Glaucoma Australia will celebrate World Glaucoma Week (10-16 March 2013) and its 25th anniversary year by launching a national photo competition to the public.
The competition will be judged by a panel that includes Geoff Lawson – former cricketer, qualified optometrist and regular mivision columnist; Mark Cushway – editor of mivision; and Associate Professor Ivan Goldberg AM, ophthalmologist and Glaucoma Australia President.
Geoff Pollard, National Executive Officer at Glaucoma Australia said the competition marks the beginning of a new future for the charitable group, which was established in response to community feedback following an interview on glaucoma on Channel Nine in 1988.
“For the past 25 years, we have run as a small, lower profile organisation, largely surviving on small contributions from individuals with glaucoma themselves. Now it’s time to raise our presence and seek more sustainable contributions to support our work.”
In Australia there are approximately 300,000 people with glaucoma but only half know they have it…
Encourage a conversation
“Our main aim for the photographic competition is to get the public and the eye
health community talking glaucoma,” said Mr. Pollard.
“In Australia there are approximately 300,000 people with glaucoma but only half know they have it, and according to research, 40 per cent of Australians don’t get their eyes checked on a regular basis.”
“Optometrists need to discuss glaucoma with their patients and provide comprehensive examinations – a thorough patient history, followed by a comprehensive examination is critical; tests and investigations confirm and document the diagnosis,” he said.
Glaucoma Australia has enlisted the support of 18 high profile Australian sports personalities to spread awareness of the disease during Glaucoma Week. Commentators, who come from across Australia and represent several sporting codes, include Phil Kearns, Neil Crompton, Robbie Slater, Tim Lane, Andrew Voss, Jim Maxwell and Dennis Cometti.
Many of the sports people supporting the cause have had family members diagnosed with glaucoma and feel passionate about supporting the cause.