Comment from Australia and New Zealand
It’s always interesting, in the New Year, to take stock of the old. One of our major functions as a member organisation is to be able to provide people with accurate and useful individual advice about the many issues that can arise in the practice of optometry. In 2012, more than 200 individual members were supported in this way, with queries ranging from visual standards to salaries; record-keeping to CPD; the PBS to 3D games. We also assisted a large number of people with the recent random audit undertaken by the Optometry Board of Australia.
Our Member Feedback Survey, conducted in April last year, told us that 70 per cent of our members had been in contact with the OAA Vic office in the 12 months prior, which is fantastic. As always, you are encouraged to call us if you think we can help answer a question you can’t.
We have developed a plan for our CPD program this year with, of course, SRC as the centrepiece. There are 55 points available, and plenty of therapeutics points, over a three-day program: remember this year, we’re in June, from 1-3, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Our program features keynote international speakers Jim Thimons and Blair Lonsberry, as well as a great cast of local speakers. SRC registrations open on 1 February and if you register before 14 March, you’ll secure early bird rates.
SRC registrations open on 1 February and if you register before 14 March, you’ll secure early-bird rates
Webinars Planned for 2013
But we are more than SRC. Webinars have proven a hit CPD format, and this year, we will be offering three. In March, you can learn how low vision services can bring practice-building benefits; in April, we look at how you can help build local referral and care networks in your practice for GPs and other health providers; and in September, as the pollen count rises along with presentations for red or itchy eyes, we will give you the low-down on managing your allergic patients through the spring.
Our 2012 December Zoo breakfast was a hit, and so in 2013, we will be offering another member social breakfast to wrap up the year, at an exciting new venue to be announced… stay tuned.
For those of you whose three yearly CPR cycle is coming to an end, there will be courses available as we draw closer to the end of the registration year. If it’s more convenient, you can also sign up for CPR at SRC. (Remember to retain your certificate to avoid having to have it replaced).
Meet New Grads: Careers Expo
If you’re looking to employ new graduates, or just want to meet some of the students coming through their final years of study, consider joining us for the Careers Expo, in Melbourne on Sunday 3 March. There is no charge for individual members to be present, and you can participate with as little as your business card, bring along your laptop, or as much other information as you please. This is an excellent way to ensure our students get to see the variety of possibilities open to them as a practising optometrist.
Happy 2013. We look forward to seeing you at events throughout the year, or talking to you over the phone if we can help in any way.
How have you gone with your New Year’s Resolutions? With a month into the year already, are you still on track?
Let’s take a look at what a range of ‘experts’ are predicting for 2013… then, at the end of the year, we can look back and see how many were right!
- The doctor will see you now – online. The growth of online consulting in healthcare will balloon, especially in specialist areas servicing rural communities (IDC Health Insights)
- The number of workers in the fitness industry will grow at a faster rate than any other occupational group (US Dept Labor, 2012)
- Neuroscientists may soon be able to predict what you’ll do before you do it… the intention to do something, such as grasp a cup, produces blood flow to specific areas of the brain (The Futurist magazine)
- We’ll harness noise vibrations and other “junk” energy from the environment to power our gadgets – researchers at Georgia Tech are developing techniques for converting ambient microwave energy into DC power (The Futurist magazine)
- Parramatta will be the big improvers in the NRL in 2013 under new coach Ricky Stuart (askmen.com.au)
- The year of the Water Snake – 2013 – continues to see better times, thanks to its well-balanced element combinations. This signifies a year when everyone could see an improving trend (fengshuimall.com)
- And finally, South America will become the next frontier. We’ll see mainstreaming of South American-style grilled meats, chimichurri sauce, ceviche, South American-Asian fusion seafood dishes and iconic drinks from Brazil’s caipirinha to Peru’s pisco sour (ausfoodnews.com.au).
So there you are – all you need to know for 2013 – enjoy!
The OAA WA has hit the ground running this year with a full schedule of networking and CPD events for optometrists.
Our first event for the year is our Welcome to New Members evening which will take place at the Vic Hotel in Subiaco on 20 February. Every year we make welcome the many new members who have come to Western Australia including new graduates and those who are re-locating. The Welcome evening is an excellent opportunity to make them feel part of the group, and introduce them to the OAA board and staff members, as well as other optometric professionals from around the State.
Our first Continuing Professional Development event for the year will be sponsored by Novartis and takes place on 25 February at the Bruce Hunt Lecture Theatre at the Royal Perth Hospital. Then, on 18 March, we will host our first Regional Members and Network Evening in Bunbury in the south west of WA. The South West of WA is home to the greatest number of OAA members from regional WA and, as such, it is always a great pleasure to host an annual meeting in the area. Our March event will be an interactive evening that comprises an education component, (CPD points attached), as well as valuable (and enjoyable) networking opportunities.
Other CPD events planned for the year are scheduled for 15 April; 13 May; and from 10–11 August, our biggest event for the year: WAVE 2013. As you’d expect, we’ll have more events planned for September, October and November – and we’ll keep you posted on the details.
I encourage you to make a note of the CPD dates early in the year, which provide an easy, social and enjoyable way to achieve your professional education obligations. Given the impact of the recent audit conducted by the Australian Health Regulation Authority, we’re all very much aware of just how important it is to complete the necessary education modules for registration compliance. The OAA WA CPD program offers a no fuss and practical approach to maximise learning and education for members.
