Purpose of the event: The goal of this virtual event was to make the transition to university easier for first-year Medicine & Health students. Student representatives from each School within the Faculty of Medicine & Health worked closely with the UNSW Onboarding & Transitioning team to make first-year students aware of different student societies, events and activities planned for the year, available support and mentoring programs, as well as answering any questions the students may have.
Attendance: 49 first year students
Purpose of the event: The School of Optometry & Vision Science welcomed our new first year students to the University. Head of School Professor Lisa Keay gave a brief introduction of the various programs offered within the School. Optometry and Vision Science Society President Karuna Darvesh and Vice-President Lucy Nguyen then introduced the student-led society and its goals and plans for the year. This was then followed by an introduction to the peer mentoring program by Dr Nayuta Yoshioka and 4th year Peer Mentor Reynard Tay. Following the conclusion of the School Welcome, students were invited to partake in the Optometry and Vision Science Student Society BBQ that was jointly hosted by Young Optometrists.
65 first year students for the school presentation
46 first year students for the Optometry and Vision Science Student Society X YO BBQ
Purpose of the event:
On the 21st of April, UNSW OptomSoc presented one of our keynote events of the year - the formal Optometry Ball, EyeBall. This year’s theme was Disney - Timeless Tales and was a highly anticipated event with attendance from students across all cohorts as well as industry representatives. Attendees enjoyed a beautiful night flowing with drinks, a 3 course meal, music, a photobooth and dancing at a stunning Doltone House venue. There was a male and female best dressed prize awarded for each student cohort. The night also included a fun glasses’ prescription guessing game and trivia game of head or tails.
Attendance: 280 attendees
Purpose of the event: Held for future students to experience first-hand the learning environment offered at UNSW through attendance of two workshops in their nominated areas of interest. The target audience was Yr 10 and 11 students to discuss subject selection and UNSW’s assumed knowledge requirements for their courses. This was run over the space of three days, with SOVS being involved with the Faculty of Medicine & Health to showcase how optometry and vision science can have a tangible impact on society.
The interactive workshop was hosted by Associate Professor Michele Madigan in conjunction with Optometry and Vision Science Society Treasurer Johnson Tran and three PhD students, where optical illusions and psychophysical experiments demonstrated the power and limitations of the visual system. Furthermore, the impact on vision of various eye conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa were shown through goggles. Finally, the anatomy of the eye was shown with various eye models, and the different types of cataracts were explained with intra-ocular lenses exhibited to students to highlight the wonders of ocular surgery.
Attendance: 40+ in the SOVS workshop, but >400 across the three days
Purpose of the event: Held for future students to better understand vision science and optometry courses. The Info Day was open to all students interested in receiving more knowledge about the courses but mainly targeted at year 11 and 12 students who were currently in their HSC year of studies. Future students get an insight to the courses available in the School of Optometry & Vision Science where they can ask questions to current Lecturers and students about the subjects studied and future job prospects.
Purpose of the event: Open Day was held for prospective students to find out more about the degrees offered at UNSW and connect with current students in person on campus. The School of Optometry & Vision Science had an advisory stall where current students, the Optometry and Vision Science Society executives and academic staff provided advice and answered questions. Associate Professor Michele Madigan gave a lecture on the Bachelor of Vision Science and Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Clinical Optometry degrees. Tours of the Optometry Clinic and Pre-Clinical Lab, hosted by Dr Parthasarathi Kalaiselvan were held hourly with great success and attendance.
S.W.A.G. Picnic: 20/09/2022
SWAG Games Day: 10/11/2022
Purpose of the event: This year, SOVS S.W.A.G. held its inaugural picnic to bring students, postgraduate students and staff together over the common theme of promoting wellbeing within the school. The event coordinated by the Co-Chairpersons, Dr Pauline Kang and Optometry and Vision Science Society President Karuna Darvesh, provided an opportunity for networking and social interaction between students and staff within a more informal setting outside of the classroom. The event helped raise awareness of S.W.A.G. and its initiatives which targets key focus areas like mental health and wellbeing of students, building communities and successful transitions. A 'Colouring and Tea with Me' station and board games were provided as a way to overcome barriers between students and staff allowing everyone to socialise, destress and relax before the term progressed.
Building on the success of the inaugural event, a second SOVS S.W.A.G. Games Day was held later in the term to allow students and staff another opportunity to check in on one another before a stressful exam period and to further highlight the importance of wellbeing and mental health during this time. Students and staff were able to interact in person through interactive board games and socialising with each other to build a sense of community within SOVS. This marked the final event of the calendar for SWAG and was received warmly by attendees.