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First, I would like to note that it has been a great honour to have taken on the role of Head of School this year, and to express my gratitude for the hard work, expertise, and support of my predecessors and all the staff in making the school, and BOptom and postgraduate programmes, examples of excellence.  

The School of Optometry & Vision Science, and the profession of Optometry, have expanded and developed in many new and exciting directions since I joined the Department of Optometry originally in 1994 as a Clinical Tutor in Optometry.  

The launch of the Vision Bus Aotearoa in June has been a highlight of 2022. It fulfilled an ambition long held by the school for a way to support increasing research intD inequities in eye healthcare Dea, provide a wider and in-depth learning experience for our students, and to facilitate a method of taking action to redress inequities in access to eye healthcare. Sincere and ongoing thanks are due to the generous donors who enabled the bus to be developed, and to Professor Steven Dakin for championing the cause and bringing it to fruition. 

The outreach opportunities offered by the Vision Bus Aotearoa and the university curriculum transformation process currently underway are great opportunities to re-envision how we can reach students who might not have considered optometry as a profession previously, deliver world-class optometry teaching underpinned by high quality research, and innovate in both research and teaching spaces.  

It is a privilege to face the challenges and opportunities ahead with the excellent and supportive team of academic and professional staff committed to the school and to our students.  

Finally, I also wish to recognise the ongoing achievements of our academic and professional teams in continuing to deliver teaching and research during a year that is still facing challenges daily from COVID-19 in the community. 

Te manu kai miro, nōna te ngahere; te manu kai mātauranga, nōna te ao.  “The bird that eats the miro berries, theirs is the forest; the bird that consumes knowledge, the world is theirs” or figuratively, “application of your own knowledge opens up your world.” 

Ngā mihi nui
Dr Andrew Collins
Head, School of Optometry and Vision Science