OCANZ Entry Exams
On another matter relating to education, from 15-16 April this year, the OAA WA will host the Optometric Council of Australia and New Zealand’s entrance exams for overseas trained optometrists who wish to practise in Australia. Over the years, our State has obtained many good members who’ve made their move from overseas to practise in Western Australia. The exams are where we first get to meet them and initiate new relationships – even before they have been qualified to practise in Australia.
We wish you all the best for the coming months.
If you haven’t secured your place already, one of the first things you need to do this year, is register for AVC 2013 from 5-7 April on the gorgeous Gold Coast.
The attractions of the Gold Coast bring smiles to people of all ages and stages. Here you’ll find the full spectrum of interactive entertainment – from dazzling big budget theme parks to small, hilariously kitsch museums. Exhilarating rides, exotic animals and endless waterslides to help you cool off on hot summer days.
And if that’s not enough to tempt you… how about enjoying a cold beverage and a mouth-watering meal at one of the many exquisite restaurants and bars… all while fulfilling your CPD requirements.
Australian Vision Convention (AVC) 2013 offers all of this and more. For a low AUD$725 registration fee, you’ll enjoy a large optometric exhibition, thousands of dollars in Exhibition Hall Passport prizes, a fantastic welcome reception, an exciting and somewhat fast-paced gala dinner at Movie World, breakfast sessions each day and a complimentary crèche.
Following many months of planning, discussion and decision making, the OAA QLD/NT Education Committee is proud to present a program sure to satisfy both the professional interests and CPD requirements of all in attendance. This will include a selection of clinical and non-clinical dual sessions presented by nationally and internationally recognised speakers, allowing for a wide variety of topics to be included, as well as an exciting new trade stage.
Register now and book in some extra time to enjoy the beautiful Gold Coast while you’re here – why not take the opportunity to bring the family and stay for the week. With the convention conveniently held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, located in the heart of Broadbeach, delegates can enjoy a well-earned break in the lead up to or following the convention in one of Queensland’s most ideal tropical locations.
Register by visiting www.optometrists.asn.au/queensland or address any enquiries to Jess via email [email protected] or phone (AUS) 07 3839 4411.
The Tasmanian Division has a busy program for the year, spearheaded by the ninth annual Tasmanian Lifestyle Congress (TLC IX), to be held at the Old Woolstore in Hobart. Lock in the dates: from 23-25 August. Registrations will open soon and members are encouraged to register early to ensure their place is secured.
TLC IX may not provide the full 40 CPD points required annually as logistics may force a reduction in lecture hours. To compensate, there has been a suggestion for a weekend workshop to provide any shortfall in CPD points. If this proceeds, it will probably be held mid-May or mid-June. Stay tuned for details.
As the centenary of legislation, 2013 will present a great opportunity to further promote optometry in Tasmania. The OAA sees this as a chance to promote our profession, our achievements, our current mode of practice and the advances made over the past 100 years.
It is timely opportunity in light of our recent survey results, revealing that over half of Australians most at risk, don’t have eyes tested regularly.
The Optometrists Association of Tasmania and Glaucoma Australia conducted eye screening on 500 attendees of AGFEST 2012, a major annual agricultural festival at Carrick near Launceston, Tasmania. The resultant questionnaires yielded some disturbing trends, including a lack of glaucoma awareness in those most at risk – the older population, and those in rural areas.
Of 500 participants, the median age was 41–50 years old. Of those already diagnosed with glaucoma, a worrying 43 per cent were unaware of their family members’ ocular health. Of 39 glaucoma suspects, 77 per cent hadn’t had an eye exam within two years and 75 per cent of those who had family members with glaucoma had their last eye exam more than two years ago. In these categories, pressures ranged from 11 – 32mmHg, while ages ranged from 14–84 years old. It seems the importance of reminding people to get an eye check at least every two years, regardless of age or health cannot be overstated.
With this in mind, the OAA will sponsor another media campaign to raise awareness of eye health through 2013. More initiatives need to be undertaken if we are to detect glaucoma and other conditions causing loss of sight at an early enough stage to preserve vision.
Contact: Andrew McKinnon CEO
Contact: Terri Smith CEO
Contact: Ms. Cristy Ross CEO
Contact: Tony Martella CEO
Contact: Ms. Libby Boschen CEO
Contact: Geoff Squibb CEO
Contact: Grant Firth
SRC from 2014 – Summer in the City
The Optometrists Association of Australia has announced a radical change to one of the country’s premier optical events, with SRC moving from its traditional winter date to the end of summer.
OAA Victoria CEO Terri Smith said that from 2014, the Summer Regional Congress and Trade Expo “permanently transforms into a summer conference by moving to new February/March dates”.
“SRC will continue to offer the same high quality education program and remains committed to offering you all the CPD points you need.
She said holding SRC earlier in the year means optometrists can “get all their CPD points early and relax for the rest of the year knowing that they’ve met the OBA’s requirements for registration”.
Registrations are already open for this year’s SRC, which will be held from 1-3 June 13.
Ms. Smith said next year SRC will be held on 1-3 March 2014 and the following year from 20-23 February 2015. It will be on in February from then on.