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HomemioptometryOptometry Report Oct 2014

Optometry Report Oct 2014

By standing by their word and delivering on promises made, optometrists in Australia are well placed to make a very real difference in the community.


Andrew McKinnon

I’m sure you’ve all heard that phrase “never over-promise and under-deliver”.

I thought that perhaps a recent experience of mine might give practice owners, managers and indeed staff an incentive to look at their own businesses and make sure this isn’t happening to their patients.

This was the textbook case of how not to treat a customer. Promises were faithfully made – and never delivered

I have a credit card with a major international bank. It is coming up for renewal and so I called to ask if the card could be renewed early. No problem said the call centre – new cards will be with you in 48 hours and you can continue to use the old ones up until they arrive. Fabulous.

Two days later, the new cards arrived, were activated – and didn’t work. Then commenced a saga lasting three weeks, during which time I spoke to the call centre, supervisors and even the Australian customer service team on no less than nine occasions. And each time, I was promised, faithfully, that the problem would be fixed within 48 hours.

Well, my 18th (yes 18th) new credit card arrived in the mail and – so far – it works. But this took a very terse phone call with a supervisor in the Australian call centre (not the overseas one) and the threat to withdraw all my business (which is pretty widespread) if this wasn’t fixed.

This was the textbook case of how not to treat a customer. Promises were faithfully made – and never delivered. Call backs were assured – and never materialised.

And how can it take 18 new credit cards to be issued before they get one to work?

There is, in all of this, a great lesson for us all – if a patient (or in our case a member) contacts us seeking service, we need to deliver. And if we promise to do something, we need to live up to that promise. Our patients / members / customers all want to do business with us. Most people are pretty understanding if something occasionally screws up – but we should all do our best to make sure that when we say something will happen, it does.

Because in my case, this bank has absolutely lost a long-term customer – it is now only a matter of time before I jump.


Pete Haydon

I’m pleased to be making my first contribution to mivision after a couple of weeks in the job with Optometry Victoria.

Already I can see that practitioners are passionate, dynamic, and providing outstanding eye care to the public, despite the challenging, often changing, legislative landscape of optometry. As we move into an election cycle in Victoria, we will be looking to ensure our members’ concerns are part of the broader conversation.

I worked for the past five years as the Manager of the RACV Community Foundation, a philanthropic organisation, which distributes grants for a wide range of community development projects enhancing community safety, environmental sustainability and social cohesion across the State. I have also held roles with the national and international Red Cross, where, as Communications Manager, I ran communications for the Red Cross disaster response on the ground in countries affected by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

In my most recent role at the RACV Community Foundation, I worked with members, charitable organisations and community groups to expand RACV’s philanthropic footprint, including governance, delivering the grant program, strategic planning, revenue generation and financial modelling.

My first months with Optometry Victoria will be spent investigating ways to improve our services to our membership through strong governance, streamlined operations and, of course, planning a successful and informative Southern Regional Congress (SRC) in early 2015.

Next year’s SRC will take place in late February (21–23). At that time of year Melbourne is at its best – long warm days and plenty of activities going on around the city to entertain delegates after the program ends each day.

Remember that SRC is one of very few opportunities for Australian optometrists to fulfil their CPD requirements in one place. Registrations for delegates at SRC 2015 will open on Monday 3 November.

Organisations interested in booth prices and packages can find out more by visiting www.optometry.org.au/victoria and clicking on the SRC logo, or emailing [email protected].


Cathryn Baker

To begin I would like to thank you all for offering me such a warm welcome to the position of Executive Officer here at Optometry Qld/NT. During the past few months I have thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in Optometry Australia and the optometry profession. Eye health is an area that I am passionate about and I am delighted to be back working in this space. I firmly believe optometrists play a vital role as the first line of defence in eye health. For me it is personal – if not for the astute optometrist he saw in the early

days, my father would have lost his sight many years before he did. I have seen first-hand the impact vision loss takes on people, not only with my family but also when working with Macular Disease Foundation Australia and The Fred Hollows Foundation.

Optometry Queensland Northern Territory is a dynamic organisation that highly values our members. I am privileged to be working with a dedicated, forward thinking board and staff. On the national front it is also an exciting time to be joining the Optometry Australia team with all state divisions and the national office working together to make better inroads on a number of fronts and achieve optimal outcomes on behalf of all optometrists and indeed patients across the country.

I am looking forward to meeting many of you at our upcoming conference, North Queensland Vision, in Cairns from 4–5 October. This will be my first conference with Optometry Queensland and Northern Territory. Selfishly I have to say I relish having this special time to speak directly with our members and to get to know them on a more personal level. It is a real bonus to be able to do this in such a beautiful setting. We have delegates joining us from all over Australia and New Zealand.

Alternatively members are always welcome to pick up the telephone and talk to me directly. Our members play an integral part in Optometry Australia and as such I value the opportunity to discuss any input, feedback, queries or concerns. I look forward to meeting you all as the occasion arises.

