Craig Elkenhans has come a long way since he was slammed in the eye with a squash ball at the age of 17.
Fearing a detached retina, Craig spent the next week lying in a hospital bed talking with the doctors and nurses about his condition and the importance of eye health.
“I finished school and originally thought teaching was the path for me but soon realised that it was optometry where my passion lay. I then spent the next four years at QUT (Queensland University of Technology) becoming qualified and have since spent the last 20 years doing what I love – meeting new people and helping them maintain their sight as those doctors did for me all those years ago,” the former Brisbane boy recalls.
At the end of his studies, Craig went to Perth looking for work and adventure and ended up in the mining town of Kalgoorlie…but has come a long way since then.
Craig Elkenhans became one of the optometrists selected to participate in Optometry Origami. He also works with Luxottica as an Optometrist Manager in Kalgoorlie and is one of only three optometrists who support this remote community.
What is Optometry Origami? Soon after joining Luxottica, Rhonda Brighton, the group’s HR General Manager, felt it was vital to give the group’s optometrists a voice to help direct the company’s growth and development as well as establish a framework to support their career advancements. For this reason, she introduced an initiative called Optometry Origami to help Luxottica’s optometrists design the future of optometry at Luxottica.
Essentially, the art of origami is to design something beautiful from a blank piece of paper. In this spirit, optometrists were invited to apply to participate in the two-day Optometry Origami session where they would design something great.
“Developing my skills is a major factor for me given that I’m really hoping to provide a complete optometry offering to the community of Kalgoorlie. Luxottica provides educational CDs, research papers and case studies on a regular basis, and each one offers me the chance to further my skills without leaving town,” Craig says.
“At first I wasn’t sure we’d be able to deliver the sort of understanding and opportunity that the program harnessed. It didn’t take long to work out that Luxottica was going to put the effort in to see this through and there’s now a great team feeling within the organisation that we can all make a difference.
“I think it’s a great initiative as it reinforces Luxottica’s commitment as a good corporate citizen. My priority is supporting the Kalgoorlie community and it’s wonderful to be given this opportunity,” Craig added.