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HomemioptometryOptometry Reports Dec 2012

Optometry Reports Dec 2012

Comment from Australia and New Zealand.

As you read this, Christmas 2012 will be upon us – I hope that you are run off your feet for the next few weeks, bringing a profitable end to an unquestionably difficult year.

I’ve just come back from visiting family in Ireland and the US. As I was walking around, I noticed (as you do) a plethora of the big name optical businesses in both countries. But I also noticed something else – a LOT of small, independent optometric practices operating right alongside the big names. In other words, a market in balance.

It’s often said that Australia follows Europe and the US in its retail trends – just a few years behind. And maybe that is the case. If it is, then the outlook for small practices seems, on my short observation, to be pretty sound.

together we can ensure the practice of optometry secures…

Sure, you’ll have to be business savvy and make sure that you’re offering good products and service at competitive prices – but not the lowest prices (something else I noticed). But if you take the time to plan and then execute a good business strategy, then you’d have to conclude that the future looks pretty reasonable.

And so on that note I will join with my fellow contributors to wish you a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous 2013!

OAA Vic

Terri Smith

What a year. In 2012, 648 OAA Vic members took time to respond to our very first comprehensive online Member Feedback Survey. We learned that our members range in age from 23 to 88; that just over half are women (52 per cent); and that 30 per cent own their own practice.

We also learned about the things that matter to our members. Our members care deeply about the integrity of the profession, and see optometry as being about the skilled provision of comprehensive primary eye care. Consistent with that, our members seek to be part of a sustainable workforce that is rewarded in accordance with that training. This will certainly be the focus of our work in the coming year.

As we crunched our way through tabulations and spreadsheets, we were struck by the significance of numbers. Optometrists work with numbers, so patients can see the bigger picture. To wrap up the year for mivision readers, we thought we would use numbers to build a picture: a picture of the Association’s many activities over the past 12 months.

We have a total of 1,118 current members, which represents just on 98 per cent of the number of registered optometrists whose primary place of practice is Victoria. This is an important figure, as we work hard to be a relevant and valued professional organisation. We were pleased that our Member Survey showed that seven in 10 members reported having been in contact with us in the previous 12 months.

We provided individual one-on-one assistance to 221 members, in areas ranging from CPD to selling a practice. There were 170 members who undertook our CPR training courses, and 20 who completed a special one off course in public speaking skills. We offered eight regional workshops in the optometric management of diabetes right across the State. Other CPD highlights included SRC (60 points on offer), and a two day training course for people interested in becoming a credentialed aviation eye examiner. All in all, there were 93 points on offer for our range of CPD activities. We offered three free webinars for the first time, and will retain this popular education format in our repertoire.

An important highlight of the year was our optometry stakeholders’ dinner, which brought together 100 optometrists, members, and those working in partnership to provide eye care across Victoria. We were honoured to have Minister David Davis address the dinner.

Thanks to the many members who have been a part of our activities. We hope you have benefited from the work of your Association.

Please note our office will be closed from 1pm on Friday 21 December and will re-open on Wednesday 2 January 2013. Best of the season to our members and mivision readers.

OAA WA

Tony Martella

OAA WA is looking forward to a busy and progressive 2013.

We will be commencing the year with two new board members who were elected at our recent Annual General Meeting. Welcome to Rob Howie from OPSM and Michael Doyle – an independent practitioner from Bassendane Optical. With these two new directors we will continue to maintain the total balance and mix of independent and corporate board members, which we believe is valuable to ensuring an open exchange of ideas about opportunities and issues challenging the profession. Darrell Baker has been returned as the President with Geoff Smith retuning to the Treasurers portfolio.

Thank you to our outgoing board members, Bjorn Russell and Bhargav Dave for their significant contribution during their tenure on the board.

Therapeutics Continues

Our second group of WA optometrists has now completed its post-graduate ocular therapy course and the third group is well underway. We had yet another strong response to the next intake for our fourth student group, which will commence in June 2013.