Join us for the annual VISIONaries: Past, Present and Future awards night on Saturday 8 November. This is an event especially for members to celebrate the optometry profession and its achievements in the year that has been.

This year’s event will be held at trendy Rush CBD in Brisbane’s Post Office Square on Queen Street. Visit www.optometry.org.au/qld for more information.

Planning is well underway for Australian Vision Convention 2015. The 2015 conference will be held on the Gold Coast from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 April, always the weekend after Easter. An exciting program is being assembled and includes a number of surprising additions! Sign on for more updates by emailing [email protected].


Tony Martella

I’d like to thank every one of the delegates, presenters and exhibitors who attended WAVE 2014. Feedback I have received confirms that this conference

was the most successful yet. I look forward to your ongoing support and to planning WAVE 2015, which will take place from 8–9 August.

I’d like to thank all of the optometrists from WA who have renewed their memberships with Optometry Australia. Having attracted some new optometrists as well as past members, our numbers are well up on our 2013 membership. That’s great news. As you know, it’s the support of our members that enables the division to achieve so much for the profession of optometry as a whole.

In early September, the national executive of Optometry Australia met in Melbourne for a Senior Leadership Workshop to discuss the progress that’s been made with the Association’s re-branding and where we’re heading next. I think you will agree that the re-branding campaign has been successful and has been much more than a cosmetic change.

The City of Perth and Volunteering WA Homeless Connect Day will take place on 12 November. This is an important day when we can all make a difference to the lives of homeless people living in the city. Optometrists, dispensers and all other members of the community are invited to assist on the day – if you are interested in volunteering your time and services, please contact the WA office: (AUS) 08 9321 2300.

Western Australia continues to be an attractive location for emerging optometrists and already I am being contacted by students from Auckland, interstate and WA who will graduate later this year and are looking to come to our State to work. Over the next few months

I will be working closely with these soon-to-be graduates to help them find their placements and then to settle in. If you are interested in taking on a graduate, please let me know.

It’s also encouraging to receive an increasing number of requests from optometrists who are interested in either establishing or buying into an independent practice. If this is something you are considering, please contact the WA division – we are here to help by providing information and to support you through this process.

2014 AGM
The Optometry Australia WA AGM will be held on 29 October. All members are invited to attend. See the website for details.


Libby Boschen

Thank you for all the positive support being posted by optometric Facebook followers in response to the launch of our new education initiative.

Registrations are coming in nicely for SA Blue Sky Congress 2014 from both optometrists and optical dispensers (qualified or otherwise).

I am excited to see the interest from this new group of SA Blue Sky Congress delegates and look forward to providing inspirational and empowering education to the whole practice team.

If you haven’t yet booked your spot (or that of your team) at SA Blue Sky Congress, jump online and register. Delegates can look forward to being inspired, informed, entertained and re-energised, just in time for the New Year!

SA Blue Sky Congress’ keynote speakers – Dr. Richard Madonna for optometry and Dr. David Wilson for optical dispensing – promise to get your grey cells ticking over.

For optical dispensers, we’ll be running sessions on how to best support customers through Lasik and cataract surgery; answering customer questions about contact lenses; dispensing sunnies; the tool kit for dispensing the optimum progressive lens; advanced lens dispensing; building your business through creating trusting customers; a critique of the latest dispensing technology; balancing business and healthcare in your practice; and spherics, atorics and bi-aspherics. There will also be a selection of small practical workshops.

Optometrists can earn up to 36 CPD points with topics ranging from current best practice and future use of SD-OCT in retina, to glaucoma and anterior segment diagnosis; differentiating glaucomatous from non-glaucomatous optic nerve neuropathies; provocative grand rounds; aviation optometry; keratokonus; the latest in treating the next generation of patients, optometric repercussions of pharmacy choices.

Don’t forget that you also have the added bonus of proving you were hanging on their every word by successfully answering multiple-choice questions using your on-the-spot keypads. This results in more CPD points for optometrists and a Certificate of Completion for Optical Dispensers.

Blue Sky Congress has become popular and beneficial for all staff. Elise and Phil Clem from Eyre Eye Centre in Port Lincoln said “Blue Sky Congress for optical dispensers has solved our staff training dilemma! Now we can ensure ALL our team is motivated and inspired by quality professional development”.

If you haven’t considered SA Blue Sky Congress before to meet the training needs of your whole practice, it’s time to give it some thought. SA Blue Sky Congress – the only thing we take seriously is the education.

For further information, go to www.optometry.org.au/sa

Member Enquiries

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

OA Vic
Contact: Pete Haydon EO
P: 03 9652 9100
E: [email protected]
W: www.optometrists.asn.au/victoria

Contact: Cathryn Baker EO
P: 07 3839 4411
E: [email protected]
W: www.optometrists.asn.au/queensland

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

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

OA Tas
Contact: Geoff Squibb EO
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