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HomemioptometryOptometry Reports Sept 2012

Optometry Reports Sept 2012

Comment from Australia and New Zealand


Andrew McKinnon

Being a health professional brings with it great rewards – the satisfaction of helping people to overcome a health difficulty or even a disability is one of the most gratifying things one can experience.

Then too there is the kudos that goes with being recognised as one of the ‘leading lights’ in society – people to whom others look for leadership and to influence community standards.

New members are also invited to join us at a special table where they can meet other members

But with the accolades come responsibility and standards – and often standards which are set at a much higher level than those which apply to the general public.

There have recently been reports in the general media about decisions made involving health professionals who have been deemed to have transgressed against their expected standards. The transgressions often involve relationships with patients and come to the public attention usually when those relationships turn sour. Very often, the public would look at the details of the matter and ask, “what’s the problem?”. And in a public context, that would be a fair question.

However we don’t operate in a public context – and neither do medical practitioners, physios, chiropractors, psychologists nor any of the myriad of our health care colleagues.

The standard of behaviour expected of all of us involved in health care is on a far higher plane than most of the rest of society. We hold a privileged position, but there is a price to that privilege – and this is one of them.

My advice is always this – if there is a little voice in the back of your head asking you if this is really a good idea – then it almost certainly isn’t!


Terri Smith

September already – where did the year go? After the success of our member breakfast at the Melbourne Zoo last year we are doing it all over again. Why not come along and catch up with colleagues and consider staying on for some CPD. The breakfast itself is planned as a strictly social get-together… why not arrange to meet current or past optometry work colleagues or perhaps get together with others from your graduating year?

New members are also invited to join us at a special table where they can meet other members.

A scrumptious breakfast buffet is on offer with plenty of time to have a good catch up on the events of the year. The breakfast will be held on Thursday 29 November. We kick off at 8.00am and at 9.30am offer an optional one hour CPD presentation. Stay tuned for further information but expect a session about eyes and the great outdoors!

If you can manage some extra time why not stay on and explore the zoo for a little while or the whole day (the young elephants are my favourite!) All of this is offered free to members.

Parking at the rear of the zoo as well as easy tram and train access make this venue surprisingly accessible.

Speaking of professional training – OBA registration standards require optometrists to undertake CPR training every three years.

If you are due for an update we are offering a course at our office, 28 Drummond St. Carlton, on Wednesday 24 October from 6 to 9.30pm, giving you plenty of time to meet the 30 November deadline. Contact office@vicoptom.asn.au for more information.

SRC 2013 in June

Planning further ahead I want to remind you that for 2013, SRC moves into June. Where else would you prefer to spend a cold winter weekend? Mark the dates in your diary: 1–3 June 2013. Plans are already in full swing to deliver optometrists a great choice of lectures from both international and Australian speakers.

We still have copies of the VicRoads Older Drivers Kit for members. The information kit is specially designed for older drivers, addressing topics such as driving with glaucoma, diabetes or medication, assessing fitness to drive, VicRoads medical review, etc. The kit is available free of charge to Victorian members. Email the office or call (AUS) 03 9652 9100 to order your copy.

I have been speaking lately to a wide range of members – employees and employers – about optometry salaries. If you need salary advice feel free to contact me. I am always happy to discuss these matters with members. And if there is anything you want to ask us about or tell us about please just phone (AUS) 03 9652 9100 or email (office@vicoptom.asn.au). We really do always enjoy hearing from members.

Meanwhile keep an eye out for further member activities on our website or through the OAA e-bulletins. Looking forward to talking to you soon.


Tony Martella

Recent reports have postulated that it is not cost effective to recycle eyewear. However, at the OAA WA we’ve found a way to make recycling glasses well and truly worthwhile. With support and co-operation from the prison authorities at Casuarina we’ve established a recycling program that has just returned its first batch of cleaned, tightened and serviced frames.

Quite extraordinarily, the two inmates involved in the program took in a truck load of second hand glasses and transformed them into 10,000 frames that are ready to be fitted with lenses. Not only that – they threw away all the unserviceable frames and recycled all the plastic and glass lenses through the prison. We’re now in the process of identifying an optical supplier who, we hope, will donate nose-pads for the 10,000 useable frames.

Once complete they will be donated to Equal Health, a program organised in Perth by the President of the International Opticians Association, Paul Clarke. Paul’s biggest problem with Equal Health is finding the quantity of frames he needs to fulfill demand – it looks as if we’re well on the way to finding a solution.

It’s fantastic to see a program like this come together and it proves that with lateral thinking we can find a use for all the second hand frames that would otherwise become landfill.

What’s more, this project is providing the inmates with a rehabilitation program that gives them a sense of purpose and ownership. The authorities at Casuarina have told me both inmates are in prison for life, and are keen to put something back into the community as a result of their crimes – what better way to do it!

To mark the first delivery of our recycled frames and celebrate the beginning of such a worthwhile program, at the end of August OAA WA had an official gathering at the Casuarina Prison with the Chief Executive Officer and the inmates involved in the program.

Now we’re working on supplying our inmates with more equipment and of course more frames to work with…. So please send any secondhand frames you collect from your customers our way!


WAVE 2012 has been and gone with great success. This year we were pleased to play host to guests form Taiwan, Singapore, and New Zealand as well as optical professionals from around Australia. Interestingly this year we had a dramatic increase in attendees from around the country and in particular Victoria… perhaps because of the diversity of the program or our more intimate, personal conference format… or simply because of the current interest in our beautiful, thriving State!


Cristy Ross

One of our strategic priorities for the 2012/13 financial year was to develop and schedule Branch meetings/seminars across our Division. Designed to encourage discussion and understanding on a number of significant issues, members in attendance meet with their peers to ensure a fairer representation of the Division as a whole.

Outside of the scheduled agenda, drafted by the Branch Seminars Education Committee, members also discuss therapeutic cases and other topics of interest. New members are always welcome.

Members in attendance are committed to and focus on contributing towards the achievement of the Division’s Top Ten Priorities:

  • Appropriate optometrist remuneration – investigating examples within and
    outside our profession of gap billing versus bulk billing.
  • Therapeutics – increasing prescribing confidence through establishing a mentor network, regular cases in SEE and therapeutic CPD events.
  • Therapeutics – supporting optometrists achieving the Graduate Certificate and clinical placements.
  • Marketing our profession to General Practitioners and Pharmacists through meetings with their Associations to develop awareness plans and referral tools and marketing the ‘Eye Care? We Care!’ message to the community.
  • Developing innovative education delivery for AVC and NQV 2013.
  • Member services – regular branch meetings throughout Queensland and
    the Northern Territory and engaging
    new graduate optometrists with specific CPD events.
  • Communication – developing an OAA Facebook page, expansion of SEE magazine to include clinical cases.
  • Member services – increasing our event offering and inspiring collegiality through Awards and our Night of Nights dinner.
  • Increasing referrals to QUT for specialist diagnostic services and assisting with student rural clinical placements.
  • Ensuring a healthy operational position for the OAA QLD/NT Division for the delivery of these goals and services.

If you’re interested in discussing the future of the profession with your colleagues please email me: cristy@optomsqld.com to express your interest in attending and/or facilitating a meeting near you.


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