All Optometry Australia members will receive a 50% discount on their fees for 2020-21, with no fees to be paid until later in the calendar year.
For members, this will equate to six months free membership with no reduction in services.
National President Darrell Baker said Optometry Australia and all of the state and territory divisions have worked together to make sure member services remain strong despite the dramatic fee reductions.
“We remain committed to providing excellent member value. Fee reductions will be funded from reserves and not operational budgets and we have been diligent in managing our investments.
“For our members, if there was ever a rainy day, it is now, and we are fortunate to be in a position to help at this critical time,” he said.
Mr Baker said the national and state boards, who are all optometrists, were acutely aware of the impact the COVID-19 crisis had taken on optometrists, practice owners, corporates and suppliers.
He said all boards were deeply saddened by the impact that this crisis has had on the optometry sector with the shutdown, or scaling back, of many practices.
“While we are supporting our members through this crisis with a wide range of information and advice as well as constant advocacy to the key health decision makers at federal and state government levels, we know members are hurting financially”.
Mr Baker said the 50% fee reduction, which equates to six months free membership, is about enabling optometrists to remain part of a cohesive and united community.
To be eligible for six months free membership… members will need to commit to 2020/21 membership period by joining, or renewing… by 30 June 2020”
“It is also about ensuring that the majority of optometrists can continue to be represented by a strong and dedicated professional body that is working tirelessly to lead, engage, unite and promote optometry, optometrists and community eye health”.
The fee reduction is applicable to all membership categories nation-wide for 2020/21 with dues not payable until October 2020, and a monthly direct debit payment option set to commence on this date for those state divisions that offer it.
The October cut-off point is to ensure that each committed member is covered by Optometry Australia’s PII policy which is negotiated annually in November.
Accessing the Deal
To be eligible for six months free membership (50% fee reduction), members will need to commit to 2020/21 membership period by joining, or renewing with their state organisation by 30 June 2020.
Each state division will issue membership renewal paperwork to all existing members commencing mid-May detailing the offer across all membership categories including full-time, part-time, minimal practice and academic membership, however at that time no fees will need to be paid.
Non-members should contact their state-based professional body: Optometry NSW/ACT; Optometry Qld/NT; Optometry Tasmania; Optometry Vic/SA; and Optometry Western Australia. Contact and membership details are available on optometry.org.au.
Payment of membership dues will not be required before October 2020.