done to close the eye health gap. This years limited edition frames featuring art work by Sarrita King are a great way to contribute to the important work of The Fred Hollows Foundation,” said Christopher.

You can purchase the limited edition frames in store at Specsavers Bundaberg from 7 July 2022.

You can find out more about Specsavers Bundaberg here.

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