Undergraduate News

2020 was a challenging year for all of us here in Australia and around the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Teaching, research activities and social events for our Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Clinical Optometry students were all impacted. Perhaps the biggest challenge was the suspension of face-to-face teaching in March and the transition to online learning. Special care was needed to ensure that our standards of teaching quality were maintained for these online classes.

Our new first year students have been supported by our dedicated fourth year peer mentors. This program is designed to assist first years’ transition to university life by providing them with program advice from older students as well as an opportunity to make friends. The adaptiveness of our peer mentors was demonstrated by their shifting to online, weekly catch ups as soon as Covid-19 restrictions suspended face-to-face social activities.

Our final year (Stage 5) Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Clinical Optometry clinical students’ rotations and placements during mid-April to May were also cancelled. During stage 5, students would normally examine many patients across a range of clinics, with a variety of conditions.  This valuable clinical experience is necessary for their eventual registration as optometrists. Fortunately, the Australian government issued new Covid-19 recommendations in early June and our final year students were able to resume their work at the Optometry Clinic.

undergraduate alumni 2020

On August 4th, 2020, the School of Optometry and Vision Science recognized the diligence and achievements of 2019’s graduating cohort with our annual prizegiving awards (delivered over Zoom, of course). Dr Jack Phu from the Centre for Eye Health was our keynote speaker. Dr Phu’s inspirational speech encouraged the graduating cohort to find opportunities to shape how the profession will meet the challenges raised by the pandemic. Ivy Kol, the 2019 UNSW Student Optometry Society President, spoke on behalf of the graduates and award winners also with an outstanding speech, sharing her thoughts about the resilience and professionalism of Optometrists in these trying times. This annual prizegiving event is a wonderful acknowledgment to all the undergraduate and postgraduate students who excel in their academic life. We sincerely thank our donors and sponsors for their continued support of our School and students.

Towards the end of the year, UNSW delivered its first digital Open Day on 5 September 2020. This turned out to be a vibrant and engaging digital event that showcased what our university has to offer to prospective students. The most popular component proved to be the ‘live’ lecture schedule, a rotating showcase of UNSW faculties and services. The ‘live’ lecture was available on demand for prospective students to watch before the end of the year.

In September the inaugural SOVS student led conference was held.

The conference was spearheaded by Master of Clinical Optometry student Judy Nam and Lecturer Dr Jack Phu, along with the support of their organising committee. They took the initiative to create a conference solely for students which was aptly named “Seeing Beyond 2020."  Originally scheduled as a face-to-face conference for July 2020, it was rescheduled to 4 September 2020 as a fully online event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Student led conference

Enlisting the help of the Optometrists Association NSW/ACT, recent graduates and a myriad of optometrists, clinicians, UNSW faculty and alumni, this online student led conference covered topics from practising during COVID-19, leadership, ownership of a practice, career pathways and research to interactive workshops on science communication and live demonstrations on gonioscopy.  

OA Panel Screenshot

This was a jam-packed schedule, but it was also a great success and the school is grateful for all those who volunteered their time. For more details on the conference, see this article in Mivision [https://www.mivision.com.au/2020/11/seeing-beyond-2020-inaugural-unsw-sovs-student-conference/]

Finally we thank our School of Optometry and Vision Science 2020 Executive Team for the Optometry and Vision Science Student Society: Claudia Jiang, Stephanie Huang, Rodger Zhang and Paula Gu for their valuable contributions to the School, and especially for their leadership during a challenging 2020.

We are delighted to introduce to our alumni the 2021 Optometry and Vision Science Student Society Executive Team:

President: Azba Mashood

Vice-President: Amy Yu

Treasurer: Khang Lam

Secretary: Shanice Perumal

2021 Optom exec

Photo: L to R: Shanice Perumal, Khang Lam, Amy Yu, Azba Mashood, Claudia Jiang, Stephanie Huang, Rodger Zhang, Paula Gu

Dr Pauline Kang,

Director of Learning and Teaching and

Ms Michelle Wanandy

Program Administrator

Previous Undergraduate News updates

2019

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 Undergraduate and Master of Clinical Optometry News

Congratulations to all our Graduates!

