Conference theme: Our vision in our hands

Indigenous Eye Health (IEH) at the University of Melbourne are pleased to announce the 2022 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Eye Health Conference (NATSIEHC22), which will take place on Larrakia country in Darwin on Tuesday 24 to Thursday 26 May 2022.

Our co-host for the conference is the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) and the conference partners include Optometry Australia (OA), Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) and Vision 2020 Australia.

The 2022 conference is being planned as a face to face event after two years where this was not possible because of COVID-19. In 2020, the Adelaide conference was postponed at late notice but we were able to video record some the of the keynote presentations to make these available online. In 2021, the conference was a fully virtual event and we enjoyed participation of over 230 delegates across three days of online activities. We plan to broadcast and video record some elements of the conference in 2022 for those who are unable to attend in person.

National conferences for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health sector have been held since 2017, making 2022 the sixth event. The annual conference provides a wonderful opportunity for the sector to come together and a wide variety of voices are presented to support discussion and sharing of success stories and challenges in eye health from across Australia.

In 2022 the conference is being overseen by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership group, chaired by Shaun Tatipata, and the Program Advisory Group (PAG) and Conference Organising Group will report to the leadership group. Members of the PAG include representatives from AMSANT, OA, RANZCO, Vision 2020 Australia, The Fred Hollows Foundation and The Brien Holden Foundation.

The conference aims to advance the collective work of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health sector towards the shared goal of improving eye health access and outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Delegates will include representatives from Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and other primary care service providers, eye care clinicians, policy makers, researchers, non-government organisations, hospitals, professional peak bodies and government departments from across the country.

We understand that it is still an uncertain time to travel and congregate with the COVID-19 pandemic, however we are planning an in-person COVID safe event, adhering to social distancing and density limits as per Northern Territory government guidelines and mandates.

We also encourage delegates to think about booking their accommodation sooner than later. Darwin in May is entering the dry season and it can be a popular time for tourists with accommodation booking out quickly.

Please join us in May 2022.

Please email Indigenous-EyeHealth@unimelb.edu.au with any questions.

You are also welcome to contact Guy Gillor at guy.gillor@unimelb.edu.au | (03) 9035 8831 or Makkaillah Ridgeway at makkaillah.ridgeway@unimelb.edu.au | (03) 8344 8675 with questions.