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HomemioptometryBright Minds Making a Difference

Bright Minds Making a Difference

Optometry Australia’s state divisions are working closely with members young and old, to further the profession and its positive impact on the community.


“I believe the children are our future, Teach them well and let them lead the way.” – Whitney Houston

Well, they certainly aren’t children, but our young members are indeed our future – and they should be leading the way.

In a frank admission that the Association in NSW/ACT needs to better serve the needs of our younger members, Optometry NSW/ ACT initiated the formation of ECONA – Early Career Optometrists NSW/ACT.

In doing so, the NSW/ACT Council gave the group a wide remit – to advise on matters important to our younger members and consult on topics which are key to the future of our profession.

To this end, ECONA includes two small working groups, each with a specific task:

  1. The Corporate Engagement Committee,whose job it is to advise the Association onways to increase the relevance and value of our offerings to members who work in the corporate sector, and
  2. The Scope of Optometry Committee,which has been asked to specifically lookat fields of practise where optometry is not currently represented (or is poorly represented) and advise the Association on priorities for action to expand into those areas, eg. corporate consulting on lighting and visual ergonomics, low vision, aged and residential care, and a host of others.

The first ECONA meeting was genuinely energising. There I was in a room surrounded by some of the brightest minds – not only in our profession but in any profession in the country – and the room fairly crackled with enthusiasm. The people there wanted to make a difference to their profession and could hardly wait to get started.

I’ve said it before on a number of occasions, but it bears repeating. With optometry in the hands of members like those in ECONA, there’s only one way we will be heading – upwards!

With optometry in the hands of members like those on ECONA, there’s only one way we will be heading – upwards!


Two WAVE events within six months, complete with a date and venue change, and programming additions, have made for an extremely hectic period. Your feedback on the changes we have made to the annual WA conference has been enormously supportive. I am pleased to announce that WAVE 2020 is back in Fremantle at the Esplanade Hotel from 21–22 March in 2020. Save the date.

But that’s not all that has been happening.

After 12 months of intense work and a special general meeting, we have received unanimous support for new rules that govern the state Association. This project was undertaken as a legislative requirement and, most importantly, it ensures rigorous governance and O WA’s strength to support our members now and well into the future.

Strategic planning for 2020 and far beyond remains our focus. Our work to ensure conditions for, and recognition of, optometrists includes ongoing discussions with University of Western Australia as we maintain our view that additional courses are not required.

Work to provide Aboriginal people with enhanced access to subsidised spectacles is rapidly progressing thanks to our O WA working group. Aligned with this initiative is the formation of a subgroup of optometrists, at the WAVE 2019 conference, who are interested in participating in the visiting optometrists scheme.

Recently I was fortunate to visit Acacia Prison and witness firsthand the work that goes into recycling donated spectacles we collect from you. It is not just the recycling but the engagement of inmates into this worthwhile activity that is important. Please keep the donations coming.

As I have said in the past, without you, our voice becomes weaker. With you we have strength and a healthy future for you and the profession.

Please do not hesitate to talk to me about any issues you may have.