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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 18 April 2015
New eye health resources set sights on Greek Victorians NEWS 4 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 18 APRIL 2015 When it comes to having eye tests, non-English speaking residents, including Greek people, rank among the lowest in the state. But a suite of new materials launched recently as part of Vision 2020 Australia's Vision Initiative eye health program is targeting non-English speaking Victorians, including the Greek community, in a bid to encourage them to get an eye test. Vision 2020 Australia's Vision Initiative Manager Dee Tumino said one in four Victorian adults who spoke a language other than English at home had never had an eye test. "These statistics are worrying and put a large number of Victorians at increased risk of vision loss," Ms Tumino said. Ms Tumino said non-English speaking residents had greater issues around accessing services due to language and cultural barriers. "Often language prohibClose call Two cars have backed through shop windows on Station St in two weeks Last month, a car driven by an elderly person slammed into Fairfield Books on Station Street, when the driver's foot got stuck onto the accelerator while he was reversing out of the car park across the street. Another car crashed into a bakery in the same busy Fairfield shopping strip after Christmas. Luckily, no one was hurt. Rania Drossas is the owner of Tasty Souvlaki in Fairfield, where the first car backed in late March. "If it happened three minutes earlier it would have been a massacre because there were fifteen people sitting at the tables outside," Ms Drossas said. "The woman driving re- versed straight into the shop." The Greek Australian woman stressed the need for barriers in order to prevent fatal accidents and inconsiderate drivers from taking illegal U-turns. Tasty Souvlaki was severely damaged, although proprietor Rania Drossas hopes she will be able to reopen soon. "Such accidents would continue to happen unless action was taken to stop cars reversing from the other side of the road over the median strip," she continued. "Barricades in the middle like they have in Lygon St would work. "Even if the middle of the road was elevated this would help." Several shop owners agreed barriers were necessary, however, Station St Traders' Association president Domenic Biviano insisted it was impractical. "The recent accidents were 'freakish' and there'd been no similar incidents during the past 20 years so it was unlikely to happen again," Mr Biviano explained. "Drivers need to slow down, concentrate and observe what's happening around them." The local authority appeared concerned but made it clear no changes are bound to be applied for the time being. "Reports indicate these types of incidents have occurred as a result of simple driver error, namely mistakenly confusing the accelerator and brake pedals," stated north west regional director Adam Maguire. "Measures and treatments to maintain a high level of safety for all road users along the Station St shopping precinct in Fairfield are in place. "These include a 40km/h speed limit between 8.00 am and midnight Monday to Sunday, pedestrian refuge areas, painted pedestrian crossings and a painted centre median." Northcote Sergeant Keith, Jordan on the other hand, said police were investigating the predicaments, whilst increasing patrols and traffic enforcement in Station St. its people from non-English speaking backgrounds from accessing information which is readily available for Englishspeaking Australians," she said. "We know there is a lack of information on general eye health in languages other than English. These new resources are the first critical step in raising awareness about the importance of eye health to non-English speaking communities." The Vision Initiative has de- veloped a set of resources in an effort to tackle these barriers and demystify eye health for those who do not speak English. Among the resources are in- formation sheets, multi-media clips which can be utilised by health services to explain the role of optometrists and ophthalmologists, brochures and posters which highlight the importance of eye tests and good eye health care. Greek-speaking optometrist Angeliki Arvanitis said being able to speak Greek was important to many of her Greek patients. "Being able to communicate with them in their native language puts them at ease so they are more comfortable asking questions about their eyes, which in turn means they can better manage their eye health," Ms Arvanitis said. "Over the years, this has enabled me to help many patients and diagnose many eye con- ditions which could have led to vision loss if left untreated. "Unfortunately, I can only help those who are already accessing eye care services. There are still many people who speak a language other than English who have never had an eye examination, let alone regular ones simply because they are not aware of how important this is." The materials are available in Greek at www.visioninitiative. org.au The little friends of Neos Kosmos A few weeks ago, Neos Kosmos distributed free copies of its bilingual weekend edition to Greek language schools in Melbourne. As part of Speak Greek in March campaign, Neos Kosmos wanted to give the students a chance to brush up on their reading and comprehension skills while keeping up to date with all the news from the community. South Oakleigh College and Pythagoras School were avid readers, and sent us some photos to say thanks. If you enjoy reading the paper at school, send us some photos at email@example.com South Oakleigh College will be holding a open night next week on April 22 in the South Oakleigh College Theatre at 7.00 pm, where parents will be able to hear more about the school's modern Greek language program and accelerated program. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Students from Pythagoras school in its Caulfield campus reading the weekend edition. Pythagoras students brushing up on all the Greek Australian news. South Oakleigh College assistant principals Tony Katsianos and Mark Picone with Greek teacher Kathey Zinelis and four students.
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