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  • Writer's pictureJosh Chu-Tan

Day at the Races with Retina Australia

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On a stunning Spring afternoon, three members of the Clear Vision Laboratory (Riccardo Natoli, Nilisha Fernando, and myself Joshua Chu-Tan) headed to Thoroughbred Park dressed to the nines for a day at the races with Retina Australia. As invitees to their annual event as keynote speakers, we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon with members of the ACT community involved with the foundation, both with vision and visually-impaired.

Riccardo took centre stage with his keynote speech, letting the audience know of the progress that has been made in the past decade with therapies in the retinal disease realm, before giving a quick snapshot of the work that we do, how we fit in and the mantra of the Clear Vision Research initiative. I was then unexpectedly invited up to give an impromptu version of my 3 Minute Thesis. With the talks well-received and everyone’s bellies full of food, conversations ensued throughout the room as the day’s events continued to unfold, with raffles, racing sweeps and obscure quiz games keeping everyone entertained.

As medical researchers, we don’t often have the opportunity to spend significant time with those living with the conditions we are working on in a social setting. To be able to speak with those that are visually-impaired, those we are trying to help, was an enlightening experience in itself and for me was the highlight of the experience. We were also amazed to hear some of the phenomenal work being done by many of the support and health agencies in Canberra including Blind Dogs Australia, Retina Australia, Canberra Retina Clinic and ANU Advancement. Hearing from these individuals with retinal diseases and those in our community who offer suppoort provided me with a spur of motivation and a clearer picture as to why we’re doing what we’re doing. I think we all learned a lot that day. Thank you to Retina Australia for having us, we look forward to continue working with you all in the future.

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