School Welcome 2022
Recovering from COVID-19, SOVS organised a range of undergraduate events and activities. The year commenced with UNSW’s orientation (O-Week) in February with a welcome event organised for new students. Professor Lisa Keay, Head of School welcomed students by introducing SOVS facilities, staff members, programs that the school offer and activities in which students can partake. The welcome was well received by the new students who later explored school facilities and attended a BBQ jointly hosted by Optometry and Vision Science (OVS) Student Society and Young Optometrists.
SOVS Annual prizegiving
On 9 May 2022, SOVS organised the annual Prizegiving awards ceremony for current students and recent graduates of class 2021 at L’Aqua Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney. Professor Lisa Keay, Head of School announced high-performing students as winners and the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Health, Scientia Professor Vlado Perkovic handed out prizes.
Several key stakeholders, prize sponsors and SOVS staff witnessed this annual celebration. The keynote speaker for the annual graduation prizegiving was Dr Vinod Maseedupally, of whom the students chose to deliver the address. Vinod gave a humble and inspiring speech. He talked about how he become an optometrist and his journey to academia and he imparted words of wisdom to the new graduates.
Events for future students
In July 2022, SOVS participated in a three-day ‘Year 10/11 Experience Day’ organised by UNSW Future Students. The event targeted current Year 10 and 11 high school students, showcasing how optometry and vision science can have a tangible impact on society. It was a great opportunity for future students to experience the wonders of eyes through optical illusions, 3D eye models and the effect of eye disease on vision through simulation goggles. An interactive workshop was also hosted by Associate Professor Michele Madigan with incredible support from OVS Student Society executive member Johnson Tran and three SOVS higher degree students. More than 400 students experienced these fun activities over three days of UNSW Experience Day.
Other events that engaged the future students were Info Day (held online) in July and UNSW Open Day in September 2022. The Info Day was attended by year 11 students and year 12 HSC students. At this event, over 50 prospective students interacted with the current optometry students and school academics to gain invaluable insights into SOVS programs and job prospects. Along similar lines, UNSW Open Day was also held for prospective students. This on-campus event was a great success with huge attendance from future students and their family members. A/Prof Michele Madigan presented detailed information about our Bachelor's and Masters's programs. The students then attended a dedicated SOVS advisory stall manned by the executive members of the Optometry & Vision Science Student Society and SOVS academic staff. A major highlight of the event was the hourly tours of SOVS facilities including the Optometry Clinic and Pre-Clinical Lab, hosted by Dr Parthasarathi Kalaiselvan. The tours were well received by the attendees in admiration of the optometry profession and the broadness of the field of vision science.
After a successful launch in 2021, the Student Wellbeing and Action Group (S.W.A.G.) continued activities in 2022. S.W.A.G. aims to promote key focus areas including mental health and well-being of students, building communities and successful transitions. The OVS Student Society played an active role in organising S.W.A.G. events. A picnic was organised in September 2022, coordinated by co-chairpersons: Dr Pauline Kang and Karuna Darvesh, President of OVS Society. The picnic provided an opportunity for networking and social interaction between students and staff within a more informal setting outside of the classroom. Building on the success of this event, S.W.A.G. Games Day was held later in Term 3 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 well-being and mental health during this time.
We also congratulate our incoming Optometry and Vision Science Society Executive Team for 2023:
President: Fiona Gold
Vice-President: Ridwan Usamah
Treasurer: Jacob Escalada
Secretary: Reynard Wee Cheng Tay
Events Coordinator: William Dao
Marketing Director: Justine Mai
We sincerely thank the 2022 Executive Team:
President: Karuna Darvesh
Vice President: Lucy Helena Nguyen
Treasurer: Johnson Tran
Secretary: Nhi Nguyen
Events Coordinator: Zhilin Choo
Marketing Director: Sylvia Wang
Compiled by Dr Vinod Maseedupally, undergraduate coordinator
Optometry and Vision Science Student Society and
Michelle Wanandy, Teaching Support Officer