Comment from our Australia Optometry Associations.
In almost every walk of business life, we face competition. In some sectors, like retail, the competition is fierce and all-pervading – a fact of daily life. In other sectors, like Associations, competition is a more recent phenomenon, but one which we’ll have to respond to quickly and positively.
Competition can elicit many responses – anger, fear, despair or excitement being just some of them.
So how will the OAA respond to the new competitive pressures we’re facing through the entry of PI Insurers to the market?
We’ll have to better address the needs of certain sectors of our membership – franchisees, for example, to make sure that we’re offering them the sort of support they need…
There’s no doubt that it will make us lift our game – we’ll have to convince members, both current and prospective, that Association membership represents great value for money – and isn’t just an insurance offering dressed up in some other way.
We’ll have to better address the needs of certain sectors of our membership – franchisees, for example, to make sure that we’re offering them the sort of support they need when they have to deal with not only market competitors, but franchisors and the like.
And we’ll have to get much better at engaging with our younger members, understanding what they want from an Association and then delivering it in a way they find relevant and accessible.
Will it be easy? Probably not, but we’ll succeed, because if we don’t our entire relevance to the profession will be undermined… and that, we just can’t allow to happen.
The Victorian Division welcomes a new President. Melissa Downing has served in the role for just under four years, stepping down to become a mum for the second time. The Board and members thank Melissa for her hardworking service and excellent contribution in this volunteer role. Kylie Harris, our new President, is currently Business Development Manager at the Vision Eye Institute. She was re- elected to the Victorian Board in 2012, having served a previous term before she moved to Sydney in 2008. We also welcome a new Vice President, Julia Kabov, an independent practitioner from Melbourne. They lead a Board with enthusiasm, energy and resolve for changing times: there’s a lot happening in optometry.
One thing happening in optometry is a change related to the work of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, which has updated its referral processes and policies to make sure the patients being seen at the hospital, its emergency department, and its busy 15 specialist eye clinics are the ones who really need to be there. We are really excited by the new guidelines. Optometrists play an important role in these guidelines, not only as practitioners referring into the hospital themselves, but as providers of primary care, working with GPs to make sure that all patients being referred to the hospital come with the best clinical information, including referral reports, to help staff make the right health decisions for patients.
There are also adjunct Primary Care Management Guidelines, covering a number of the common low acuity conditions that can easily be managed by optometrists working with GPs in the community.
Victorian optometrists are encouraged to look at and familiarise themselves with the guidelines and referral criteria via the RVEEH website. www.eyeandear.org.au. Check out the Health Professionals section.
It’s not long before optometrists will be due to renew their registration with the OBA. It is now three years since the commencement of the national registration scheme in July 2010. That means for a number of optometrists, it will now be time to renew your CPR training, to make sure it is current. At the time you re-register, you need to have undertaken CPR training within the three-year period prior. So if you undertook your last training before 30 November 2010, it’s time to renew! OAA-Vic is once again running CPR courses for members. Contact us for information or dates. Not sure when you last did it? If you did your training with OAA or at the SRC we can tell you the date, so call us on (AUS) 03 0652 9100, or email email@example.com.
Of course if there is something else you have been wondering about, you should contact us about that! We are here to assist – and we love hearing from members.
Optometrists Association Australia was founded by, and continues to be governed by, optometrists just like you, who are passionate about, and proud of, the profession they have chosen. This passion drives the Association in its pursuit of a strong and secure future for the practice of optometry across the country.
One of the main reasons for our success with key decision makers, including both state and federal Government, is the strength of our membership. There aren’t many other health professions who can present themselves with the same amount of strength as the OAA. Your ongoing support and continued membership is therefore recognised as one of the key drivers in securing a better future for the profession of optometry and clearly indicates your intentions for the future.
Given this, it is important to make sure you continue to respond to calls for your opinion and/or comment to ensure the Association understands what direction we need to take as a collective, both nationally and at a Divisional level. You can do this by simply speaking with your Division or Board Directors who are all more than happy to listen. We are here for you, for all members.
Membership renewals for the 2013/14 financial year are again strong, giving the Association a clear indication of your support for the profession. Together we will work towards securing a strong and viable future for those already practicing, those about to graduate and for those who dream of being an optometrist when they grow up. Member support continues to drive the future.
Your next opportunity to speak with QLD/NT Division President David Foresto, fellow Board Directors and staff is in tropical Cairns next month.
Please join us for North Queensland Vision
North Queensland Vision (NQV) not only offers delegates an opportunity to migrate north, but also promises to deliver an exceptional CPD program. Registrations are still open so register now to join us in gorgeous tropical Cairns for NQV from 4-5 October at the Pullman Cairns International.
Here’s a snippet to entice the senses …
ALCON Vision Care will kick things off over breakfast on Friday morning, followed by the official opening with OAA QLD/NT President David Foresto. With BOC Instruments again hosting a tropical cocktail party on the Friday evening as a well-earned reward for all delegates after a day of thought provoking, eye opening and somewhat indulgent educational sessions, how can anyone say no?
And if that’s not enough, CooperVision will host your Saturday morning breakfast followed by another jam-packed day of CPD, wrapping up in the evening at Palm Cove’s Angsana Resort & Spa for a mouth-watering gala dinner on the beach.
It doesn’t get any better than North Queensland Vision, the perfect combination of personal and professional reward. For more information or to lock in your tropical escape, contact us on (AUS) 07 3839 4411 or visit www.optometrists.asn.au/queensland
WAVE 2013 – it’s hard to believe that it’s already been and gone. Once again, this year’s conference was a great success, with valuable educational content, a solid exhibition and a really enjoyable, relaxed evening of cocktails overlooking the Swan River. We had optometrists here from around the country and overseas, from as far a field as New Zealand and South Africa.
Thanks to all of our supporters – speakers, exhibitors and delegates – who helped to make WAVE 2013 so successful. We’re looking forward to welcoming you all back next year for WAVE 2014 from