With our largest cohort yet and more events than ever, 2019 was a big year for UMOSS, and no UMOSS year is complete without our annual Eyeball. 2019’s Eyeball was a smashing success with a very original ‘Carn-eye-val’ theme, filling the Grand Hyatt Ballroom with a rainbow of colours, balloons and confetti canons. We then packed our ballgowns and bowties away and picked up our spatulas for our annual World Sight Day bake sale.

The entire cohort continued their reputation for generosity and love of cake, helping us raise $1500 for Optometry Giving Sight’s World Sight day challenge. Once the icing sugar had settled, all the students buckled down for exams with the last UMOSS event for 2019 well in their sights: the Boat Party. The theme was “Back to School” and everyone came decked out in their best school outfits to be greeted by both the 2019 and the new 2020 committees. It was wonderful night full of dancing, food and music and a great send off to a phenomenal year.

A massive congratulations to the 2019 committee for their dedication, ingenuity and enthusiasm throughout the year. We wish you the very best of luck for your futures as Optometrists and are excited to see what the next chapter holds for you. Both committees, 2019 and 2020, would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all our sponsors as well as DOVS for providing us the support we needed to make sure 2019 was a huge success!!

UMOSS – 2020

The year began with the first Cambodia 2020 Eyecare project. Four final year students from the class of 2020 (Minh Pham, Noory Perera, Saranyah Selva Raja and Nikki Hall)travelled to the Prey Veng District in Cambodia with Global Hand Charity to provide eye care to those in need. The students worked diligently alongside volunteers from both Australia and Cambodia to provide eye health check-ups and spectacles to the people of rural Cambodia. More than 2000 people were seen across 5 rural sites, with thousands of glasses dispensed and 300 cases referred for surgical intervention through partnership with Khmer Sight Foundation. The students returned having dealt with a variety of clinical scenarios and with life-long friends, making the trip a truly rewarding and fruitful experience.

The students raised over $1200 during the student conference of 2019 as well as during a bake sale, of which some funds were donated towards making spectacles for individuals with high specific prescriptions. The remaining funds will be contributed to Khmer Sight Foundation, enabling pterygium and cataract surgeries to be performed for the Khmer people. The students would like to thank everybody who supported them both financially and emotionally during this trip, and would highly recommend younger year levels to get involved in the upcoming trips.

Despite the numerous Optometry puns to be made this year, 2020 (or 20/20), promises to be an exciting year for all of us. This year UMOSS will continue the previous year’s focus of ‘student engagement’, but given the move to the new building and the shared common room, we have expanded our focus. We will be emphasizing camaraderie amongst the Optometry student cohort whilst also encouraging branching our networks out to the Nursing and Physiotherapy students in particular, but also other health professions. We hope that creating these relationships across cohorts, and both between year levels and within them, will allow for life-long friendships and inter-professional relationships.

UMOSS will be continuing on with Owlbert the Owl and his Instagram page, both of which have a fresh, new updated look. We are continuing to utilize our social media platforms for both social, educational and professional engagement, giving students a quick and efficient way to stay up to date. We aim to further expand the use of our Instagram page to engage with students more personally, particularly in the context of student well-being and self-care throughout the year.

This year, UMOSS will be expanding the educational opportunities available to all students. The Big Brother Big Sister program (BBBS), coordinated by Jenkin Yau and Kim Nguyen (OD2), will be hosting more events for all year levels to facilitate inter-cohort friendships and peer-to-peer education. The BBBS will also receive increased support from UMOSS through our Education Officer, Grace Hand, as well as from the 2019 BBBS coordinators, Ravindri Weerasinghe and David Yosua (OD3). Additionally, we are working hard to host even more educational nights throughout the year, providing an opportunity for professionals in the field to directly engage with students of all year levels and provide them with experiences for academic growth.

Though there are exciting, new changes coming in this new year, the staple events of the UMOSS calendar will remain. We have worked tirelessly over the summer to bring the Eyemazing race, Laser Tag & Bowling Night, Trivia Night and the annual Eyeball all back for 2020. Our netball and futsal teams will also be returning to kick start another exciting season. As eager as we are for all our new opportunities, we will always be devoted to making sure everyone’s favourite events are amazing. We would also like extend a very warm welcome to our new OD1 cohort who have just begun their adventure in Optometry. We look forward to getting to know each and every one of you, and are thrilled to have you join our UMOSS family. UMOSS is always here to help guide you through your OD experience.

The UMOSS 2020 committee are dedicated to bringing a wonderful year to all our members and to make sure that this is a year they won’t forget! We are ready to take on 2020 with as much enthusiasm and energy as possible, and hope that everyone is as just as excited as we are for the upcoming year.

Thank you,

Chamasha Dissanayake and Ashviney Vigneswaran
UMOSS President and Vice-President 2020

Top: Adam Chen (Social), Noory Perera (Social), Jeremy (Jun Chen) Lin (Treasurer)

Bottom: Kayley Niemela (Social), Grace Hand (Education), Chamasha Dissanayake (President), Ashviney Vigneswaran (Vice-President)