Topics from, for, or of relevance to people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will be a highlight of the O=MEGA23/WCO4 conference and tradeshow in Melbourne during September.
Based around the theme Optometry Unites, Down Under, the optometric event aims to foster collaboration, knowledge sharing and innovative approaches within the sector.
OV/SA CEO Ilsa Hampton will run a session with Indigenous Allied Health Australia on ways to begin to engage with building cultural awareness
Optometry Victoria South Australia CEO Ilsa Hampton said delivering culturally safe care “is an essential requirement for the optometry profession in Australia”. Ahpra and the National Boards enshrined cultural safety as a guiding principle and objective for the National Scheme, which was adopted as law last October.
“Achieving this requires an ongoing commitment from health professionals to gain a true understanding of the unique needs and practices of First Nations communities and incorporate this knowledge into the delivery of care,” Ms Hampton said.
Conference delegates can expect to gain valuable insights into some of the unique challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in relation to eye health from presentations that include:
• Retinal photography screening for diabetic retinopathy in Victorian Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations (James Rule)
• A collaborative approach to implementing a supervised student-led optometric clinic with a metropolitan Aboriginal Primary Health Care Service (Jose Estevez/Tristan Glover)
• Implementing best practice clinical processes within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research: The Prophecy Study (Dominque Birbeck)
There will also be an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural engagement workshop, led by a panel of speakers including Lauren Hutchison, Shaun Tatipata and Renata Watene, and a presentation from Mitchell Anjou and Shaun Tatipata titled ‘Beyond the roadmap to close the gap for vision’. OV/SA CEO Ilsa Hampton will run a session with Indigenous Allied Health Australia on ways to begin to engage with building cultural awareness.
ODMA Indigenous Design Award
ODMA has also included a category within its Awards of Excellence program to recognise optical suppliers embracing Indigenous Design or commitment of the organisation to Indigenous people and business. Amanda Trotman, CEO of ODMA said the new category has been incorporated to “both encourage businesses that are already supporting and celebrating Indigenous communities to share their stories and how they achieve this through such aspects as representation, employment, meaningful partnerships and cultural awareness and how the use of designs in product is done with careful consideration for cultural and intellectual property rights.
“We hope this will also raise the focus on the importance of Indigenous inclusion so that other organisations could consider how they may increase their commitment to Indigenous people and business in the future,” Ms Trotman explained.
The Awards of Excellence will be presented at O=MEGA23.
Welcome to Country
As part of the event opening, the Djirri Djirri Wurundjeri dance group will deliver a dance and welcome to country for delegates. Djirri Djirri are the only Wurundjeri female dance group, and are traditional custodians of Narrm (Melbourne) and surrounds. On the Saturday evening, an open-access Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and craft market will run alongside the evening’s social event, an initiative developed in partnership with Kinaway Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce.
The biennial O=MEGA event is the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere, while the World Congress of Optometry is an international event hosted in a different city across the world also on a biennial basis. This partnership is a unique alignment and rare opportunity to combine a national and international program to create the largest optometric event in the region. Event partners are Optometry Victoria South Australia, the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association and the World Council of Optometry.
Register to attend at: www.omega-event.org/program