In addition to supporting equity- and access-focused eye health outcomes through the annual ANZEF Grant Round, the Foundation makes grants and develops programs and partnerships in its priority areas of Global Eye Health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori and Pasifika Eye Health and Growing the First Nations Ophthalmology Workforce.
ANZEF’s programs are designed to extend the reach of individual ophthalmologists beyond one patient at a time and into improving the eye health and lives of whole communities.
Working with local partners, ANZEF helps to address eye health needs in developing nations across the Asia-Pacific by providing education to deliver vision care to disadvantaged communities that would otherwise be unable to access specialist care.
Local ophthalmologists and health professionals are supported through professional development, mentoring and training provided by specialists – increasing local capacity for diagnosis, treatment, and care.
ANZEF facilitates change by helping address some of the cultural, social, and financial barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori and Pasifika health through supporting aspiring Indigenous ophthalmologists in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.
There’s currently only one Indigenous ophthalmologist in Australia and a handful of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ophthalmology trainees. One of ANZEF’s key aims is to increase the number of First Nations medical graduates who train in ophthalmology and we’re currently building a fund to support Indigenous ophthalmology scholarships for medical doctors and university pathways to specialisation for Indigenous medical students.
ANZEF provides substantial scholarships to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees enrolled in the RANZCO Ophthalmology training program and is actively engaged with a growing pipeline of First Nations medical students and doctors who are interested in pursuing ophthalmology.
In 2022-2023, ANZEF facilitated grants from the Australian and New Zealand Society of Retinal Specialists (ANZSRS) to Australian Vision Research and Save Sight Society New Zealand for retinal research advancing eye health equity and access.