On May 14, 2019 the School of Optometry and Vision Science recognised the diligence and achievements of 2018's graduating cohort with our annual prizegiving awards and luncheon prior to the official graduation. This luncheon was well attended by our graduating students, other year prizewinners, donors, sponsors and key stakeholders of our School.

Dr Angelica Ly from the Centre for Eye Health was our keynote speaker. Her excellent and inspiring occasional address encouraged our graduates to ‘challenge themselves and to think about what they are experts at.’ Kevin La, the 2018 UNSW Student Optometry Society President, responded on behalf of the graduates and award winners with an impressive speech, sharing his thoughts about how ‘the values and characteristics that make a great Optometrist resonate within all of us.’

This annual prizegiving is a wonderful acknowledgment to all of the undergraduate and postgraduate students who excel in their academic life. Our donors attend every year and particularly enjoy meeting and networking with the graduates and prizewinners. We sincerely thank our donors and sponsors for their continued support of our School and students.

undergraduate news
Prizegiving group photo

Finishing your degree doesn't mean you're no longer a part of UNSW SOVS. For more information see https://www.optometry.unsw.edu.au/about/alumni/keep-touch 

Congratulations to our undergraduate and postgraduate prizewinners of 2018 who were recognised at the 2019 graduation luncheon.

The school would also like to extend its gratitude to all prize sponsors. 

The Stage-1 Optics Prize [Sponsored by Transitions Optical (Essilor)]

for the best performance in VISN1111 Geometrical and Physical Optics and VISN1221 Visual Optics

CHRISTINE YUAN

Christine Yuan

 

The Stage-2 Clinical Optometry Prize (Sponsored by BOC Ophthalmic Instruments Pty Ltd)

for the best performance in OPTM2133 The Clinical Environment and OPTM2233 Optical Dispensing

AARON TSE

Aaron Tse

 

The Stage-3 Ocular Diseases Prize (Sponsored by Essilor Australia Pty Ltd)

for the best performance in OPTM3131 Ocular Disease 3A and OPTM3231 Ocular Disease 3B

AND

The Stage-3 Environmental Optometry and Dispensing Prize (Sponsored by UVEX SAFETY AUSTRALIA LIMITED) 

for the best performance in stage-3 Environmental Optometry and Dispensing

LINCOLN LE

Lincoln Le

 

The CooperVision Prize in Contact Lenses (Sponsored by CooperVision Australia)

for the best performance in OPTM6411 and OPTM6421 (Contact Lens Strand) in Stage-1 of the Master of Clinical Optometry

PHOEBE WONG

Phoebe Wong

 

The Optometry NSW/ACT Prize in Ocular Therapeutics

for the best performance in OPTM6413 Anterior Eye Therapeutics and OPTM6423 Therapeutics and the Posterior Eye in Stage-1 of the Master of Clinical Optometry

Shared by

ROCKY SHI

BRIAN WONG

Rocky and Brian

 

The Mivision Prize in Recognition of Social Engagement

to recognise students that have demonstrated excellence in communication, advocacy or in promoting eyecare to the community or other professions

THALIA LIM

Thalia Lim

 

The Neville Fulthorpe Prize for Stage-5 Clinical Optometry (Sponsored by Judy Rainsford)

for the best performance in Master of Clinical Optometry, Stage-2 (OPTM8512 Clinical Optometry 5A and OPTM8522 Clinical Optometry 5B)

COURTNEY PRIESTLEY

Courtney Priestley

 

The Designs for Vision Prize

for the best overall performance throughout the Bachelor of Optometry/Master of Clinical Optometry Program in Primary Care Optometry

ANN WEN LIM

Ann Wen Lim

 

The Dr Andrew Whatham Prize for Stage-5 Centre for Eye Health (CFEH) Clinical Excellence (Sponsored by the Centre for Eye Health)

for the best performance in the Centre for Eye Health (CFEH) Stage-5 Clinical Rotation (Master of Clinical Optometry Stage-2)

AMANDA SOBBIZADEH

Amanda Sobbidazeh

 

