Our Everest One team is heading off in less than a week’s time! We’d like to introduce another member of our team, Kyra Stretton. She comes with a wealth of volunteering experience and a keen interest in the outdoors!
Hear from Kyra:
Hi there, I’m Kyra. I graduated from the Doctor of Optometry at The University of Melbourne in 2016. Since then I have been working in a corporate optometry setting in metropolitan Melbourne- taking advantage of any chance I get to volunteer locally or travel to interstate, rural settings. With much of my extended family living in QLD, I have been placed in Cairns, Townsville & Mackay, and also worked in remote SA & regional TAS & NSW- the whole East coast! I have also enjoyed volunteering at local primary schools in lower socioeconomic areas performing vision screenings.
During my undergraduate degree of Biomedical science, I was a general volunteer in Vietnam at an orthopaedic hospital & in SriLanka at a women’s orphanage. While these were incredible experiences & opened my eyes to what immense need there is for assistance in these countries, I was excited to become an optometrist so I would have specialised expertise in a particular field & would be able to better direct my volunteering efforts. In my final year of the Doctor of Optometry, I travelled with staff & 3 other final year students to visit selected primary schools & villages in the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos. This was a magical experience where I was finally able to put my technical skills & knowledge to use.
In late 2018 I was fortunate enough to volunteer on board the YWAM medical ship in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea, prescribing glasses & selecting patients who were eligible for cataract surgery on board the ship. While I indeed hope to one day help out on the YWAM PNG again, I have also always wanted to see Mount Everest- so jumped at the opportunity to volunteer on solid ground- albeit at high altitude!
I am most passionate about the clinical aspects of optometry, however find great happiness also in connecting with patients young & old. I have completed the ACO’s Advanced certificate in Glaucoma & intend to pursue more certificates in other areas to further specialise & best assist my patients. I am relatively new to the technical aspects of hiking however am very adventurous & adrenaline seeking. I have bungee jumped & sky-dived in New Zealand, abseiled down cliffs & waterfalls in Vietnam, hiked up Adam’s peak in Sri Lanka & Mount Phousi in Laos, & travelled by Zodiac to remove river villages in Papua New Guinea. I have been doing practise hikes to break in my boots as well as cardio workouts & pilates. Next is to try some altitude chamber exercise!