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AHCSA Wins National Award of Recognition at 2022 NATSIEHC!

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29 June 2022

The AHCSA Eye Health Program has recently received a national award of recognition at this year’s National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Eye Health Conference (NATSIEHC 2022) held recently in Darwin.


Each year the NATSIEHC dinner includes award presentations in a number categories.  This year the category of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership in Eye Health went to AHCSA, for the leadership of Chris Rektsinis and Michael Larkin in eye health in South Australia, with special allyship mention to Nicholas Schubert of Indigenous Eye Health Unit. Recognition was given for the activeness and early successes of the SA Aboriginal Eye Health Working Group (SAAEHWG). 


The SAAEWHG has adopted an actions-focussed approach to meetings, including a unique structure of breaking the main Group into a number of Sub-Groups to work on individual key priority issues. Thus it has already seen some real advances and system reforms that are improving access and quality of eye and vision care for Aboriginal people in South Australia.


Chris Rektsinis, AHCSA Eye Health Project Officer is passionate about his work to improve Aboriginal people living with eye health conditions and commented on the award.

“It is touching and a great honour to receive such an award."  

"It validates the work we’re doing, and that we’re on the right track to more equitable outcomes for Aboriginal people, as everyone deserves the right to clear vision."  

"I attribute this success to the entire SAAEHWG Membership for their shared drive and proactive efforts, and the team work between myself, Michael Larkin as Chair, and Nick Schubert for his expert facilitation, guidance and experience.”

AHCSA's NATSIEHC Award, in the category of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Eye Health Leadership

Chris Rektsinis (AHCSA) accepting NATSIEHC Award from Indigenous optometrist Laura Hutchinson (Eyewear Specs Forbes)

Acceptance speech with onlookers, left to right: Lauren Hutchinson (Eyewear Specs Forbes), Chris Rektsinis (AHCSA), Nick Wilson (IEHU), Shaun Tatipata (Deadly Enterprises), Nicole Turner (Rural Doctors Network, NSW) 

NATSIEHC Award recipients, left to right: Nick Schubert (IEHU) and Chris Rektsinis (AHCSA) - Leadership Category.

Mitchell Anjou (IEHU) - Special award in Allyship

Alicia Hosking on behalf of Will Chin (Optical Superstore, Palmerstone) - Allyship Category

Lauren Hutchinson (Eyewear Specs Forbes) - Individual

SAAEHWG Leadership Team with the NATSIEHC Award, left to right: Michael larkin (AHCSA), Chris Rektsinis (AHCSA), Nick Schubert (IEHU)