Rafael Sy Receives mivision Media Communication AwardRafael Sy, a current fourth-year student at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) School of Optometry and Vision Science, has been awarded the annual mivision Media Communication Award.

Mr Sy was awarded the mivision prize for his ‘sea and boats’ analogy myopia poster, with judges noting that the concept and design were “particularly innovative and original”.

“The ‘treasure chest’ of possible treatments suggests the exciting new myopia control options that are available, and the little minions will be particularly popular with children”, the judges wrote.

“Our infographic demonstrates how myopia is more than just the inconvenience of blurry vision. We focussed on educating people on how environmental factors, like a lack of outdoor activity and too much near work during childhood can greatly contribute to an increased risk of myopia and how this in turn increases the risk of pathologies like myopic maculopathy, retinal detachment, and glaucoma,” Mr Sy commented.

Mr Sy said his personal experience with myopia, having been short-sighted for over half his life, had led to a fascination with the myopia pandemic.

“The unprecedented rise in myopia within the past few years has been staggering – with half the world’s population predicted to be short-sighted by 2050. Yet what most people know about the onset and progression of myopia is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Explaining his approach to the infographic he said, “I took inspiration from the bright colour palettes and bold art-style of today’s cartoons – hoping that it’d be fun and engaging to the children and parents.”

Mr Sy’s interest in myopia has been further piqued with opportunities presented by QUT.

“I have had the opportunity to delve deeper into the world of optometry, through clinical practice and conducting further research on how near work behaviours are associated with myopia with my academic supervisor. Being able to work at the QUT clinic, seeing real-world patients and helping them see the world better is such a rewarding feeling.

“I’m looking forward to working as an optometrist in clinical practice and ultimately, I would love to run my own practice in the future.

“The thought of being able to help people see the world better is something so special!”

The mivision Media Communications Award was for 2021, with the presentation, by Head of School, Professor Michael Collins delayed due to COVID.

2021 PRIZE WINNERS

The QUT 2021 prize winners were:

Year 1: Optometry Queensland Northern Territory First Year Prize: Sanvi Mehta

Year 3: School of Optometry and Vision Science Peter Swann Award for Achievement in Eye Diseases: Eliot Cook

Year 3: mivision Media Communication Award: Rafael Sy

Year 4: School of Optometry and Vision Science Brian Brown Research Award: Li Mei Teo

Year 4: CooperVision Australia Contact Lens Award: Peng Jia Ooi

Year 5: Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Prize: Lauren Beecher

Year 5: Optometry Queensland Northern Territory Prize: Kristen Parker


“ The thought of being able to help people see the world better is something so special! ”