Artificial Eyes
by Paul, Jenny and Emily Geelen

Cruising With Ocularists in South Africa

I’ve just got back from the Ocularist Association of South Africa Conference. It was held on a cruise ship from Durban to Mozambique which was pretty nice.

It was a relaxing cosy event where everyone knew each other and it was easy to meet and talk to people.

The Association have worked hard over ten years to promote professional industry standards and training for those coming into the industry.

It was fascinating to talk about the work they’ve put in over the last ten years. It made me realise the sort of challenges that lay ahead for our own Australian Association.

At the same time it was inspiring to see the end result of all their hard work.

They told us it took them ten years to get the profession of ocularist recognised as an actual profession.

There were all sorts of barriers and issues to be sorted out along the way including the definition of what an ocularist does.

Some make artificial eyes and others will make prostheses for facial parts close to the eye as well.

It’s wonderful to learn about the profession from so many different perspectives. It was also rather cool to get to hang out with Paul, my Dad.

Several people told us that they were really jealous that Paul had a daughter going into the profession and how they wished their own kids would consider it.

Maybe if they have an annual cruise like this last one they might get a few more takers.

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