Peer mentees benefit from the experience and advice of fourth year students. The School of Optometry and Vision Science, along with the University generally, have a huge number of opportunities for students. Peer mentors are there to help you make the most of Uni life by hitting the ground running. There are also plenty of differences between high school and university that peer mentors can help you navigate. As fourth years, your mentors will also have experience of the classes you will soon be doing. Their knowledge and experience can give you a leg up. 

The peer mentoring program is also an opportunity to begin making friends with your new peers and the friends you make during university may end up being your friends for life. Also, Optometry and Vision Science, like all degrees, can be challenging at times so developing a group of study buddies early on is a great way to help your academic progress. 

2015 peer mentoring program
2015 UNSW peer mentoring team

Enrol in a Peer Mentoring Group here:

Registration for Peer mentoring will be available soon!

If you have any difficulties or questions, contact Michelle Wanandy:


Group One Mentors

Sophie Lam Kevin Jiao Yeun Ji Kim
Sophie Lam
Kevin Jiao
Yeun Kim

Hi, my name is Sophie and I’m currently a fourth-year optometry student working as a casual at Specsavers. I love to travel and discover new places, eat good food, as well as chill at home on Netflix. On my days off, you’ll find me spending time at the beach (chasing sunsets) and hanging with my friends and family. Making Spotify playlists is also up there on my favourite past-times.

Hey, I’m Kevin and I’m stoked to be able to help settle the incoming cohort of Vision Science and Optometry students into university. Having worked at 1001 Optical and OPSM in Macquarie Centre, and transferred from Vision Science into Optometry, I hope to share any advice on hand and quell any anxieties regarding university. My hobbies include getting involved in church and Campus Bible Study (CBS), reading, playing board games, brewing beer, fishing, and going on hikes with mates.

Hi my name is Sarah. I’m Australian born Korean currently working at specsavers cbd! Because of lockdown, I picked up new hobbies like playing pc games with friends and discovering new movies to watch in bed. I also enjoy going on road trips and taking photos of my friends on my film camera (I loveee the excitement of developing a roll of film). Overall, I would say I am more on the introverted side but an easy-going and approachable person!

Register with group one here

Group Two Mentors

Bixing (Barton) Yan Emilie Zhang Fiona Gold
Barton Yan
Emilie Zhang
Fiona Gold

Hi Everyone, my name is Bixing (Barton) Yan currently in 4th year studying Vision Science/Clinical Optometry. I decided to become a peer mentor because of the amazing opportunity to meet new students as well as the tremendous support that I received through this program back in first year. While studying, I work as an optical assistant in Berowra and a maths tutor to help local high school students. I was also the External VP with UNSW Giving Sight in 2021.


My hobbies include playing table tennis and listening to audiobooks.

I am looking forward to meeting you all!

Hi, my name is Emilie! I currently work for my parents who own a small takeaway business. I love to wind down and relax by watching variety shows, Korean and Chinese dramas, and anime. I’m also an avid baker, and love experimenting with desserts like macarons! When I’m not being a homebody, you’ll find me going out with friends for karaoke, trying escape rooms, and exploring nice cafes and restaurants.  

Hi! I’m Fiona a fourth year Optometry student and hopefully soon to be eye doctor! My favourite things to do outside of university are running and reading. I go on morning runs regularly, it’s the best new habit I’ve gained in 2021! I also love reading classics, let me know if you want to join my mini book club! I have worked in independent practice and I’m currently working at Specsavers. I would love to share my two cents about uni life, vision science as well as industry knowledge to help you feel comfortable about this new environment! I am super keen to meet each of you!

Register with group two here

Group Three Mentors

Medanki Jeyakumaran Helen Lin Ridwan Usamah

Hello! I'm Madanki and I'm one of the peer mentors. I moved from Melbourne up to Sydney to study optom, so any fellow melbournians please come say hi! I'm also currently working at Specsavers Neutral Bay. In my spare time I like to hang out with friends, explore new hiking spots or  catch up on netflix.

Hello! My name is Helen and I work part-time at a corporate eyecare practice. I became involved in the Mentoring program because I feel that it’s important for mentees to have someone to listen, give advice and hopefully make the transition to university life a more positive experience. In my spare time I like to spend time with family and friends, playing card games, listening to music or playing badminton.

Hey! My name is Ridwan and I’m a current 4th year student studying Optometry. Honestly, I’m your typical university student; I’m an avid foodie, gym enthusiast (when I feel like it hehe) and when I’m not out with friends, I’m either binge watching the next new tv show or gaming with my other friends. I was fortunate enough to begin working in the Optometry industry as an Optical Assistant within my first year and have moved between a couple companies, in doing so, understanding the different directions you could take as an Optometrist. Keen to see you all soon!

