OneSight’s work in our Australia and New Zealand (NZ) regions spans more than 30 years. We’ve helped in leading dozens of one-day local clinics as well as week-long regional clinics, which have provided thousands of people with access to vision care. We’ve traveled all over Oceania to bring vision care to those that either can’t afford it, lack education about it or can’t physically access it. And in working towards our goal to #HelpTheWorldSee, we’ve established a rockstar team of localized industry experts to help us close the vision care gap in this region for good.
A LOOK BACK AT OUR WORK IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
Australia is a massive continent with a unique geographical and socioeconomic makeup – and thus, an equally unique set of needs. From its vast coastline, to its dry deserts – it’s just as diverse naturally, as the 25 million residents who now call it home. Just across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand has a relatively short history when compared to other Polynesian nations, but is still home to nearly 5 million people who make up a country of many rich cultural, beliefs & languages. OneSight is committed to bringing quality vision care to every person – no matter their location or background. Our team continually serves both metropolitan and remote communities residing in both Australia and New Zealand, bringing clear sight to those that may otherwise not have it.
Each year, OneSight’s Australia/NZ team looks for opportunities to extend our reach and serve as many people as possible. Often this entails visiting a number of schools throughout the two countries that are identified as having a high need. From there, we carefully determine this need for vision care in each school and begin to develop a plan in which we can maximize our team’s time and efforts. In the past, we’ve held as many as 70-100 total clinics in a single year.
What’s unique about our work in Australia is that everything is done at the local level. In order to bring a clinic to life, we often train a local clinic leader and then connect them with an identified at-need community or school within the area. Once we’ve established how we can tailor our approach to fit the needs of that particular community, we recruit a team of local volunteers to fuel the clinic. These clinics are designed to yield high levels of impact in a relatively short amount of time, meaning that our team members work feverishly to provide hundreds of patients with quality care within as little as one day or as much as one week’s time.
Our regional work was initially focused on serving remote indigeneous communities, but has since expanded to also serving communities with higher populations and more individuals in need. Our regional clinics generally span one week and are reliant on the support of local partners and volunteers. Our partners help make all that we do possible, by assisting us in everything from clinic setup, to ophthalmological resources and even staffing our clinics with volunteers. It’s thanks to this support that we’ve been able to provide access to the communities we serve and develop dynamic approaches to suit each area’s needs.
Local clinics tend to be shorter in length, but still have a great impact on the communities & beneficiaries we serve. We hold local clinics all over Australia and New Zealand, creating single day events with the help of local partners and various other health services & non-government organizations. As we expand to new areas and revisit old ones, our team has had to be adaptable to the unique needs and challenges faced in the field. Over the years OneSight has traveled to give assistance after various natural disasters such as bush fires & floods helping serve communities still recovering from traumatic loses. These situations have proved to be emotional, but also extremely rewarding.
TAKING THINGS ON THE ROAD
For the 6th year in a row, we’ll be taking our team on the road to serve at-need communities in North Queensland. Small but mighty, our team will squeeze into passenger vans and begin their journey cross-country on August 19th with a specially designed nimble clinic kit.
Volunteers will divide and conquer to serve school-aged children in the identified local schools. One team will remain on the mainland while the other will hop a flight on a tiny 12-seater airplane to serve indigenous populations on Palm Island. Over the course of the trip, we’ll be visiting schools in the cities of Townsville, Home Hill, Ayr and communities on Palm Island.
This road trip perfectly depicts the lengths that our OneSight Australia/NZ team will go to ensure that every person – no matter their circumstances – has access to an eye exam and a pair of glasses. We look forward to celebrating the work that comes out of this regional clinic as well as the remainder of the impact expected to take place within this team’s region during 2019.
We’re on a mission to #HelpTheWorldSee – but we can’t do it without you. Together, we can close the vision care gap for good. Consider giving a donation of $10 to provide glasses to someone in need.