Many of the recent graduates have said that learnings from this course have made a very positive and immediate difference to the way they practice. Their ability to better treat and manage patient outcomes has been greatly enhanced leading to an improved and positive experience all.

WAVE 2013

WAVE 2013 will take place from Saturday 10 – Sunday 11 August. In keeping with our focus on creating an intimate, focused event, we have moved the conference to the Pan Pacific Hotel. We’re looking forward to delivering, another stimulating and engaging conference program, jam packed with leading speakers from the profession to optometrists from around the State and country. Mark your diaries now for WAVE 2013.

As we close 2012, I would like to thank all of our members who have supported the OAA WA division this year as well as key suppliers who have sponsored our many events. I would also like to thank optometrists and suppliers who have enabled us to participate in the extremely valuable Homeless Connect program for the City of Perth, the ongoing St Patrick’s Eye Clinic and the spectacle recycling program that is now in full swing at Acacia Prison. The prison program is progressing brilliantly – permission was recently granted to dedicate a workshop within the prison that in the new year, will enable us to supply the team there with even more equipment to further their work.

All the best for the festive season and 2013.

OAA Qld/NT

Cristy Ross

As the holiday season approaches, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support throughout 2012. The past year has been a busy one and each of you have played a very important role in the progress we’ve enjoyed as a result of the challenges we’ve faced.

As we look forward to the future our reflection on the past will allow us to ensure we continue to deliver on the strategic goals and objectives of the Division in line with the national direction of the Association.

In the first quarter we launched the new look SEE magazine and highlighted the long-standing Queensland Health issue of excessively long public hospital waiting lists and their impact on patients in need of care. We undertook strategic planning training and drafted our three to five year strategic plan, celebrated QUT’s Faculty of Health Award recipients from Optometry and worked with TAFE students on the design of a new logo for North Queensland Vision.

The second quarter saw the delivery of yet another successful Australian Vision Convention on the Gold Coast and the appointment of a new Queensland Minister for Health – Lawrence Springborg. We identified our top ten priorities in line with our strategic plan and saw record numbers attend North Queensland Vision in Cairns.

Later in the third quarter we attended the Multidisciplinary Health Symposium, celebrated Children’s Vision Day, launched our national Facebook page, and held two regional Branch meetings. We attended the General Practitioner Conference and Exhibition in Brisbane to improve our relationships with GPs, met with Assistant State Health Minister Dr. Chris Davis and Minister for Health Lawrence Springborg on two separate occasions, welcomed the doubling of the patient travel subsidy scheme and congratulated member John Crimmings on his NT News Pride of Australia Medal for Care and Compassion.

As we wrapped up the year in the final quarter, we attended GP12 on the Gold Coast, upgraded the Division’s IT systems to ensure improved access and security, held another two regional Branch meetings, and enjoyed the celebrations of Optometry’s Night of Nights. We elected a new Board of Directors under the Presidency of David Foresto, thanked former President Kate Johnson for the past two years in the role and met with the State Health Minister again to reinforce our messages regarding improved referral pathways.

As we look to the new year, plans for yet another wonderful Australian Vision Convention are well underway, with the official brochure launched at Optometry’s Night of Nights last month in Brisbane. We also plan to review our strategic goals and objectives, continue the role out of Branch meetings across the Division, deliver another successful North Queensland Vision in Cairns and further develop our relationships with health care professionals in light of improved referral pathways and ultimately the provision of better eye health for all Australians.

As a Division, I am confident we will continue to achieve our strategic goals and objectives as we work together to overcome tough challenges and embrace new opportunities. Together we can ensure the practice of optometry secures and maintains the recognition it deserves, both with Government and with other health care professionals.

On behalf of OAA QLD/NT Division President David Foresto and our Board of Directors, I wish happy holiday tidings to our Queensland and Northern Territory members and mivision readers across the country. Best wishes for a peaceful and safe Christmas/New Year period.