Charity work gives to others and gives back
Volunteering for a charity is a rewarding way to help others and to express gratitude, which is a key aspect of our own happiness and well-being.
The possibility of losing sight is an everyday reality for people with glaucoma, driving many who’s lives have been touched by glaucoma in some way, to want to help others living with the disease, and the people not yet detected.
There are many ways to volunteer at Glaucoma Australia, from assisting with our mail-outs and newsletters, running support groups, preparing merchandise orders, providing orthoptist expertise, or corporate skills with our business projects.
Let us know if you would like to volunteer your time and/or particular skills, or get more information.
Brian first heard about volunteering when he accompanied his wife Barbara to a senior’s information event in mid-2008. Not long after he responded to a call from Glaucoma Australia to help with a Glaucoma News mail-out. “The rest is history” according to Brian as he has been travelling from Castle Hill in Sydney’s Hills District to our office on a weekly and sometimes twice-weekly basis ever since.
Brian helps out in many ways and his expertise as a retired banker has been invaluable. He ensures donations and merchandise payments are efficiently processed, undertaking accounts receivable/payable tasks with great enthusiasm. Brian is definitely the best person to talk to if any financial calculations are required. Brian also works in the Sydney Charity Greeting Card Shop alongside Barbara and has a regular Meals on Wheels shift in his local community.
Brian says his most memorable moment with Glaucoma Australia was when he and Barbara were asked to participate in filming for the BIG Breakfast TV ad with Andrew Voss. The ad was shown nationally for over a month and Brian reckons it was a great experience seeing how this type of production comes together.
Most of all though, Brian enjoys working to make sure the people who need help as a result of having glaucoma receive the information they are looking for. He says he looks forward to the day’s tasks and the company of Staff and Volunteers as it is a very friendly atmosphere and people are always made welcome.
Brian, Barbara and their son, Warwick, continue to provide outstanding support to people with glaucoma through their work with Glaucoma Australia.
Brian has just recently received the Volunteer's Medal from the Governor General.
'People often don’t realise you can get glaucoma from eye trauma.'
Ms Hilditch, now a Glaucoma Australia volunteer and support group coordinator, said an estimated 300,000 Australians have glaucoma – a disease where vision is lost due to optic nerve damage.
While many older Australians suffer with the condition, Ms Hilditch knows all too well glaucoma doesn’t discriminate.
Tony has been volunteering for Glaucoma Australia since 2002. After retiring from his busy job as a Warehouse Manager, Tony was looking to continue to be productive while at the same time wanting to help out in his community.
Tony told us that he had lived with glaucoma since 1988 and is a Glaucoma Australia “Giver of Hope.” He knows that a gift in his Will, can help others see into the future.
Margaret, one of our most beloved volunteers, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Margaret has been a volunteer at Glaucoma Australia for 18 years. She enjoys volunteering for companionship and variety in her routine. She puts together welcome kits for people with glaucoma, and writes receipts and thank you notes to donors and supporters.
"I am a final year medical student at the University of Tasmania and I find the eye absolutely fascinating! Having a special interest in the field of Ophthalmology and having always been on the lookout for new and exciting volunteer opportunities, I decided to volunteer with Glaucoma Australia as the organisation's objectives resonated with me, and I was interested in being able to assist individuals with Glaucoma, and help them understand more about the condition.
In my short time volunteering with Glaucoma Australia thus far, I have been able to learn new skills through creating info graphics that I know will assist in spreading information about glaucoma in a concise and effective way. Being able to provide support to clients with glaucoma through phone support has also been interesting and valuable for myself and I hope that I have been able to help clients better understand the condition and provide the support they need."
'As a clinical orthoptist with an interest in glaucoma, volunteering with GA as an educator has enabled me to apply my knowledge, create awareness and teach the general public about this irreversible disease.'
'Unlike a busy private practice, there are no time constraints for patient contact over the phone and I can take time, one on one to identify and address any issues the patient may have about glaucoma.'
'I'd recommend any orthoptists or optometrist to get on board with Glaucoma Australia and help out in any way they can. The gratitude and appreciation the general public express makes it all worthwhile!'
