Aurizon, a large Australian rail freight operator, has awarded a grant to fund Essilor Vision Foundation’s school vision screening program in a large part of South-West Queensland.
The initiative, named the ‘Aurizon School Vision Screening Program’, will predominantly target primary schools in Chinchilla, Brigalow, Dalby, Jondaryan, Oakey, Murphy’s Creek, Helidon, Ashwell and Grandchester, as well as Wilsonton in Toowoomba – a distance of some 241 kilometres.
Each day, Aurizon trains pass by these communities as they connect miners, primary producers and industry with international and domestic markets.
Screening will be undertaken by final year students of QUT’s School of Optometry and Vision Science under the supervision of volunteer local optometrists
Screening commences on 7 and 8 August, at Chinchilla State High School as well as Brigalow and Kogan State Schools.
Essilor Vision Foundation CEO Greg Johnson said, “The Foundation was over the moon when it received the news about the success of its giving fund application.
“We’ve been screening schools across Australia for almost three years, predominately in major cities. Aurizon has given us the opportunity to take our screening to places we’d never thought of visiting.”
Screening will be undertaken by final year students of QUT’s School of Optometry and Vision Science under the supervision of volunteer local optometrists. If children do not meet the screening criteria they will be referred for a comprehensive examination to optometry practices who have agreed to forego their usual fee and bulk-bill. If prescription spectacles are required they will be provided at no cost.
Kev Taske, Aurizon’s Regional Operations Manager based in Toowoomba said, “The company is delighted to fund the Aurizon School Vision Screening Program through its Community Giving Fund.
“At Aurizon, we value health and wellbeing and understand that screening programs like this are important in identifying potential issues early.
“With the program providing young children who have poor vision with a pair of spectacles and enabling them to be able read with confidence, or see a whiteboard more clearly, will really make a difference.
“We are looking forward to hearing more about the program’s results from the Essilor Vision Foundation,” said Mr Taske.