In the next five to ten years, hundreds of optometrists working in rural and regional areas approach retirement. According to Luxottica, the need to boost support for optometry in the bush has never been more critical.
In a move to better understand the needs and issues facing rural-based optometrists and develop short and long-term solutions, Luxottica held ‘Bush Origami’ over several days early May, in Albury, New South Wales.
Bush Origami is an extension of Optometry Origami which took place in 2007 as a forum for Luxottica to better understand and meet the professional development needs of its optometrists in Australia and New Zealand.
Led by Dr. Peter Herse, Luxottica’s Academic Director for the Institute of Learning, Bush Origami was attended by Luxottica optometrists from regional towns as diverse as Karratha, Kalgoorlie, Casuarina, Alice Springs and Toowoomba. It featured guest presentations and input from the OAA (Andrew McKinnon, CEO NSW, and Dr. Phillip Anderton, President NSW and Chair, OAA Rural Optometry Program).
Dr. Herse said the inaugural Bush Origami meeting was an important initiative to gather direct feedback from regional-based optometrists on the issues they faced and the additional support they needed.
“As is a big employer of optometrists in rural locations, Luxottica has a role to play in fixing this issue. Bush Origami in Albury was a great starting point,” he said.