PROFESSIONAL JOURNEY: Lauren Hutchinson, Fred Hollows Foundation board director John Brumby and The Fred Hollows Foundation board member Gabi Hollows. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

MOLONG’S Lauren Hutchinson will benefit from apartnership between The Fred Hollows Foundation and the Institute of UrbanIndigenous Health (IUIH).

The Indigenous optometry studentwill workin Queensland later this year, putting her medical skills to good use in aboriginal communities.

Ms Hutchinson – who attended St Joseph’s Primary School and Molong Central School andholds a Bachelor in Visual Science –believes the stint will be rewarding.

“I’m really looking forward to working with IUIH,” she said.

“It will be such as invaluable opportunity to getsome practical experience working with people in their local areas, as well as chance to workalongside some of the leading professionals in Indigenous eye health.”

Ms Hutchinson will spend three months training with the Aboriginal Community Controlled Healthsector, learning on-the- and through mentoring with the IUIH Regional Eye Health Unit andoptometry clinics, as part of a team working in a multidisciplinary Aboriginal and Torres Strait

Adrian Carson, CEO of the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health, said Ms Hutchinson will be able to expand herclinical knowledge.

“We have a great team here at IUIH and Lauren will have the ability to connect with a number ofhealth professionals, giving her a more holistic look at the patient journey,” he said.

“She will experience first-hand the eye health conditions that affect our people here in south-east Queensland, including thehuge impact diabetes is having on the eyes,” Mr Carson said.

Jaki Adams-Barton, manager of the Indigenous Australia Program at The Fred Hollows Foundation,said the initiative is key to filling the gap for Aboriginal eye health.

“We know that 94 per cent of vision loss among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peopleis preventable or treatable, yet more than one-third have never had an eye exam,” she said.

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