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Thursday / June 13.
HomemioptometryOptometry Reports Mar 2013

Optometry Reports Mar 2013

Comment from Australia and New Zealand


The year is well and truly underway, and we continue to offer a range of activities to support members. Here are some important dates to slot into your calendar.

Careers Expo
Take the chance to meet and chat with this year’s fourth and final year students at the OAA Vic Careers Expo in Melbourne on Sunday 3 March. Individual members are encouraged and welcomed to register free of charge. A fee applies for corporate exhibitors. Email [email protected] to enquire.

Low Vision Learning Online
Our webinars have been a popular addition to the OAA Vic calendar, and the good news is, new CPD points guidelines mean they will now earn you two points per hour, just like a lecture attended in person. To kick off our webinar program this year, jump online to learn about how low vision can be a rewarding part of your practice, bringing rewards for patients, and helping build your profile in the community as a provider of great primary care. We will run the webinar on the evening of 13 March. Registration is free to members.

New CPD points guidelines mean (Webinars) will now earn you two points per hour, just like a lecture attended in person

Email [email protected] or phone (AUS) 03 9652 9100.

Give it a Shot for Sight
Golf Day is always a regular favourite for many, and last year’s efforts earned a record AUD$10,000 for Optometry Giving Sight. So join us on Monday 18 March for the annual fundraiser and the rare opportunity to have a hit at the prestigious Yarra Yarra course. For more info: [email protected]

SRC 2013
Remember SRC this year runs from Sat-Mon, 1-3 June. We’re bringing a packed program covering everything from managing urgent presentations through to OCT, so make sure you have a look online. Registrations are open, with early-bird rates available until 14 March. Keynote speakers include the internationally-renowned Jim Thimons, and optometric primary care champion and educator Professor Blair Lonsberry.

More information: www.optometrists.asn.au/victoria and go to SRC.

SRC 2014 and Beyond
This is just a heads-up for those who have not heard that the SRC will be permanently moving to new summer dates. We’ve done so to ensure we can secure our venue, the MCEC, on an ongoing basis – it’s a busy venue and the mid-year dates could no longer be guaranteed. But we think the move to summer will be great, with longer days giving you the chance to see and do more. So pencil in SRC 2014 for March 1-3, and SRC 2015 for 20-23 Feb.

Let us know if there is something you think the Division can do to assist you. We love hearing from members.


Andrew McKinnon

After all these years involved in health care, it has only now dawned on me just how many regulatory agencies there are out there spending your tax dollars, often to give you grief!

At present I’m assisting four members with complaints.

One is from the Australian Human Rights Commission alleging sex discrimination (the allegation is that a staff member was dismissed because she was pregnant – hotly contested).

The second is from the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board alleging age discrimination (allegation is that a staff member was dismissed because they were too young – hotly contested).

The third is to Fair Work Australia where the member alleges (s)he was unfairly dismissed (with solid supporting evidence).

And the fourth is to the Trademarks Office where the member is concerned about an infringement of their intellectual property in their business name.

In each of these matters the Association is assisting the member to either respond or to lodge their complaint – but as I noted, I am still astounded by how many fingers can end up in a given pie.

Moral of the story… if you receive a complaint, call the Association. For you,
it will probably be the first time you’ve had something like it. For the Association, if we haven’t seen it before, our lawyers most certainly will have!


Tony Martella

It’s fair to say that throughout my entire time served in the profession of optometry, matters of workplace relations have been very few among WA members… unlike my previous Association role within the building trades, where constant confrontation, demands on conditions, and general industrial or workplace actions were almost daily events for employers and employees alike.

This highlights a major distinction between the two industries in how workplace relations are negotiated and used. While this difference is perhaps not unexpected, the nature of employment and work conditions between the two professions becomes apparent. Goodwill bargaining and limited adversarial approaches are generally the norm in optometry, compared to the rough and tumble confrontational approach used in the building industry.

Employment opportunities in WA continue to be strong and demand continually needs to be filled. This makes our State one of the best prospects for employment in the country. Employment within the optometry profession itself is typically catergorised as stable with minimal movement between jobs – perhaps reflecting the quality of workplace relations in most of our practices.

