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HomemioptometryOptometry Reports Feb 2014: Planning for a New Year of Optometry

Optometry Reports Feb 2014: Planning for a New Year of Optometry

Comment from our Australian Optometry Associations.

OOA Victoria

Terri Smith

We have hit the ground running this year. With SRC moving to March (Sat 1 – Mon 3) our attention is already focussed on getting the details right to ensure this is a conference to remember.

SRC is a great opportunity to get all your CPD points out of the way in one swoop… then you can relax for the rest of the year. We have plenty of therapeutic points available and a dual program for two of the three days that gives you plenty of choices. As well as providing great education, face-to-face conferences give you the chance to discuss the previous session over lunch or morning tea with colleagues.

Dr. Cathy Hutton (GP) who will share her perspective on how optometrists and GPs can work together for the best possible patient outcome

Our two keynote American guest speakers, Dr. Jeffrey Gerson and Dr. Marc Bloomenstein, guarantee some excellent presentations. We are also pleased to have some of our old favourites on the program (Assoc. Prof. Mark Roth, Prof. Algis Vingrys and Assoc. Prof. Erica Fletcher). Additionally we have a strong line up of ophthalmologists covering a range of topics from paediatric anterior eye (Dr. Susan Carden), assessment and management of complicated cataracts (Assoc. Prof. Anthony Hall) and treatment options in glaucoma (Dr. Brian Ang). And there is plenty more.

One of the sessions we are really excited about is Dr. Cathy Hutton (GP) who will share her perspective on how optometrists and GPs can work together for the best possible patient outcomes. This is an excellent chance to hear directly from a busy GP about how our professions can work together.

You can register online for SRC now at optometrists.asn.au/VIC or call our office on (AUS) 03 9652 9100.

Invitation to meet future employees
Our annual careers expo for optometry students will be held in 2014 at SRC. If you are thinking of employing a graduate in the next few years this is a great opportunity to come and promote your practice to the students from Melbourne and Deakin Universities – and it is free to OAA members from across the country. You might combine it with your visit to SRC but you are welcome to exhibit even if you are not coming along to SRC. Contact Johanna at OAA Vic on (AUS) 03 9652 9100 for more information or to book your space.

Meanwhile if you have any questions, ideas or concerns about any other matters we are always happy to take your calls and emails. We are here to help and we love hearing from members. You can contact us on (AUS) 03 9652 9100 or email [email protected].


Andrew McKinnon

Happy New Year. I hope you all had a terrific break and have hit the ground refreshed and reinvigorated for 2014.

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? If you forgot, here’s a few that might get you started:

  • Get fit: I did this one last year as I was on the verge of needing a shoulder reconstruction. I now get to the gym five times a week and feel terrific! I found it hard for the first few weeks until I got into a routine, now I find I really miss it when I don’t get there.
  • Start with a personal trainer: Related to the first, this may seem indulgent, but it is the best way to get you focussed and achieving results quickly. You don’t need to do it forever, but six sessions will see you well on your way.
  • Do something fresh in your career: Look for another angle to bring some variety into your work life. I’m attempting to enrol in a course on industrial relations (IR) law (attempting because it’s hard to find one). I like law and the IR aspect will be of significant benefit to you, the members. The challenge will be good for me – care to join in?
  • Ensure you have life balance: No-one ever lay on their death-bed wishing they had spent more time in the office. Because we all lead such busy lives, it is critical that we schedule in time for friends, family and OURSELVES. That isn’t selfish, it’s essential. And often the only way to do this is to put it in your diary. Yes, block out time for yourself – it’s good for both mind and body.

Well, I hope these give you something to contemplate – good luck.


Cristy Ross

Welcome back and here’s to a successful and rewarding 2014. We hope you enjoyed a well-earned rest over the festive season. Once again, thank you for your continued support across 2013. We look forward to working with you over the next 12 months and as always, welcome your comments and ideas to secure an even better future for the optometry profession moving forward.

If you haven’t secured your place already, the first thing you should consider doing this year is registering for AVC 2014 on the gorgeous Gold Coast.

Stretching along 57 kilometres of stunning coastline, the City of Gold Coast is best known for its surf, sand and sunshine, bordered by its lush hinterland. Its natural beauty, relaxed lifestyle and ideal location make the Gold Coast one of the most unique cities in which to live, work and visit.

Australian Vision Convention (AVC) 2014 offers all of this and more… a low $725 registration fee, a large optometric exhibition, thousands of dollars in Exhibition Hall Passport prizes, a fantastic welcome reception, an exciting gala dinner, breakfast sessions each day and a complimentary crèche.

After many months of planning, discussion and decision making, the OAA QLD/NT Education Committee is proud to present to you a program sure to satisfy both the professional interests and CPD requirements of all in attendance.

OAA QLD/NT President David Foresto invites optometrists from across Australia, New Zealand and beyond to experience what will no doubt be a rewarding AVC from 25 – 27 April at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. With a program designed to offer freedom of choice from a selection of both clinical and non-clinical sessions, the excitement of newly introduced competitions and one of the largest and most diverse exhibition halls, delegates are sure to enjoy a well-rounded convention.

This year’s convention will also provide all in attendance with the opportunity to attend an Anzac Day dawn service on the Friday at one of the many serene and reflective coastal locations nearby.