Register with group three here

Group Four Mentors

Alex Qiu Lauren Nguyen Iris Huang
Alex Qiu
Lauren Nguyen
Iris Huang

Hey guys I’m Alex! Whilst my friends know me as someone who loves to nap and occasionally rocks up late to 9am classes, the main descriptors I’d give myself are Christian, introverted and laidback. If I’m not enjoying those lovely naps, you’ll often find me listening to all kinds of music, catching up on shows and working at an independent optometrist! Most importantly, I enjoy studying the eyes and like many others, I transferred from vision science to optometry after third year, so feel free to ask me heaps of questions! Keen to meet some of you guys soon!


Hey guys! My name is Lauren and I currently work at an independent optometry practice in Carlingford. I enjoy doing creative hobbies such as painting, drawing and scrapbooking. I've loved trying new baking recipes (especially during lockdown), and singing karaoke (most often in the shower). I've got a massive sweet tooth, but I like to think I balance that out with going on fun outdoor adventures and walks with friends. I'm excited to meet you all, make some new friends, and hopefully get to be your peer mentor!

Hello! My name is Iris and I love trying out new places to eat. Most of my spare time is spent on listening to music, watching kdramas and dance (ballet and sometimes kpop!). I also enjoy small crafty projects and cooking simple meals. Currently, I work as an optical dispenser and receptionist at a private optometry practice and tutor high school maths students. I’m super keen to meet you all!

Register with group four here

Group Five Mentors

Alex Lam Chen Jacob Escalada Kiera Nguyen
Alex Lam Chen
Jacob Escalada
Kiera Nguyen

Hi 1st-year students, my name is Alex and I am a 4th-year optom student. I am an international student from Ecuador, so my first language is Spanish. I currently work at Specsavers Neutral Bay and so far, I gained amazing experience and met amazing people working there. As for my hobbies, I work out at the gym and spend endless hours watching Tiktoks. Besides studying and working, I always try to make time for my friends to eat at different restaurants.

Hi Everyone!! My name is Jacob Escalada and I'm here to help you all get accustomed to starting university!

Throughout my life in Optometry I've been both the External Vice President and Treasurer of Giving Sight (Optometry charity) for two consecutive years, as well as been on the subcommittee for Fred Hollows Foundation Social Media and Economics Society. I also work in a full scope independent practice selling luxury frames!

University is much more than academic success and I believe it's important to have plenty of friends that you can rely on. Within our group you can be sure that we're all going to form tight-knit friendships to tackle uni with, and we'll provide plenty of support for you along the way!

Hi! I am Kiera, a fourth-year Optometry student. I am also Vice President of Externals of the Society of Vietnamese International Students here at UNSW and have participated in many volunteering programs. In my free time, I love hanging out with friends and discovering multiple places around Sydney. After the challenging transition into university, my experience here has been super dynamic and fun. I would like to be your first friend and help you with all things about university life so you could enjoy it as much as I do! I am excited to meet you soon!

Register with group five here

Group Six Mentors

Reynard Wee Cheng Tay Rachael Chan Justine Mai Kelly O
Justine Mai
Kelly O

I'm Reynard and I currently work in the optical industry as a retail optical assistant at Specsavers. I'm a pretty active and outdoorsy person so in my spare time away from work and uni, you'll probably find me in the middle of a national park on a long hike with friends (or at home planning my next adventure if the weather is poor). I also have interests in photography and I have occasionally been known to take to the skies in a little Cessna 150 slowly working my way towards my Private Pilot's Licence. 

I'm Rachael and I'm excited to hang out and show you the ropes at uni and in optometry. I'm apart of the furniture at Specsavers and I've worked at Centre for Eye Health so in terms of optometry I am keen to share my experiences. In terms of uni... we've been online for half our degree so waking up early for face-to-face classes will be a joint struggle. I enjoy hanging out with friends, exercising, shopping, eating acai bowls and I lead youth group at my church so I also enjoy sharing any knowledge and advice I can offer.

Hey guys! I’m Justine and I am so keen to become a peer mentor this year. I currently am working as an optical dispenser at an independent optometry store and in my free time I love to draw and make art Tiktoks. They’re pretty dodgy but practise makes perfect :’) I also enjoy discovering different food places with my friends and occasionally like to go on nice hikes with them. I am looking forward to meeting you all and being the best mentor I can be :)

Hey y'all I'm Kelly! I'm a 4th year Optometry student who enjoys working out and playing sports. Outside of studying, you'd find me scrolling through Tiktok endlessly as well as messing up my mum's kitchen whilst I'm trying to bake up something sweet!. I've worked at a few different optometry stores over the past years, allowing me to gain experiences in this field outside of uni which I'd love to share with all of you. 

Keen to meet you all soon!

Register with group six here