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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.

Dear Colleagues

Welcome to the March edition of our newsletter.

Let me start by welcoming Emily Benefer, the school’s new optical assistant who will be providing much needed support to Kristine in dispensing.  And on the subject of new arrivals, congratulations to Sam Schwarzkopf and his wife Frances on the birth of their daughter Rhiannon Ada!

Staff are gearing up for the new academic year. Reorganisation of the BOptom curriculum means that this year is a uniquely busy year for us. Moving the students’ research projects forward a year means that both Part IV and Part V students will be running research projects, and I am grateful to all staff who are supervising extra students to help take the strain.

We are also preparing for the opening of two new clinics in March. The first is a pop-up clinic opening on the University City campus on Tuesday 5th March (thanks to everyone involved including Adina, Geraint, Kristine, Wanda, Bhav and Jaymie). Online appointments are already flooding in! The second is a Dry Eye clinic opening at Grafton on 13 March and led by Marcy Tong. Dry eye – caused by problems with maintaining the tear film – is an increasingly prevalent problem in NZ and the new service will offer state-of-the-art treatment (at affordable prices). More detail of these initiatives can be found in the newsletter.

Finally, earlier in the month I had a very enjoyable visit to the Rural Health Interprofessional Programme (RHIP) based at Whakatāne Hospital, Eastern Bay of Plenty. Ian and Michael at Visique Whakatāne have hosted Part V student Sushmita Chinchankar through RHIP for five weeks (who by all accounts has represented SOVS magnificently). This programme is a unique opportunity for our students to mix with other health professionals, experience rural optometry practice and to learn first-hand about the barriers that many New Zealander face in accessing eye health care. Schemes like RHIP are just one way we are seeking to further diversify the clinical experience of our students and we are enormously grateful to Yvonne Boyes and Matt Sinton for their working in running RHIP. We look forward to sending more of our students their way in the future.

Hei konā mai


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

Part V student experience in India

our new Part V student, Amosa Lene, had the opportunity of undertaking a summer internship in Mumbai with an NGO called Doctors for You. Read more here.

Recent Publications

Read about the recent publications by students at School of Optometry and Vision Science.

Marsden Success

At the end of 2018 a group of SOVS researchers lead by Steven Dakin was successful in securing an award from the Marsden Fund to support a research project entitled ‘The cortical limit on visual acuity’.

Staff Retreats 2019

The writers’ and clinicians’ retreats both took place in January.

SOVS Conference 16 June 2019

The School of Optometry and Vision Science’s annual conference will be held on Sunday 16 June 2019.

Graduation 16 November

On Friday 16 November our students graduated from the BOptom at a ceremony held at the Auckland Town Hall.

PhD Student Wilson Pan in USA

Wilson Pan attended the Siemens “IDEAL” course at their Heathineers Healthcare Training & Development Centre in Cary, North Carolina.

Students visit the Blind Foundation

During the year, all final-year BOptom students visit the Blind Foundation to perform Low Vision Enhancement examinations.

Impacts of artificial blue light

Dr Andrew Collins, our Academic Director, was consulted for the Blue Light Aotearoa Evidence Summary report.

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