Register now and book in some extra time to enjoy the beautiful Gold Coast while you are here, by taking the opportunity to bring the family. Visit www.optometrists.asn.au/QLD/ to register for AVC. Alternatively, registration enquiries can be directed to Crystal via email [email protected] or phone (AUS) 07 3839 4411.


Tony Martella

Christmas seems a distant memory as we rush into February and another full year of OAA events. Life is returning to normal following a well-earned break for most of us, over the festive season. In terms of CPD, there’s plenty on the calendar already and more to come. You’ll be pleased to know that the WAVE program is already hitting the streets and the feedback we’ve received about our program and keynote speakers has been extremely positive. If you haven’t already, make sure you have 16–17 August set aside in your diary for this key event on the OAA WA calendar.

Following last year’s AGM, the 2013/14 Board was appointed. After a substantial amount of work undertaken by the Board and secretariat, the 2013 year finished well and the WA Division ended the year in a sound position. We look forward to the challenges that lie ahead as well as the opportunity to continue to service and look after the WA profession and its members.

Congratulations to Darrell Baker, who was re-elected as President of the OAA WA board for another term. This will be Darrell’s fourth term in office and I thank him for his ongoing commitment to the division and the profession.

Congratulations also to Geoff Smith returning as Treasurer, and to the other directors, Ross Palmer; Gary Creire; Hui-Lin Chan; Robert Howie; and Simon Hogan.

The OAA WA team looks forward to working with our newly elected board over the next 12-months and to assisting the profession and members through the challenges it will encounter along the way. Additionally, we will work closely with the relevant stakeholders including government, to ensure optometry continues to grow and support the needs of the community.


Libby Boschen

The birth of a new year is always an opportune moment for navel-gazing
and this is exactly what I have spent my break doing, while finishing off the Christmas turkey.

Facebook of course keeps me in the loop on critical stuff (births, deaths, marriages) along with the daily trivia that amuses, but what it doesn’t allow is that age-old activity of ‘chewing the fat’: the opportunity to just chat, without pressure or agenda, about ‘stuff’. It is an activity that is valuable in all parts of our lives, but I would say is particularly ‘invaluable’ at work.

When I think back over my career I can identify the periods when I was performing at my best. I was most creative, incredibly productive and frankly, fearless, when I had regular get-togethers with a team of other professionals. As a result, this was when I also had the greatest impact at work, felt great about myself and arrived home each night with a smile on my face.

So what did these regular powwows give me that working solo day after day does not? Why did the opportunity to get together with colleagues each month enhance both my performance and the pleasure in my work?

Fundamentally I believe it supported my intellectual growth because two (or three, four, etc.) heads are indeed better than one when it comes to generating ideas and solving problems. The diversity of skills, experience, knowledge and personalities in the melting pot allows each of us to look at our daily challenges with a whole new perspective and in so doing find previously elusive solutions. The interaction also improves our confidence, by providing an opportunity to explain our thinking and conclusions, and having them verified by professional peers.

Let me be clear: this is not what I think of as ‘networking’. The sort of interaction I’m talking about is more informal, low-key and nurturing. It relies on the development over time of trust and respect between the group members and a common, shared intent of personal growth and development. It is gold.

Despite being surrounded by people all day, optometry can be a lonely job, with few opportunities for the kind of beneficial chats with colleagues that I am referring to. In South Australia in 2014, this will change as we roll out a series of ‘Member Hubs’ and invite you to join one for regular informal and confidential discussion about your professional challenges, whether they be clinical, people issues, business practice, whatever. Groups will be limited to 10 members per group and we will kick off with the first four in February – so get in touch and give it a go.

Make the most of nine additional heads to meet the challenges and opportunities presented in 2014!

Evidence Based Practice Workshops

South Australian and Victorian optometrists will have the opportunity to participate in a series of free workshops on evidence-based practice by some of the leading researchers in optometry over the coming months.

The Victorian workshops will be run by A/Prof Peter Keller and Dr. Laura Downie from the Department
of Optometry and Vision Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Dr. Downie is also a regular contributor to
the mivision journal.

The Victorian workshops, funded by a VOTE (Victorian Optometrists Training and Education) Trust grant, are free.

Dr. Downie said the workshops will be highly interactive and cover ‘hot topics in optometry’, including
nutrition and age-related macular degeneration, dry eye disease, and myopia control, through the use of clinical case scenarios.

The first workshop was held in January, but further workshops are scheduled for Tuesday 18 March and Tuesday 20 May. Places are limited. You can reserve your place by contacting Dr. Downie via email: [email protected].

Adelaide Masterclass

Meanwhile, Flinders University is also holding a series of masterclass sessions that will explore the latest clinical optometry research and the ways to evaluate and incorporate research outcomes into optometry practice.

Dr. Downie will also speak at the Adelaide sessions. Other presenters include Isabelle Jalbert, Rod Baker, Brad Kirkwood and Konrad Pesudovs.

The masterclass series – to be held on 7–8 April 2014 – will consider opportunities for translation of research into clinical practice in the areas of paediatric optometry, therapeutic optometry, contact lens and refractive correction and screening for disease.

For information contact Nicola Robinson at Flinders University: [email protected]

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