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SRC 2009: 1001 Optometrists Can’t be Wrong

Southern Regional Congress (SRC), consistently the largest optometry conference in Australia, will draw together over 1,000 optometrists from within and beyond Australia, from Saturday 16 to Monday 18 May 2009.

The SRC has gained a reputation as Australia’s foremost optometry conference.

“SRC has earned its reputation,” says OAA CEO Terri Smith. “Our clinical program is of the highest standard. Our speakers are independent experts – with a focus on good solid evidence. We drum into all speakers our expectation that delegates should leave the conference with new ideas to implement when they walk back into their practice.”

SRC Speakers

Dr. Ron Melton and Dr. Randall Thomas, a popular duo from the United States, are among the many high calibre speakers who will present at SRC 2009.

Ron and Randall, internationally renowned for their ability to mix highenergy entertainment and clinical acumen in a unique package, will lecture on topics including ‘Assaults on the Ocular Surface (and how to treat them)’, ‘Therapeutics in optometric care’ and ‘Differential diagnosis with glaucoma’.

A further keynote speaker is Adjunct Professor Peter Swann, who divides his time between Queensland University of Technology and the School of Optometry in Hong Kong. A teacher in areas including clinical examination and paralytic strabismus, Professor Swann’s lectures at SRC 2009 will cover diplopia, problems of the optic disc, visual fields, and pigmentation problems in the ciliary body, choroid and retina.

“As a large conference, SRC has the flexibility to run a dual stream all day on Sunday. This means that delegates have more choice about the sessions they attend,” says Ms. Smith.

“The Sunday lecture program, in two concurrent streams, will give participants a wide choice of lecture topics, including stroke (Dr. Neil Shuey), safety standards in clinical practice (Ms. Jennifer Long), and primary care for children aged three and under (Rod Baker). There is also the popular Clinician Grand Rounds (this year, on contact lenses). The Vision Research session includes a look at developments in eye movement testing, sports vision and retinal tomography.”

A highlight of the program will undoubtedly be Monday’s in-depth update on diabetes, including histopathology (Dr. Erica Fletcher), and the latest on clinical care and treatment, from noted Victorian ophthalmologist Dr. Alex Harper. General practitioner and diabetes expert Dr. Ralph Audehm will discuss how GPs and optometrists fit into the primary care picture.

Monday’s program will also feature a session on cataract treatment, with Dr. Anthony Hall, head of the ophthalmology department at the Alfred Hospital, who has worked closely with optometrists in the co-management of cataract patients.

Free forums on Saturday will cover innovation in silicone hydrogels (Johnson & Johnson), and multifocals (CooperVision). The Optical Dispensers and Manufacturers Association (ODMA) will also present The Independent’s Survival Guide, a special workshop on surviving and prospering as an independent practice.

Of course, SRC is not only about the serious side of practice.This year’s dinner, sponsored by Ciba Vision, and included at no extra charge in your registration, will be held at Zinc Restaurant, at Federation Square. Registration to SRC also includes entry to the Essilor Trade Expo Cocktails, and the Essilor Breakfast – this year hosted by Mrs. Melton and Thomas.

SRC is supported by Bausch and Lomb and Essilor Nikon as Platinum sponsors.

SRC 2009 attracts up to 53 CPD points. Day registrations or full conference registrations are available. Practice managers, trade staff and others may also register just for the trade expo. To register for SRC 2009 go to www.vicoptom.asn.au or phone (AUS) 03 9654 2122.

Something to Celebrate!

Launched in Australia at SRC in 2004, Optometry Giving Sight is celebrating its fifth birthday. The optometry professions charity of choice has come a long way in a very short time.

This month, Optometry Giving Sight in Australia celebrates its fifth birthday. During the last five years, optometrists, optical corporations, the OAA and State Divisions, have committed to ending refractive error blindness by choosing Optometry Giving Sight as their charity of choice. The funds entrusted to Optometry Giving Sight have been used to transform the lives of people in need through the gift of vision.

The Giving Sight to Sri Lanka Program was one of the first programs Optometry Giving Sight funded. The devastating tsunami in 2004 was the catalyst for an incredible vision care program implemented by the International Centre for Eyecare Education. Initial funds helped to screen more than 33,000 people and provide glasses to more than 28,000. The program has since developed to focus on the sustainable component of supplying affordable, accessible vision care. In March, four Sri Lankans returned from India where they had completed a year-long training program to become vision technicians.

They have started work in three newly created vision centres which will provide affordable, accessible eye care to the local community. Three more Sri Lankan trainees excelled in the vision technician course and have been accepted onto the full four-year optometry degree program. When they graduate, they too will return from India to provide high quality vision care to the people of Sri Lanka for generations to come.

For some children in Zambia, poor vision is part of life. They struggle to see the chalkboard, lose interest in school and are unable to gain the skills they need to find work; which leads them into the desperate cycle of poverty.

Optometry Giving Sight funds are currently being used to train 612 teachers to screen more than 110,000 school children and provide them with glasses and low vision devices. Program implementers, Sightsavers International, hope that the result will be more children staying in school and gaining a good education which will help them, in time, provide for their own families. The ProVision Optometric Teams are a long-time recipient of Optometry Giving Sight funding and have provided eye care to thousands of people while working as part of the East Timor Eye Program. They have also provided training and mentoring for six local eye care professionals. These eye care nurses form part of a vision care system which will provide eye care to the people of East Timor for many years.

In 2008, Optometry Giving Sight provided funding to the OAA WA’s Remote Optometry Outreach Service which provides vision care to remote Indigenous Australians. Twenty locum optometrists have now been recruited and trained to enable the expansion of existing optometric services to rural and remote Indigenous communities within the Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia. In addition to the programs previously mentioned, Optometry Giving Sight has also funded programs in Nicaragua, Sumba and South Africa.

“Those who have donated to Optometry Giving Sight should be proud of what they have helped achieve over the last five years”, said Bob Lees, Chair of Optometry Giving Sight in Australia. “Please visit the Optometry Giving Sight stand at the SRC to help celebrate our fifth birthday!”

To find out more go to www.givingsight.org or visit the Optometry Giving Sight stand at SRC. mivision magazine to proud to be Optometry Giving Sights Gold National Media Sponsor.