Launch of the ‘Eyecare Now, Eyecare Always’ Health Promotion Resources
The Indigenous Eye Health Unit (IEHU) and the Project Steering Group have launched new eye health promotion resources, ‘Eyecare Now, Eyecare Always’ (ENEA) to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye care.
Images: Soft launch of ‘Eyecare Now, Eyecare Always’ resources at Big Esso (Mabu Mabu): Vanessa Murdoch (Kullili, Wakka Wakka), Carol Wynne, Nick Wilson (Ngarrindjeri), Kerry Woods (Palawa), Nornie Bero (Meriam of Mer Island, Torres Strait), Mitchell Anjou, Kylie Clarke (Gunditjmara, Wotobaluk, Ngarrindjeri and Buandig)
The new ENEA health promotion resources aim to assist primary health care providers, including Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioners, to promote regular eye checks, particularly through the annual 715 health check (which includes a mandatory basic eye check), and increase awareness and knowledge of refractive error and cataract.
The new resources build on IEHU’s existing health promotion resources which include the ‘Clean Faces, Strong Eyes’ trachoma elimination resources (from 2010), and the ‘Check Today, See Tomorrow’ resources (from 2015) to promote diabetes eye care.
During 2022, the ENEA resources were developed with a community-led approach centred around self-determination, voice and connections.
As a result of learnings in the development of previous IEHU resources, and with feedback and reflections through our networks, we established an informed initial approach to begin creating the new resources
- Digby Mercer (Gadigal), Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer, IEHU
An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group of health leaders and workers, eye health coordinators and supporters, health promotion officers, and community members with a diverse range of skills and knowledges, cultural connections and lived experiences from across Australia was convened.
The Advisory Group participated in a series of online creative workshops facilitated and guided by the Project Steering Group and Gilimbaa Indigenous Creative Agency to codesign all aspects of the print and multimedia resources including its objectives, key messages, and the look and feel, and execution.
Image: ENEA social media tile with key message: ‘Regular Eye Checks Keep Our Eyes Healthy’ with ‘Traversing Country’ artwork by Gilimbaa artist David Williams (Wakka Wakka)
Some incredible well-known community members or ‘eye health heroes’ from a diverse range of disciplines and communities feature in the ENEA resources including:
- Karlie Noon (Gamilaroi) is an astronomer, author, academic and advocate for the incorporation of First Nation’s knowledge into Western ideas
- Dr Kristopher Rallah Baker (Yuggera, Warangu, Wiradjuri) is Australia’s first Indigenous Ophthalmologist or eye doctor and an Associate Professor
- Scott West and Mantua Nangala (Kiwirrkurra Traditional Owners) are from the Kiwirrkurra Indigenous Rangers program in one of the most remote communities in Australia where traditional owners fuse their incredibly rich traditional land management to care for their Country
- Nornie Bero (Meriam of Mer Island, Torres Strait) is a chef and entrepreneur pioneering the inclusion of native ingredients in Australian cuisine
Images: Behind the scenes photos from the filming on Country with each of the members or ‘eye health heroes’.
The ENEA video resources aim to showcase the way in which each of these community members use their eyesight, highlight the importance of keeping up with regular eye checks, and amplify their amazing leadership and voices to a wider audience.
I really am pleased to be part of this project, because eye health is really important to me, I literally have bi-focals so I actually do have to get regular eye checks!
- Nornie Bero, Meriam of Mer Island woman, chef, entrepreneur and one of the ENEA ‘eye health heroes’
Watch the ENEA video from eye health heroes here
Further ENEA videos from each of our ‘eye health heroes’ can be found here in the multimedia resources
The ENEA resources were developed to acknowledge the incredible regional and cultural diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and encourage widespread use of and local community adaptations to raise awareness on the importance of regular eye checks, and the eye conditions, cataract and refractive error. A range of creative community adaptations of the messages and images can be applied to the poster templates or developed into new promotional materials.
Further details on community adaptations can be found here
Images: ENEA promotional items available to order to support community awareness.
‘Eyecare Now, Eyecare Always’ soft launch at Big Esso (Mabu Mabu), Federation Square
To acknowledge the contributions and celebrate the completion of the initial phase of the journey to develop resources to promote regular eye checks, IEHU celebrated the launch of the resources at Big Esso by Mabu Mabu in Federation Square on 14 December 2022, where the filming with Nornie Bero took place on Wurundjeri Country. Nornie is the owner of Big Esso by Mabu Mabu.
The launch was an amazing celebration of the achievements made by the Project Steering Group, Advisory Group, eye health heroes, and the project leads, and the many others that contributed.
Image: Project Steering Group members Kerry Woods (Palawa) and Kylie Clarke (Gunditjmara, Wotjobaluk, Ngarrindjeri and Buandig
As a community member and aspiring optometrist, I reflected on the last couple of years and seeing the existing ‘Check Today, See Tomorrow’ and ‘Clean Faces, Strong Eyes’ resources and how strong they are, and I thought how do we get there? Being a part of this journey has certainly helped my understanding of all the strategies and moving parts of all that it takes, where mob’s voices, stories and guidance lead the way
– Kylie Clarke, Gunditjmara, Wotjobaluk, Ngarrindjeri and Buandig and Project Steering Group member.
It’s been a really incredible journey being a part of developing these resources… It’s extremely important to me as I travel to communities around Western Australia and it’s really important to have these resources as back up
– Kerry Woods (Everett), Palawa from the Plangermairreenner community of the Ben Lomond people and Project Steering Group member.
Photos from the launch:
The new ENEA resources build on IEHU’s existing resources and tools supporting system reform improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health collaborations across Australia. Further ENEA resources will be released in early 2023 to further support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye care.
The ENEA resources are freely available to order and/or download via the IEHU website.
For further information and support, please contact Digby Mercer, Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer firstname.lastname@example.org or Carol Wynne, Translation Research Scholar email@example.com or telephone (03) 8344 0322.