A Clear Vision For First Peoples | All Eyes Needed

What is NAIDOC week? And how is the Optical Superstore assisting?

Firstly, you can find the NAIDOC Homepage HERE. Many resources are available to get involved and be part of the NAIDOC Week experience.

Turning The Spotlight on NAIDOC Week

NAIDOC Week (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) is a week-long celebration of the culture, history and achievements of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal peoples. It is held in the first week of July each year. This year, that was the 2nd–9th of July for 2023.

At The Optical Superstore, we embrace and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. As we reflect on the significance of NAIDOC Week (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee), we recognize the importance of prioritizing health, including eye health, within these communities.

NAIDOC Theme Reaches Out: Into The Past & Our Future

The theme for NAIDOC Week 2023 is “For Our Elders”. This theme acknowledges the vital role that Elders play in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their ongoing contributions to society. It also looks to the future and the need to support and empower young people in these communities as they look to continue the representation of their languages, art, and cultural identity.

There are many ways to be part of and experience NAIDOC Week. You can attend local events, such as festivals, art shows, and sporting events. You can also learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture by reading books, watching documentaries, or visiting museums.

One aspect of the event is the award ceremony that highlights the activity of men and women as true trailblazers in their chosen fields.

NOTE THIS YEAR’S AWARD FINALISTS FOR NAIDOC WEEK

Moving Forward Despite Ongoing Health Challenges

While many exciting activities are happening and impactful contributions are being made, indigenous communities are still disproportionately impacted by vision and eye-health problems. In Australia, for example, Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander communities are three times more likely to experience severe vision loss and blindness than non-Indigenous people. The most common causes stemming from uncorrected refractive error, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. What are some of the reasons here?

Impacted: Why & How?

(1) Reduced access to eye care: Indigenous communities often have less access to eye care services, such as optometrists and ophthalmologists. This is due to several factors, including the remoteness of many indigenous communities, the lack of culturally appropriate eye care services, and the high cost of eye care.

(2) Socioeconomic factors: Indigenous communities are more likely to live in poverty, making it challenging to access eye care services. They are also more likely to experience chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, which can lead to eye problems.

Reaching Out To Your Mob

Australia should feel like one big, multicultural family – no one should be left behind, let alone our cherished older ones and young ones coming up across the peoples of the land. So, we ask the question: What’s Needed?

(1) Partnerships and Community Engagement: At The Optical Superstore, we believe in the power of collaboration and community engagement. We actively seek partnerships with local organizations and healthcare providers to improve access to quality eyecare support for Aboriginal communities and Torres Strait Islander peoples. A unified approach may ensure everyone has opportunities to maintain good eye health.

After all, a clear vision for the future requires clarity.

(2) Cultural Sensitivity and Inclusivity: We recognize the importance of providing culturally sensitive eye care services that respect the unique needs and perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Our team at The Optical Superstore is committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment where individuals from all backgrounds feel comfortable and supported in their eye care journey.

DID YOU KNOW?

Australia has over 500 first nations groups, clans, and families. By getting involved and finding out more about the first nations people as original caretakers of the land and finding out where we can be more supportive, we all move forward with clarity.