A NEW collaboration between Tasmanian optometrists and Red Cross is helping asylum seekers.
Eye care has been identified as a key health need of asylum seekers in the community on bridging visas as they await the outcome of their application.
Red Cross case workers quickly identified sight problems as a challenge facing the new Tasmanians, and received a helping hand from the Optometrists Association.
"On making inquiries we found there were no schemes or assistance at all ... it's probably the missing link," Optometrists Association chief executive Geoff Squibb said.
The Optometrists Association then decided to pick up the bill for eye care and glasses for asylum seekers.
Red Cross migration support program manager Al Hines said her clients' confidence had grown and they felt more able to participate in the community.
While many of us might lose and find our glasses around the house, Abdullah Gholami was never going to recover his last pair; lost as he made the perilous journey from Indonesia to Australia seeking asylum.
Mr Gholami, 27, spent 2 1/2 months at Pontville detention centre and was grateful for the assistance. Mr Gholami hopes to receive permanent residency soon, so he can plan to see his two-year-old daughter who lives overseas.
Mohammed Sayed received his first pair of glasses just two weeks ago at the age of 72 after visiting optometrist Lee Baumwol.
The project also marks the centenary of the Tasmanian Parliament passing legislation regulating optometry - the first laws governing eye care anywhere in the Commonwealth.