Commitment to First Nations Peoples Health

Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ) respectfully acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Australia and Māori Peoples of Aotearoa/New Zealand as the First peoples in each land mass and the proud custodians of the longest surviving cultures on our planet. We pay our respects to these traditional owners and honour their unique cultural and spiritual relationships to the land, waters and seas and their rich and ongoing contribution to society.

OCANZ is committed to working alongside First Nations peoples in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand to improve (eye) health outcomes.  OCANZ supports learning about Indigenous culture and valuing and celebrating it in our mainstream society. A key component of our work contributes to making optometry services free of racism and inequity.

OCANZ actively works to deepen our organisation’s culturally safe work practices by listening to, learning from, and elevating First Nations voices.

OCANZ commitment statement confirming OCANZ support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart

The Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ) Board would like to express its profound disappointment and regret at the 2023 Voice referendum result and the immediate and longer-term impacts of this outcome on the social, emotional, mental, cultural, spiritual and physical wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.   This statement is to reconfirm our commitment to supporting the implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full (Voice, Treaty, Truth).  We acknowledge and thank the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities for the generous invitation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and further commit to champion Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination and leadership as true allies.  OCANZ stands in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori Peoples and will continue to strongly advocate for and contribute to a health system that is free of racism and discrimination.

OCANZ respects the diversity of opinions and perspectives in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori communities.  As a health organisation we understand there are many pathways to improving health outcomes and we will continue to listen, learn, reflect, share with and work alongside in support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori Peoples to develop a culturally safe and responsive optometry workforce.