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Centre for Eye Health was conceived following a strategy meeting held in October 2006 by the Board of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT. At that meeting, a decision was taken to explore opportunities to broaden and enhance the services Guide Dogs provided to the community.
An independent survey of Guide Dogs clients was conducted, to establish their preferred options in this regard. The results indicated that many clients felt that a lack of preventative treatment had led to their vision impairment. As a result, they expressed a desire for Guide Dogs to focus on preventative measures to promote better eye health in the community.
The Guide Dogs NSW/ACT Chief Executive produced a report for the Board in March 2007, which included a proposal to establish an ocular-imaging centre to address a perceived gap in existing eye-health services.
Following extensive discussions, deliberation and consideration (including presentations from optometrists, GPs and ophthalmologists), the Board resolved to accept the Chief Executive's proposal to establish this facility, now named Centre for Eye Health, in partnership with The University of New South Wales (UNSW).
A location for the new Centre was identified on the UNSW campus, at the Rupert Myers building. The site is adjacent to an existing cluster of optometric services and related faculty offices. Refurbishment of the site commenced in late 2008, and the fit-out was completed in July 2009. In August 2009, a series of open days was held to introduce eye-health professionals to the Centre.
CFEH was officially opened by Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO on Wednesday November 4, 2009.
"With the establishment of this Centre, we are making a significant investment towards reducing the incidence of preventable blindness in the community. Economic circumstance should be no barrier to accessing the best eye-testing and diagnostic facilities available."