Anyinginyi has the only Eye Program for the Barkly Region, including all the major communities and the North Barkly. Optometrist clinics and Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist) clinics are run in Tennant Creek and some in the communities.
The Eye Team consists of Maree O’Hara, Eye Health Coordinator and Amanda Short, Eye Health Assistant. The Eye Team run Clinics at Tennant Creek, Elliott, Epenarra, Canteen Creek, Ali Curung, Alpurrurulum and the North Barkly. The Barkly Region is 323,514 sq. km with a population of 7,530.
Screening diabetics, getting people glasses to increase their vision and coordinating and supporting patients through their surgeries. This has changed people’s lives dramatically and given many back their independence. Many Aboriginal people in the Barkly once thought losing their eyesight was a natural progression in life but most now know and demand that they have eyesight that will support them in their lifestyles.
The Eye Team use a subsidised glasses scheme that enables Aboriginal people to access affordable prescription glasses. The Lions Club also donate free ready-made spectacles.
Recognition of this program has come in many forms including an invitation to speak at the International Conference of Healing Our Spirit Worldwide, held in Hawaii and attended by international indigenous groups. Also the Eye Coordinator has been nominated 3 times for Australia of the Year which is more a reflection of the Eye Program’s success.