The Specsavers Prize for Excellence in Patient Management

for excellence in patient management by a student in the final year Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Clinical Optometry Program

NANCY LIU

Nancy Liu

 

The ACBO Prize in Binocular and Children’s Vision (Sponsored by the Australasian College of Behavioural Optometrists)

for the best overall performance throughout the Master of Clinical Optometry program in Binocular and Children's Vision

LOWANA LITTLECHILD

Lowana Littlechild

 

The Research Project Prize in Master of Clinical Optometry (Sponsored by Optometric Vision Research Foundation) 

for the best overall mark in the research project in the final year of the Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Clinical Optometry program

Shared by

TIANNI JIA

ROSLYN LIAO

Tianni and Roslyn

 

The Australian College of Optometry (ACO) Prize

Awarded for academic excellence in Primary Care Optometry, specifically in the ACO placement

JIN JANE KWON

(absent)

 

The Luxottica Prize for the Best Performance in Clinical Ocular Therapeutics (Master of Clinical Optometry, Stage-2) (Sponsored by Luxottica) 

for the best performance in OPTM8513 Clinical Ocular Therapy 5A and OPTM8523 Clinical Ocular Therapy 5B

AND

The Specsavers Prize for Overall Excellence in the Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Clinical Optometry Program (Sponsored by Specsavers)

for the best overall weighted average mark (WAM) in the Bachelor of Vision Science/ Master of Clinical Optometry program

AND

The University Medal

PATRICIA TSONG

Patricia Tsong

 

 

The Postgraduate Ocular Therapeutics Prize (Sponsored by Luxottica)

for the best performance in Postgraduate Ocular Therapeutics

ROBYN MADIGAN

(absent)

 

The Brian Kirby Prize for Research Excellence in Optometry (Sponsored by the Brian Kirby Foundation) 

for the Doctoral student in Optometry with the best thesis

Shared by

EMMA GIBSON

JACK PHU

Jack Phu

(Emma Gibson absent)

 

The David Bard Award in Optometry and Vision Science

AARON KAN

Aaron Kan

Eye Ball 2019

The annual UNSW OptomSoc Eye Ball 2019 was held on 20 July 2019 at Doltone House Darling Island. Students, staff, key stakeholders and sponsors attended this beautiful event which was themed Winter Wonderland.

Eyeball1
Eyeball2
Eyeball3

Practice Excellence Scholarship Awarded to Master of Clinical Optometry Student

Congratulations to Ivy Kol, a Master of Clinical Optometry final year student was awarded a Practice Excellence Scholarship from VSP Global and the American Academy of Optometry Foundation. The purpose of the scholarship was to "help foster networking opportunities and teach the importance of Academy Fellowship."

Ivy had a fantastic time and said "It was an invaluable experience attending the Academy meeting and the VSP Global reception. It was great to meet so many like-minded students and professionals on the other side of the world and attend lectures about prominent eyecare issues."

Ivy Kol

 

2018

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Congratulations to all our Graduates!

At our 2018 Graduation dinner, the School of Optometry and Vision Science recognised the diligence, hard work and achievements of 2017's graduating cohort. The following day, that same cohort attended their graduation ceremony. Each student should feel proud to have completed the Bachelor of Vision Science with the Master of Clinical Optometry. Associate Professor Isabelle Jalbert and Professor Deborah Sweeney spoke wonderfully about where a qualification in optometry can take graduates, and about the impact each graduating student can make as alumni. They exhorted the graduands and prize givers to realise that despite just completing a long and difficult course, graduation is really only the beginning, and to be brave and to always say "yes" when asked to try something new. Celine Zhang, our student speaker for the night, gave an accomplished speech that highlighted to all attendees the maturity and vim of the graduating class. We are grateful for the support of industry, who kindly sponsored awards, and also for the presence of the Dean of the Faculty of Science, Professor Emma Johnston, for presenting the awards to our prizewinners. 

GradCollage

Finishing your degree doesn't mean you're no longer a part of UNSW SOVS. Stay in touch with us through our Alumni Newsletters and yearly alumni evening. 

Congratulations to our undergraduate and postgraduate prize winners of 2017, who were recognised at the 2018 graduation dinner

The school would also like to extend its gratitude to all prize sponsors. 