Problems Must be Dealt With
But ‘workplace relations’ by its very nature is a dynamic and constantly evolving ‘beast’, and at times difficulties do surface – even in optometry… and they must be dealt with. This point was driven home to me very recently when a member’s employment was terminated just three working days prior to Christmas 2012.

Needless to say, this termination created stress, uncertainty and discomfort for the member concerned, and a young family. Confused and a little shocked, the member was left wondering where to go for help, what could be done, and how to proceed. The problem needed to be confronted, quickly and at a very difficult time of the year.

As a consequence of this situation, many questions have surfaced. At the heart of this matter, the issue is now to determine if the termination was in fact fair – was it handled correctly by the employer, did it possibly constitute an unfair dismissal and how could it have been better managed, etc. etc.?

My intention in writing this article is to not delve into the details of this case specifically, as the matter is still pending, but to use it as a timely reminder that all members (employers and employees alike) need to
be aware of their obligations and rights.

While there is a relative ‘peace’ in the optometry world compared to other professions and industries, issues of workplace relations and entitlements do exist and they do surface to varying degrees. Although the protagonists may be quite different from those in the building industry, the need for fair and just outcomes in dealings and contractual obligations, remains the same.

With that said, please remember that if you are ever faced with a situation similar to this, OAA is there to help and should be contacted for advice and support.

Make use of your membership, make use of the OAA.


Cristy Ross

AVC Education Committee Chair David Foresto invites optometrists from across Australia, New Zealand and beyond to experience what will no doubt be a rewarding AVC from 5-7 April.

With Australian Vision Convention 2013 presenting Mo Jalie – Visiting Professor in Optometry at the University of Ulster in Coleraine and at the Essilor Academy Europe in Paris; Associate Professor Mark Roth – Principal Fellow in the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences at the University of Melbourne; Dr. Jason Miller – private practitioner and adjunct faculty member for the Ohio State University College of Optometry; and Dr. Rachael Peterson – Senior Clinical Scientist with the Brien Holden Vision Institute and Faculty Visiting Member at the NSW School of Optometry, delegates are spoiled for choice.

AVC 2013 offers delegates a superb clinical program including the Johnson & Johnson and Essilor Dual Stream on Saturday 6 April and complimentary optional assessment for additional CPD. AVC 2013 also sees the introduction of a Trade Stage with presentations by selected exhibitors on Friday 5 April.

Associate Professor Mark Roth will deliver two lectures, Kids and therapeutics on Day One and Red eye hypotheticals on Day Two. As an advocate for therapeutic progress in optometry, Prof. Roth’s contribution to various associations, the registration board and government committees, sees him well placed to deliver an exceptional presentation on therapeutics. Lecturing widely at conferences across Australia and
overseas, delegates are sure to be treated to two brilliant presentations of an international standard.

Professor Mo Jalie will present three lectures. Proudly sponsored by Essilor Australia, Professor Jalie will give a presentation on Progressive lenses on Day One, Off axis performance of spectacle lenses on Day Two and Aspheric and atoric lenses on Day Three. Recognised as an international authority on the design of spectacle lenses and having taught optics, ophthalmic lenses and dispensing since 1964, Professor Jalie’s presentations will offer all in attendance an experience like no other.

Proudly sponsored by Alcon, Dr. Jason Miller will present three lectures: Multifocal contact lens prescribing on Day One; Contact lens fitting for kids and teens on Day Two; and Practical consideration for soft toric contact lens fitting on Day Three. Dr. Miller is an ABO, NCLE and COPE approved speaker and has been published in many national eye care publications, including a regular monthly column on contact lens care. Clearly an expert in contact lenses, Dr. Miller’s presentations are not to be missed.

Dr. Rachael Peterson will deliver two Alcon sponsored lectures: Understanding the latest technologies in contact lens care on Day Two and 15 years on silicone hydrogel technology – what have we learnt? on Day Three. Dr Peterson received a Masters Prize medal for her work in low vision and the Da Vinci and Irving Fatt awards related to her PhD into objective grading scales, which she completed in 2006.

Having studied in the United Kingdom, trained in the Queen’s Medical Centre Hospital in Nottingham, worked for the Centre for Contact Lens Research in Canada and the Brien Holden Vision Institute in Sydney, Dr. Peterson’s presentations will see her deliver exceptional content of an international standard.

