In a nod to the professional support, CPD programs and advocacy that Optometry Australia and its state associations provide, membership continues to grow.
Optometry NSW/ACT, and its colleague Associations across Australia, are experiencing a growth in membership numbers despite trends showing a departure from social collectives – be they insurance, professional associations, organised sporting or social clubs.
Hating insurance companies, in particular, is almost a national sport and yet it is able to generate annual premiums of around AU$31.8 billion a year – that’s roughly $1500 for every person living in Australia.
But why is this the case? Because we want to be sure that if something catastrophic goes wrong, we have some solid backup.
And that’s why, for countless generations, people have formed and joined Associations, clubs, societies and the like. These organisations provide support and reassurance – some of it social, some financial – the sort of “we’ve got your back” that most of us find really comforting.
Optometry NSW/ACT really does “have your back”. Collectively we can do things for you that you can’t do alone (negotiate with government, for example) or provide resources and expertise that you can’t find elsewhere – or certainly not readily or at anything like a comparable cost.
Recently Paula, Audrey and Andrew from O NSW/ACT spent over four hours with a member reviewing a Medicare investigation. We’ll go on to spend another four or five hours preparing a response – with input from our optometrist experts – and on top, will attend an interview with the member and the Director of Professional Services Review. So far, around 30 hours has been spent on this case with no cost to the member outside their annual membership fee. If they weren’t a member and needed to get this advice from a lawyer the minimum cost would be $15,000 – about eight years’ worth of membership fees.
Association membership isn’t an expense – as a professional, it’s one of the key reasons that you can sleep easily at night – because we’ve got you covered.
Collectively we can do things for you that you can’t do alone
Thank you once again to all O WA members for supporting the Association with membership renewals. We sit somewhat humbled and challenged at the same time, understanding that our work has only just begun to ensure that each of you and the profession at large is supported.
As many of you may be aware, there is a real possibility that the University of Western Australia (UWA) will commence optometry courses in 2021. Rest assured that multiple approaches and meetings have been held with UWA and key stakeholders to explain our position on optometrist oversupply. While our dialogue will continue, should UWA proceed with the course we will respect this and work with them to achieve positive outcomes for all.
Changes to CPD come into place in December 2020 and I have been working with one of the O WA board members prior to heading to OA National to prepare. Rest assured you are well represented in this space. Recognising that O WA continues to lead the way across all states when it comes to attendance at live CPD events, we are also working to track down the best and most informative speakers for you while providing an environment for catching up, relaxing and sharing information.
With this in mind, we are just days away from completing the program for our annual conference, WAVE 2020, which will take place in Fremantle. Alongside the normal world class presentations and our Sundowner, we have expanded the dispensing program to ensure maximum value for all. Save the dates now if you have not done so already: 21–22 March 2020.
Lastly, thank you to those members who have been flexible with appointment timing and incredibly supportive based around some trying personal circumstances. I will be rescheduling very shortly.
Please do not hesitate to contact the office if we can assist you in any way around CPD, professional services, navigating the new website and any other matters.