The Stage 1 Optics Prize [Sponsored by Transitions Optical (Essilor)]

for the best performance in VISN1111 and VISN1221

Aaron Yan-Lam Kan

award1

 

The Stage 2 Clinical Optometry Prize (Sponsored by BOC Ophthalmic Instruments Pty Ltd)

for the best performance in OPTM2190 and OPTM2291

Paula Gu 

award2

 

The Stage 3 Ocular Diseases Prize (Sponsored by Essilor Australia Pty Ltd)

for the best performance in OPTM3131 and OPTM3231

Brian Ka Lok Wong

 

The Stage 3 Environmental Optometry and Dispensing Prize (Sponsored by UVEX SAFETY AUSTRALIA LIMITED) 

for the best performance in stage 3 Environmental Optometry and Dispensing

Yee Sum Phoebe Wong

Award3

 

The Cooper Vision Prize in Contact Lenses Prize (Sponsored by CooperVision Australia)

for the best performance in OPTM6411 and OPTM6421 (Contact Lens Strand) in Stage 1 of the Master of Clinical Optometry

and

The Optometry NSW/ACT Prize in Ocular Therapeutics

for the best performance in OPTM6431 and OPTM6423 in Stage 1 of the Master of Clinical Optometry

Patricia Wing Lam Tsong

 

The Neville Fulthorpe Prize for Stage 5 Clinical Optometry (Sponsored by Judy Rainsford)

for the best performance in Stage 5 Clinical Optometry (OPTM5111 and OPTM5211)

Lisa-Marie Wei Xian Voon

Award4

 

The Stage 5 Research Project Prize (Sponsored by Optometric Vision Research Foundation) 

for the best overall mark in the research project in the final year of the Bachelor of Optometry Bachelor of Science Program 3952

Shared by:

Laura Luxin Hou 

Rachel Kim

Award5

 

The ACBO Prize (Sponsored by the Australasian College of Behavioural Optometrists)

for the best overall performance throughout the Bachelor of Optometry Bachelor of Science program in Binocular and Children's Vision

Rachel Kim

Award6

 

The Dr Andrew Whatham Prize for Stage 5 Centre for Eye Health (CFEH) Clinical Excellence (Sponsored by the Centre for Eye Health)

for the best performance in the Centre for Eye Health (CFEH) Stage 5 Clinical Rotation

and 

The Leonard Fine/Luxottica Prize (Sponsored by Luxottica) 

for the best performance in Stage 5 Ocular Therapeutics

Tyson Xu 

Award8
Award7

The Designs for Vision Prize

For the best overall performance throughout the Bachelor of Optometry Bachelor of Science Program in Primary Care Optometry

Kathy Kailin Qiu

Award10

 

The Specsavers Prize for Excellence in Patient Management

Awareded to a final year Bachelor of Optometry Bachelor of Science student for excellence in patient management

Nicholas James Stanley

Award11

 

The Susan Larter Vision Trust Prize (Sponsored by the Australasian College of Behavioural Optometrists)

for a final year or postgraduate student who has acheived clinical excellence and/or has contributed to the practice and knowledge of behavioural/neuro-developmental optometry

Celine Zhang

Award12

 

The Bachelor of Optometry Bachelor of Science Program Prize (Sponsored by Specsavers Optometrists) and the University Medal

for the best overall weighted average mark (WAM) in the Bachelor of Optometry Bachelor of Science Program 3952

Anne Li

Award13

 

The Postgraduate Ocular Therapeutics Prize (Sponsored by Luxottica)

for the best performance in Postgraduate Ocular Therapeutics

Shared by:

Melinda Louise Toomey

Eva Kim Yuen

Award13

 

The Brian Kirby Prize for Research Excellence in Optometry (Sponsored by the Brian Kirby Foundation) 

for the Doctoral student in optometry with the best thesis

Preeji Mandathara Sudharman

Awar14

 

The David Bard Award in Optometry and Vision Science

Anne Zhang

award15

 

The OVRF-MAKI SHIOBARA Scholarship

Thalia Lim

Award16