Such talent, teamed with comprehensive industry presentation in one of the country’s largest exhibition halls, is sure to attract quite an audience.

Registrations are still open. Visit www.optometrists.asn.au/queensland to secure your spot today. Alternatively, registration enquiries can be directed to Jess via email [email protected] or phone (AUS) 07 3839 4411.


Geoff Squibb

The 9th annual Tasmanian Lifestyle Congress will be held at the Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel from 23-25 August this year. TLC IX will highlight the centenary of the passing of the first legislation in the British Commonwealth to regulate the profession of optometry. The Opticians Act 1913 was passed by both houses of the Tasmanian Parliament in November 1913, laying the foundations for the wonderful profession, which
exists today.

To mark the occasion, the Governor of Tasmania, H.E. Peter Underwood, will host a reception at the magnificent Government House on Friday 23 August. American lecturers, Prof. Joe Sowker and Dr. Lori Vollmer will head up a very interesting list of presenters. Queensland OAA president, David Foresto, will deliver this year’s Keith Mackriell lecture. The Congress dinner will be held at the world acclaimed MONA.

Along with some pre-TLC workshops tentatively scheduled for Thursday 22 and Friday 23 August, delegates who undertake the online assessment should be able to obtain their required annual CPD points including the therapeutic requirement. European Eyewear has again agreed to sponsor the Low Vision seminar on the morning of Saturday 24 August. Further details, including the full program, will soon be available for down loading on the Tasmanian Division’s website www.optometrists.asn.au/tas or by contacting CEO Geoff Squibb on (AUS) 03 6224 3360.

Agfest Eye Centre
Tasmanian members are once again asked to assist with the eye health and free vision screening promotion at this year’s Agfest, which will be held at Carrick near Launceston from 2-4 May. Tasmanian president Karen Garner said despite the increased awareness being created by the Agfest initiative, and the Division’s marketing campaign, too many Tasmanians are still failing to have their eyes tested every two years.

Tasmanian Optometry Foundation Awards
The winners of the 2012 Tasmanian Optometry Foundation Award scholarships were announced by Chris Dobson, Chairman of the Tasmanian Optometry Foundation, at TLC VIII. Michael Knipe will undertake a study of “hospital optometry” throughout Australia and recommend suitable models for hospitals in Northern and North West Tasmania. Paul Graveson will conduct a literature review of current concepts and studies regarding vision loss, contrast sensitivity loss and TML psychophysics of reading and associated rehabilitation strategies. Scott Taylor has been awarded funds to assist him to gain a therapeutic qualification from the University of NSW. Applications for the 2013 awards open this month (March). The closing date is 30 June 2013.

Brian Sims Awarded Life Membership
At the Tasmanian Division’s Annual General Meeting held during TLC, retired optometrist Brian Sims was awarded life membership. He joins John Rees as the Division’s only two living life members. Brian immigrated to Hobart from England to join former optometrist and association life member, the late Ken Iredale in practice. He specialised in low vision and quality service to patients. In 1973 Brian was one of the instigators of the low vision clinic within the eye clinic at the Royal Hobart Hospital. In 1976 he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study low vision consultation techniques and clinic structure in the UK and USA. In 2006 Brian was recognised for his many years of dedicated service to optometry and low vision services when he was made a member of the Order of Australia.

Member Enquiries

Contact: Andrew McKinnon CEO
P: 02 9712 2199
E: [email protected]
W: www.oaansw.com.au

Contact: Terri Smith CEO
P: 03 9652 9100
E: [email protected]
W: www.optometrists.asn.au/victoria

Contact: Ms. Cristy Ross CEO
P: 07 3839 4411
E: [email protected]
W: www.optometrists.asn.au/queensland

Contact: Tony Martella CEO
P: 08 9321 2300
E: [email protected]
W: www.optometrywa.org.au

Contact: Ms. Libby Boschen CEO
P: 08 8338 3100
E: [email protected]
W: www.optometrists.asn.au/southaustralia

Contact: Geoff Squibb CEO
P: 03 6224 3360
E: [email protected]
W: www.optometrists.asn.au/tasmania

Contact: Grant Firth
P: (NZ) 04 473 2322
E: [email protected]
W: www.nzao.co.nz