The School of Optometry and Vision Science moved to the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the beginning of 2021. Under the new Faculty management, the School has been provided with new and exciting opportunities to collaborate with other health schools within UNSW including the School of Clinical Medicine, School of Health Sciences, School of Medical Sciences and School of Population Health in teaching and research. These collaborations are in line with our School’s mission statement to “Advancing vision and eye health in society through world-class, innovative, multi-disciplinary education and research”.
During Orientation Week (O-Week) on 10 February 2021, SOVS held its annual School Welcome at the Physics Theatre. The welcome was presented by Professor Lisa Keay, Head of School. We were excited to be able to deliver the School Welcome in person and it was nice to have new students introduced to our community, facilities, and for students to meet their cohort for the next few years. The School Welcome was followed by a School tour and a BBQ hosted by the Student Optometry and Vision Science Society.
Undergraduate School Welcome
On 31 March 2021, the Faculty of Medicine and Health held its Prizegiving awards ceremony for its current students and recent graduates at The Roundhouse, UNSW. The awards were presented by the Faculty Executive Director and Associate Dean of Education. Our Head of School Professor Lisa Keay, Dr Sharon Oberstein and Dr Kathleen Watt were in attendance to celebrate the extraordinary achievement of our prize winners.
Faculty of Medicine & Health Prizegiving awards ceremony
As part of the outreach activities organised by UNSW Future Students, our School participated in one of the three days of “The Experience UNSW event” which was held on 15 April 2021. This event targeted 2021 Year 12 students, providing them with an opportunity to experience firsthand our campus and student life as well as establishing a connection with the UNSW community. Our Optometry and Vision Science Student Society President, Azba Mashood participated in a student panel, representing our School in students’ talks, whilst Associate Professor Michele Madigan and Dr Vanessa Honson conducted interactive 30 minute workshops titled “Vision Science and Optometry Eye Wonder!”.
The Experience UNSW Event
Prior to the NSW lockdown which commenced at the end of June 2021, our School was able to host the annual Graduation dinner and Prizegiving Ceremony for its recent graduates on the 12 May 2021 at L’Aqua Function Centre, Cockle Bay Wharf in Sydney. It was a lovely evening in which we celebrated our current and graduate student achievements.
As a result of increasing COVID-19 cases detected in New South Wales, face-to-face clinical and dispensing classes as well as student placements were postponed in Term 2 2021. Our students managed to partially complete their course requirements through online teaching delivery. Our Director of Learning and Teaching Dr Pauline Kang, Lab Manager Dr Dale Larden, Placement Coordinator Ms Michelle Bonanno, Program Administrator Ms Michelle Wanandy, Clinic Director Dr Kathleen Watt and our School’s academic team worked tirelessly to successfully organise and deliver deferred face-to-face teaching and placement activities for our Optometry and Vision Science students during Term 3 and into December 2021.
During 2021 the UNSW Open Day was delivered online through Microsoft Teams via webinar with sim-u-live lectures. The UNSW Open Day was important for the Year 12 cohort given the ongoing COVID-19 challenges they have faced. On the day, prospective students had the opportunity to join online and ask our academics and current students any questions they had about the Optometry and Vision Science’s program structure, admissions requirements, student experience, and future job opportunities.
The optometry SWAG (Student Wellbeing and Action Group) was formed during 2021. Membership includes Dr Pauline Kang, Director of Learning and Teaching, OptomSoc executive team members and representatives from each stage from 1-4. On 21 October 2021 SWAG held a virtual games night. This successful online social event was attended by many students and staff members.
We also congratulate our incoming OptomSoc Executive Team for 2022:
President: Karuna Darvesh
Vice President: Lucy Helena Nguyen
Treasurer: Johnson Tran
Secretary: Nhi Nguyen
Events Coordinator: Zhilin Choo
Marketing Director: Sylvia Wang
We sincerely thank the 2021 Executive Team:
President: Azba Mashood
Vice-President: Amy Yu
Treasurer: Khang Lam
Secretary: Shanice Perumal
For their commitment, dedication and leadership during a challenging 2021.
The UNSW International Open Day specifically held for International Undergraduate Students was held on 4 December 2021. This event had a similar structure to the UNSW Open Day held earlier in the year. There was strong interest from prospective overseas students.
We commend our students for their hard work and resilience during 2021 and wish them all the best for their studies in 2022.
Dr Pauline Kang, Director of Learning and Teaching
Ms Michelle Wanandy, Program Administrator