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School of Optometry and Vision Science

Keep up to date with all the latest news and information from the School of Optometry and Vision Science.

Message from the Head of School | April 2018

Dear Colleagues

Welcome to the third issue of the SOVS newsletter for 2018.

The Open Day to celebrate the 50th Year Anniversary of the faculty held on Saturday, 17 March was a great success. The faculty hosted more than 1800 people through the day and feedback from attendees has been very positive. Thanks again to all staff who volunteered their time and services to help make this event a terrific advertisement for the work that goes on in FMHS.

A warm welcome to our incoming Research Programme Manager Debbie Waayer (who we will share with Pharmacy) and Research Programme Coordinator Chelvica Ariyanayagam (who we are temporarily sharing with Nursing).

Farewell to PhD candidate Aleksandra Milczarek who unfortunately has had to return to Europe. We hope she is able to return here in the future.

For your calendars: Thursday, 19 April is the NZAO student Awards Evening for Parts III, IV, and V students which will be held at the Langham Hotel.

Finally, a reminder to send your stories about events, visitors and wins to Kerryn for inclusion in this newsletter.


All the best


Professor Steven Dakin
Head of School, Optometry and Vision Science
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

An image of Professor Steven Dakin

Rotary sees value of eye research

SOVS is delighted to have the support of Rotary which has given $10,000 in recent months to support an innovative treatment for amblyopia (“lazy eye”) being developed in SOVS.

New symbols to test the vision of children

Recent research, led by Dr Lisa Hamm, has been looking at whether current screening tests could be improved through testing not with letters but symbols specially designed for children.

Low Vision Day

On 1 March, we held our annual Low Vision day for the Part V optometry students to increase their knowledge and awareness of the difficulties people with reduced vision and vision impairments face in their everyday lives.

SOVS Annual Conference

Following the success of the inaugural conference in 2017, we are excited to present a 1-day conference on Sunday, 29 July 2018.

50th Year Anniversary Open Day

Many attendees of the faculty’s 50th anniversary open day made the trip up to the School of Optometry & Vision Science to see our research and our clinical teaching.


The 15th Scientific and 9th Educators’ meeting in Optometry (SEMO) will take place 5-6 April in Melbourne.

50th Anniversary Open Day

On Saturday 17 March 2018 from 9.30am-4pm our Grafton Campus will open to the public with a carnival atmosphere.

Writers’ Workshop

The School’s academic staff and postgraduate students gathered together at the picturesque Bella Rakha resort over 2 days at the end of January.

20th Retina International World Congress

Auckland hosted the Retinal International Congress for the first time on 10-11 February. This was a conference where most of the participants had some form of visual impairment. Although largely organised by the Department of Ophthalmology, 15 students from Parts III...

High impact paper in IOVS

Manuela Bossi, a London-based PhD student supervised by Prof Steven Dakin, works on developing new therapies for childhood amblyopia.

Alumni success

Dr Nabin Paudel has secured a position as postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Eye Research Ireland, Dublin Institute of Technology.

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