Australia’s optical dispensing profession has much to be proud about… and with firm plans in place for 2015, it’s only going to get better.
I recently attended the Tokyo Optical Fair (IOFT). The first one I attended was in 1988, and at that time it had only been running annually for about three years. Back then the show covered a much larger area with a greater array of manufacturing and optometric equipment. Over the years it has slowly become primarily aimed at local retailers and is now on a scale similar to ODMA’s. There was very little new to report with most of the same companies occupying the same spaces they previously had.
In terms of frame fashion, the styles were still rather conservatively designed, with the ovalish oblong dominating. I am left with the feeling that what is on offer in Australia is perhaps a little more exciting, edgy and colourful. The Japanese optical retail market is dominated by home grown chains which have decimated the local independent opticians over recent years. The most dominant is ‘Jins’, a low-cost, high volume retailer aimed at the huge younger market. One store I saw had four Nidek phoropter units set up in a row with the in-house trained staff performing the refractions, and all edging done on-site, same day.
what is on offer in Australia is perhaps a little more exciting
Eyewear aside, a trip to Japan is clearly focussed on eating, sightseeing and shopping and if you haven’t already been there, I highly recommend a visit. In particular, to some supermarkets where the produce variety and quality leave our own looking rather ‘third world’.
I wish everyone a great Christmas and New Year… let’s all hope for a peaceful and prosperous 2015.
Murray O’Brien is the President of ADOA Victoria.
2014 has been a busy and successful year for ADOA NSW with milestone achievements in education, professional development and government relations.
This year we implemented new requirements so that optical dispensers must have a professional association membership in order to practice.
Additionally, we forged closer relationships with the UNSW School of Optometry, with committee members now delivering optical dispensing education at the school. We helped re-establish Sydney Institute of TAFE’s face-to-face delivery of the optical dispensing course, with three committee members teaching the course. Dr. David Wilson has been working with OTEN to develop the next edition of the standards text for Optical Dispensing in Australia.
Finally on professional development, ADOA liaised closely with Optometry Australia SA on the delivery of the Blue Sky Conference – Australia’s first eye health conference to deliver content to both optometry and optical dispensers. Blue Sky was an outstanding success and we look forward to working with Optometry Australia on this concept for years to come.
In 2014 ADOA consulted to government to enhance the delivery of social spectacle programs, including DVA. We look forward to engaging on more projects of this nature.
The Year Ahead
In 2015 we will build on optical dispensing education, improving our professional standing and community involvement.
Become a Member
If you’re not already a member of ADOA, it is time to register. Right now you can take advantage of the early bird registration – join or renew your membership before the end of December and save $$$!
In the lead up to the festive season, ADOA would like to wish you all a very safe and happy Christmas.
Martin Kocbek is the President of ADOA NSW.