Eye Health

One of the most common health problems for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is vision impairment and poor eye health.

The good news is that many health issues causing poor eye health are preventable, treatable or manageable. VACCHO, together with our Members and health partners, work hard to ensure Community have appropriate support to preserve and maintain eye health and access to eye care.

Get involved! Your voice guides eye health

VACCHO have been gathering Community voices and suggestions to inform eye care activities since 2019. If you have any concerns about your access to eye care or eye-health in general, there are couple of different ways you can raise your concerns and help ensure better eye-health outcomes for Community . We welcome your thoughts and suggestions via email, phone calls and yarning together.

Eye Health Yarns is taking a hiatus for a while. Please contact the Healthy Communities team with any enquiries.

Health promotion RESOURCES

VACCHO have developed and collected the following resources to provide information to Community about common eye-health concerns.


Love Your Eyes at Work

No matter where you are or what job you do, it is important to prioritise and protect your eye health at work.

Download posters, logos, and resources for World Sight Day 2023 here.


Children’s Eye-health social media pack – downloadable digital assets and social media posts your organisation can share on their social media channels to help promote eye-health for kids and families.

Social media tile with Aboriginal artwork, an image of a pair of sunglasses with the description reading



WATCH: Lorraine’s Story. A video about living with sight loss


    WATCH: Our Eyes, Our Journey – a video about managing sight loss


    WATCH: Looking Good – a project developed and financed by the Fred Hollows Foundation in association with Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation.

      Education and Training

      VACCHO provides access to online self-directed training, some of which are CPD (continuing professional development) eligible.

      Own and run an Optical Dispensing business

      Expressions of Interest are open now.

      Get an inside view of the glasses business! If you are passionate about eye health and caring for Community, this opportunity could be the start of your eye health career!

      We are offering a one-time opportunity in the eye health industry for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Victoria.

      • Get experience work on the shop floor
      • Meet Aboriginal entrepreneurs
      • Take a free online training course
      • Learn about how lenses are made

      The Certificate IV in Optical dispensing is the minimum qualification for entry into this career.

      VACCHO can provide assistance by arranging site-visits, work experience programs and self-directed online learning to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria who wish to explore the field before enrolling in the 18 month traineeship.

      The goal is to scale up the $10 glasses program, known as Victorian Aboriginal Spectacle Subsidy Scheme (VASSS), with Aboriginal-owned and run businesses as suppliers of optical dispensing services.

      For more information contact the Statewide Eye-Health Co-ordinator to register your interest.

      Download the flyer here.

      Koori MIST

      The training is based on an adaptation of the Melbourne Initial Screening Test (MIST), which was designed by the School of Orthoptics, La Trobe University, Victoria, and in 2017 was copyrighted by State Government of Victoria.

      NOTE: MIST is designed to only detect visual problems for referral purposes. MIST is not to be used as a diagnostic test.

      The online self-directed training enables early-childhood educators and parents/carers of pre-school age children (3-5 years of age) to identify suspected problems with a child’s sight. The Testing Kit includes a booklet that provides the instructions and content, as well as other material and resources necessary for culturally safe administration of an adaptation of the Melbourne Initial Screening Test (MIST). It has been designed for checking vision of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with the help of staff at Early Learning Centres, preschools and kindergartens.

      Download the Koori Mist flyer here.

      Looking to upskill on your eye health knowledge and capability?

      Below are several external resources available for GPs and primary-level clinicians. VACCHO is also developing a VET-accredited upskilling Cluster of Units.

      • Eye Health in General Practice – GP training webinar delivered by North Western Melbourne PHN with support from Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV). RWAV supported three PHNs to deliver training for GPs on how to use the HealthPathways portal for eye-care. The recording is available here.
      • Accredited eye health training – Online modules by Vision Initiative. These modules are suitable for primary health care and allied health professionals
      • Instructional eye videos from the Provision of Eye Health Equipment and Training (PEHET) project by the Brien Holden Vision Institute
      • Remote Area Health Corps: E-learning eye health
        • Introduction to Indigenous Health
        • Eye health and diabetes
        • Primary eye care checks

      About Eye Health at VACCHO

      VACCHO is a key partner and representative of the Korin Korin Balit-Djak. The VACCHO Eye Health Program is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Health to work collaboratively with Member organisations and key local, state and national stakeholders to enable sight health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Victoria.

      We do this through:

      • Systems improvements for eye-health,
      • Establishing and maintaining culturally safe local care pathways and
      • Policy, advocacy and co-ordination for eye-health

      VACCHO presents a strong voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria in the eye-health space through:

      Representation on policy and advocacy committees such as:

      • Statewide Aboriginal Eye-health Stakeholder Group (AESG-V)
      • Vision 2020 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Committee
      • NACCHO Aboriginal Eye-health Advisory Group

      Partnerships and working in collaboration with a range of stakeholders including:

      • Victorian Department of Health
      • Commonwealth Government Department of Health
      • Vision2020 Australia
      • Australian College of Optometry
      • Guide Dogs Victoria
      • Optometry VIC/SA
      • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
      • Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital
      • Rural Workforce Agency Victoria
      • University of Melbourne, Indigenous Eye Heath Unit
      • Victoria and Tasmania Primary Health Network Alliance (VTPHNA) and individual PHNs
      • Vision Australia

      For more information or to find out how we can work with you and provide support to your Member organisation, get in touch with us by filling out and submitting the form below or call 03 9411 9411


      Enquiries from Members can be made by filling out and submitting this form.

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