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HomeminewsOptometry Australia to Lead, Engage and Promote

Optometry Australia to Lead, Engage and Promote

Optometry Australia has responded to marketing campaigns directed at optometrists by insurance providers including AON, reminding members that the national association and state divisions provide significantly more than professional indemnity insurance.

As Optometry Australia commenced its annual membership renewal campaign, Chief Executive Officer Genevieve Quilty said “as the peak membership body for over 90 per cent of the profession we take great pride in acting as the influential voice for optometry and helping you to help your patients and to grow your career”.

The Association has helped shape the optometry profession for over 100 years and last year, following a period of review as demanded by its members, rebranded as Optometry Australia and announced its central mission to lead, engage and promote optometry, optometrists and community eye health.

In a statement Ms. Quilty said, “Under this strategic direction we have aligned our activities to lead, engage and promote optometry”. She highlighted recent achievements and outlined plans for the future as follows:

Under this strategic direction we have aligned our activities to lead, engage and promote optometry

Lead – This program of work will position optometrists to meet community eye health needs – ensuring regulations, laws and government programs are structured to support, not hinder, our profession. Our national advocacy campaign last financial year overturned the Medicare fee cap after 39 years and we are working hard to reverse the cuts imposed in the 2014 budget with a recently launched Patient Petition which we urge all optometrists to support (check it out on www.optometry.org.au.) More recently, we updated the entry level standards for our profession and continue to publish clinical guidelines to represent the way our profession meets community eye health needs in key clinical areas.

Engage – Optometry Australia has an active program of engagement throughout seven state conferences and individual CPD events; member hubs and expert working groups collaborating to develop policy recommendations for the profession; and a comprehensive suite of services and programs designed to support our members wherever their career takes them. Such services include profession-specific insurance and confidential advice and support when they most need it. Our mentoring program has been hugely popular as has our deeper engagement with students and Young Optometrists’ groups nationally. Our suite of print and digital communications are extensive, ensuring members are across news and the latest evidence based education 24/7 through our website, Facebook and Twitter feeds. Members can also contribute to the conversation through our blog facility, under ‘News and Features’ on our website.

Promote – our research found that our members wanted greater promotion of optometry and the important clinical role they undertake, and we have listened. During the last financial year we significantly amplified our voice within mainstream media through the generation of almost 400 print articles and delivery of radio and television interviews reaching millions of Australians. We partnered with News Life Media on children’s vision, launched a digital campaign to promote children’s eye health via our YouTube Channel and developed a suite of educational materials around eye health for schools nationally. As we continue to raise awareness of community eye health issues amongst consumers, we are also focused on implementing programs aimed at other professional groups to improve their understanding of optometrists and the optometry sector with the objective to strengthen referral pathways. Advocacy campaigns around Eye Care for All, and the development of eye health heat maps showing Australian politicians the eye health needs of their communities have gained significant traction with Government and the public. Our Find an Optometrist search function has attracted over 27,000 searches, linking your patients with your practice.

Membership Open

Partnering with Optometry Australia ensures optometrists have a stake in their career and are actively contributing to the future of their profession. July heralds the new financial year as well as an opportunity for members of the optometry profession to renew or join Optometry Australia through its six state organisations.

Visit www.optometry.org.au for information about how to join or renew your membership.