Welcome from the Head of Department

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2018. Since our last newsletter we have proudly watched the graduation of the class of 2017 (pictured below) and welcomed 65 new students into the first year of the Doctor of Optometry program.

We wish our graduating class all the best for their future roles in the health care sector and we are very excited to get to know our new cohort.

In addition to teaching the Doctor of Optometry program, we also welcome all our new research focussed students, who are involved in a variety of programs (PhD, MPhil, MBioMedSci, and Honours programs). These students are involved in a breadth of research projects ranging from the directly clinically focussed, through to projects that discover new fundamental knowledge in the vision sciences. Without research endeavour, there is no evidence base to advance our clinical practice, and no development of new techniques and treatments. We are very proud of our research contributions which are recognised and have impact internationally. I’d encourage you to have a read through the summaries of our recent publications in this newsletter to get a flavour of recent work. Excitingly, many of these publications are authored by our research focussed students.

I would also like to highlight the upcoming 15th Scientific and 9th Educators meeting in Optometry (SEMO 2018, April 5-6th 2018). SEMO 2018 is being co-hosted by Deakin University and the University of Melbourne with a collaborative organising and program committee. SEMO has had a little hiatus since 2012, so we are very excited to reinvigorate this biennial meeting.

The program is still being finalised, but approximately 60 abstracts have been received from representatives from all the optometry programs in Australia and New Zealand. The meeting is open to all, so if you are interested in attending, please engage with the SEMO Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/2018SEMO/ and sign up for the meeting at: goo.gl/g8dt5v

Photo of 2017 graduating class