Aboriginal Eye Health

The East Gippsland Aboriginal Eye Health Partnership is a collaboration between 4 local ACCHOS, local hospitals, Gippsland PHN, Vision Australia, VACCHO, Department of Health and Human Services, Australian College of Optometry, Consultant optometrists and Melbourne University. The partnership is supported by the East Gippsland Primary Care Partnership through secretariat and the bringing together of key stakeholders.

The partnership was established in 2017 and aims to close the gap for vision for local Aboriginal people.

This partnership has provided a forum for the 4 local ACCHOS and other partners to map the journey of Aboriginal people in East Gippsland through all stages of eye health, screening and treatment. This data identified the gaps and challenges for eye care and as a result the partnership saw opportunities to develop local community approaches to improve access.

To meet the local needs of the community the East Gippsland Aboriginal Eye Health Partnership has made several key achievements that incorporated culturally appropriate, evidence based, eye health care systems.

The partnership have been focussing on increasing annual eye checks for Aboriginal patients with diabetes as well as raising the Aboriginal eye health profile in the community.

Key achievements of the partnership to date include:

  • Identified areas for improvement in the local person’s eye care journey.
  • Raised the profile of diabetes and diabetes related eye exams with local practitioners
  • Contributed to conversations about service coordination between Aboriginal and mainstream services.
  • Contributed towards bringing ocular injections to Bairnsdale – enabling people to access a local service instead of traveling to broader Gippsland or Melbourne.
  • Supported local eye health promotion events.
  • Developed local resources with local Aboriginal people on them.
  • Supported local Aboriginal health organisations who have recently received retinopathy camera to screen people
  • Presented at the 2019 Close the Gap for Vision annual conference.
  • Presented at the 2019 Ngar-Wu Wanyarra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Conference