"I am a therapeutically endorsed optometrist working in regional Victoria. Having diagnosed glaucoma first-hand, I can appreciate how overwhelming it can be to be told you have glaucoma. Glaucoma Australia plays a pivotal role in ensuring individuals are empowered to make informed choices about their eye health.
One of the many aspects I enjoy about volunteering for Glaucoma Australia is hearing and answering all the wonderful questions that our community has about their eyes. I hope that the support and wealth of information offered by Glaucoma Australia will enhance the experiences of glaucoma sufferers and lessen glaucoma related visual loss in Australia."
'The most rewarding part about volunteering with Glaucoma Australia is being able to support patients who are anxious and uncertain about their specialist referral or recent diagnosis. It's great that I can also do it at my own pace and volunteer around my University schedule.'
'I hope this helps encourage other volunteers!'
"My name is Loreto and I’m an Orthoptics student at the University of Technology Sydney. I’m passionate about being able to provide patients with the best quality of vision care. In my spare time (if I’m not hunting for the next foodie joint or quarantine baking) I’m working from home, volunteering for Glaucoma Australia.
I’ve been volunteering for GA for over a year and it’s been a privilege working with patients and experienced orthoptists. I love being able to apply my academic knowledge about glaucoma into practice. Patients are always so appreciative of the support you give them and it encourages me to gain a deeper understanding of this debilitating eye condition. It’s fulfilling knowing that patient concerns can be addressed through a quick and easy phone call. I hope that through our work here at GA we can work towards restoring vision for patients with glaucoma."
"After being introduced to glaucoma in my studies, I gained an appreciation of how multifaceted and complicated the puzzle of glaucoma can be. Understanding the condition is not enough but effectively communicating what this disease entails and the importance of continuous monitoring is essential.
Volunteering for Glaucoma Australia allows me to think from the perceptive of the patient and exercise multi-modal ways of patient education."
"I completed my Bachelor and Master’s degrees of Optometry in Iran. I worked as optometrist in Iran before migrating to Australia in 2009. I then completed my PhD degree in Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Melbourne in 2017, investigating the effects of mental load and stress in normally sighted people, and a group of individuals suffering from a kind of involuntary ongoing oscillations in their eyes named Nystagmus.
I have started my Master’s degree in Clinical Orthoptics at Latrobe University, Melbourne campus in 2020. I have worked in both research and clinical disciplines and enjoy helping individuals to protect and promote an individual’s visual-related quality of life."
"Being a current third year Optometry student at the University of Melbourne, volunteering at Glaucoma Australia (GA) has allowed me to interact with patients and understand more about the disease from a patient perspective. I really enjoy chatting to patients to help them understand more about Glaucoma and also support them regardless of what stage they are in their Glaucoma journey. It’s such an uplifting feeling knowing that even a short phone call to patients can provide them with the motivation to attend follow up appointments or even inform their family members to undergo Glaucoma testing.
With Uni and working commitments it can be difficult to find a regular time to volunteer for a cause I’m passionate about. But with Glaucoma Australia I’ve found it so easy to make calls to patients at a time that works well for both them and myself. 2020 has been such a crazy year with COVID-19, but volunteering at Glaucoma Australia has been an aspect of my life which has remained relatively constant. It’s also allowed me to have meaningful conversations with people other than my family and friends."
"My name is Kai and I'm an Optometry student at Deakin University. I joined Glaucoma Australia in November 2018 as a volunteer educator. I couldn't be more fortunate to meet amazing members of GA who are very supportive of my journey helping patients with the optic nerve condition.
At first, I was hesitant to apply for the role because I thought I wouldn't be able to commit enough time given the workload of full-time university.
Fortunately, at GA, there is no such minimum hour requirement and the schedule is flexible so I can work on the days I don't have classes.
The experience I gained when volunteering at GA has helped me in various roles.
During COVID-19 pandemic, while I am back at home in Vietnam doing my trimester online, I volunteered at a medical school's eye clinic. With previous experience at GA, in my current role, I feel much more empathetic to my patients. That allows me to help them ease the anxiety of having the conditions and achieve better health outcome."