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Art and Specsavers helping close the gap in eye health

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When Rheanna Lotter agreed to have her artwork featured on a range of limited edition glasses and sunglasses, she did so hoping it would raise awareness about a very serious issue.

As a proud Yuin woman whose designs have graced the Australian Paralympic team uniform, Sherrin footballs featured in the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous round, and on the Sydney Thunder playing shirts, Lotter was keen to use her art to help close the gap in eye health.

Her design, called ‘Unity’, features in a new campaign with Specsavers and The Fred Hollows Foundation, designed to make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eyecare more visible.

Yuin woman Rheanna Lotter, founder of Ngandabaa 

Lotter’s art will adorn limited edition glasses and sunglasses sold throughout the Specsavers network, with $25 from each pair sold going to The Fred Hollows Foundation to continue their sight restoring work. 

“Over 90% of the eye problems that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults suffer from are preventable or treatable,” says The Fred Hollows Foundation CEO Ian Wishart.

“If you’re indigenous and live remotely, your access to something as simple as a cataract surgery might be two, three or four years longer than if you are in a higher socio-economic group. 

“A wealthier Australian may notice vision loss and go to a private specialist before they lose their ability to drive their car. But many Indigenous people can go years before they are screened. By then, they are almost blind – or may have been blind for several years.” 

Specsavers Maitland celebrated 10 years of supporting The Fred Hollows Foundation this week, a decade in which they have contributed $20,663 to the Foundation’s ongoing work.

Specsavers Maitland optometrist Gurpreet Singh Rai is hoping Hunter locals will continue to support the Foundation from within their Green Hills address.

“We believe that everyone should have access to quality eye care and we’re passionate about the work that The Fred Hollows Foundation does to invest in the future of eye care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

“And although we have made such great progress over the past 10 years, we still have a long way to go.

“We want to continue to close the gap and improving eye health services in indigenous communities for the next 10 years and beyond, and we want the Hunter community to come with us on this journey.”

Specsavers is aiming to raise $250,000 through the limited-edition frames, which are on sale from 11 November.

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