As the CEO of the representative body of optometrists in Australia, Genevieve Quilty speaks about the importance of having a united influential voice while OA Vic announces two exciting keynote speakers for SRC 2016.
At a recent meeting of CEOs from the health professions that I attended, there was some discussion about whose ‘turn’ it was on this committee to represent their profession. In the case of optometry, we have never needed to have that discussion. Optometry Australia has been fortunate over our 100 years to be the preeminent representative body of optometrists in Australia. It is an important role and one we never take for granted.
In an era where government funds are scarce, it is easy for a government to ignore the requests of professions who have more than one voice – to postpone a decision, waiting for the profession’s consensus.
As a result of this singular representation and leadership, we feel that our influence has had a major impact on supporting the profession…
As a small profession, we have consistently been able to represent our profession strongly with your support – we have a very clear and separate identity as a profession with Medicare and PBS rights; long standing, world leading entry level standards; and a national footprint of CPD events. As a result of this singular representation and leadership, we feel that our influence has had a major impact on supporting the profession, and meeting the eye health and vision care needs of a huge number of patients every year. With the ageing of the population and increasing chronic disease, we need more investment in eye health than ever, and our profession will be competing for this investment against other sectors including outside health, given the pressure on the Commonwealth budget.
Working together as a united influential voice, your support will allow Optometry Australia to continue to foster and grow our profession during 2015–16. Interested in joining 90 per cent of your peers? Jump onto our website at www.optometry.org.au and select the state you practice in to join.
Already a member? We need your assistance to enhance our latest
advocacy campaign, Eye Care for All. Visit our campaign microsite to see what you can do to get involved and ensure sustainable Medicare funding for your patients. www.optometrists.asn.au/eyecareforall.aspx
Many optometrists and eye care industry professionals will now be aware that SRC is moving venue in 2016. While we’ve had a great relationship with our previous hosts, the Board and I are excited about the prospect of the exclusivity and flexibility offered by the Pullman and Mercure hotel in Albert Park.
In 2016 SRC will be held across the weekend of 5 to 6 March, combining a two day trade show with a two day, dual-streamed educational conference. I’m confident that our highly experienced Program Committee will design a program that is rigorous, relevant and provides delegates with all the CPD they need in one place. Along with the dedicated Optometry Victoria staff I’ll be working to ensure that SRC remains the biggest and the best optometry conference in Australia.
On that note I’m delighted to be able to announce to the mivision readership that SRC has secured the services of two outstanding international keynote speakers for 2016. Regular visitors to SRC will fondly remember Jeff Gerson from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Jeff’s delegate ratings from his last visit were the highest we’ve had under the current scoring system.
I was very eager to approach Jeff again, and combine his experience and popularity with a first timer (at least in Australia) in Nate Lighthizer from the Oklahoma College of Optometry. Nate comes highly recommended by a range of people who ought to know, including Blair Lonsberry who proved such a hit this year. This blend feels right to me, and when accompanied by the best and brightest Australia and New Zealand have to offer, I’m sure we’ll deliver a successful and interesting event that’s clinically relevant and enhances practice management.
On a slightly sadder note, I recently accepted the resignation of Optometry Victoria’s longstanding Policy and Member Services Manager Kirsty Machon. Members from around the country – not just Victoria – will be very familiar with Kirsty’s contribution to the sector over the last (almost) nine years.
Kirsty has seen, contributed to, and ushered through considerable change in optometry during her time here. The counsel that she has provided to members across a wide range of issues has significantly assisted many individuals in their professional lives.
Kirsty’s fierce intelligence and passion for community health will certainly resonate within the Optometry Victoria building walls long after she departs. If she leaves the profession in a better place than she found it, it’s in no small part due to her own personal energy, skill as an advocate and professional diligence.
I’m sure the Board would echo my wishing Kirsty the very best with the next chapter of her working life. Whoever secures her services will be exceptionally lucky to have her.
On a personal note I extend my thanks to Kirsty for her assistance as I’ve commenced this role in what is, for me, a new sector. I hope that my capacity to distil complex industrial matters into digestible forms for members will, in time, reflect hers.
Good luck Kirsty.
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