A new children’s picture book has been launched to draw attention to the lack of basic eye care in rural Australia.
Written by award winning novelist and short story writer, Joanne Anderton, The Flying Optometrist, brings to life the importance of eye care; a privilege often taken for granted in the city. Paying homage to the dedicated work of her father, Dr. Phil Anderton, it tells the story of an optometrist who, in his small home-built airplane, travels to regional areas of NSW to tend to patients that otherwise wouldn’t receive even the most basic of optometric services.
The Flying Optometrist is Ms. Anderton’s first children’s book, which alongside illustrator Karen Erasmus’ ability to, “capture the feel of the outback”, depicts a quintessentially Australian adventure. It was inspired by her trip to the country town of Wanaaring, where Ms. Anderton established a greater appreciation of her father’s work and that of Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) and services like The Visiting Optometrist Scheme (VOS).
Ms. Anderton said she hopes that, through reading The Flying Optometrist, children will, “think about the kids in remote and rural Australia who wouldn’t be so lucky without VOS”.
“This book is going to serve a really valuable role by bringing to the attention of some of the kids, parents, and teachers that live in these isolated areas, the importance of having eye care for children,” said Professor Brian Layland, Chair of the Board of BHVI.