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HomemioptometryWorking Behind the Scenes in Support of Optometry

Working Behind the Scenes in Support of Optometry

Scratch the surface of Optometry Australia’s visible services and you’ll find there’s even more going on to support members and the profession.

As membership renewal approaches, we thank members for their loyal support. Many membership components are very visible and valued by members, such as insurance, representation and professional support. However, much of the work of the Association is often behind the scenes and less visible. For example, I recently met with Lisa O’Toole, Health Program Coordinator at TAZREACH. We discussed the Visiting Optometrist Scheme (VOS), national Aboriginal eye health and the need to update the Tasmanian Optometrist List. Following the meeting, we distributed VOS expression of interest documentation to members for consideration. Later in the month we forwarded information to optometrists on behalf of the Department of Health, advising them that they are eligible for the Pfizer vaccination, regardless of age, or the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccination. Due to the increased workload on the local Royal Hobart Hospital Eye Clinic, we worked with local practices to complete a roll out of post-cataract surgery reviews. Since then, the Eye Clinic has provided post-cataract surgery aftercare and patient information templates, which have been forwarded to participating optometry practices. The Tasmanian Optometry Foundation has recently agreed to pay course fees for Tasmanian optometrists to attend St John Ambulance CPR courses, an offering coordinated by Optometry Tasmania.

These are just some of the membership benefits which are real and tangible but go under the radar… similar to the council rates we pay for waste collection; no one values the service until it stops.

…similar to the council rates we pay for waste collection; no one values the service until it stops

TLC: 6–8 AUGUST 2021

Tasmanian Lifestyle Congress (TLC) returns to Hobart in August, this year with behavioural optometrist Steve Leslie as our keynote speaker. A well-known and respected optometrist, Mr Leslie will present the Keith Mackriell lecture on Vision symptoms and dysfunctions associated with concussion. 

At least 20% of patients, children and adults will have suffered one or more concussions, and have visual symptoms which they do not connect to the concussion(s). Men and women playing any code of football are at significant risk of concussion and visual problems. Repeated concussions can have significant, long-lasting effects on people’s brains, with debilitating visual symptoms of blurred vision, headaches, motion sensitivity and balance issues, which can interfere with work and reading. It is important to ask every patient if they have ever had a concussion, to explore their visual symptoms and function, and to provide competent assessment and management of their visual issues.

Steve’s other presentations include, Double vision in adults: the common and not so common causes, and Light sensitivity in patients with migraine or whiplash: assessment and management. 

Popular local ophthalmologists, Dr Simran Mangat and Dr Richard Sheard are presenting Patient assessment and differential diagnosis of eyelid and conjunctival lesions and Systematic macular OCT interpretation. 

Within our varied and interesting program of presentations, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from other industry experts and to speak with your colleagues.

Of course TLC is not only for optometrists – this year we will again deliver a dedicated education stream for practice support staff, which will include presentations by James Gibbins and Chedy Kalach from the Australasian College of Optical Dispensing. The conference dinner is complementary with full registration. A CooperVision Breakfast will be held on the Sunday Morning.


TLC will be held in Hobart from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 August 2021. This is a great time of year to visit this beautiful city – Hobart has a temperate climate with an August average temperature range of 6C° to 14C° and snow on Mount Wellington is entirely possible.

Our last conference in 2019 reached maximum delegate capacity and we are anticipating the same to occur this year – after all, many face-to-face conferences have reached COVID capacity and been forced to close their registration early…. so get in now!

Visit www.optometry.org.au/tas/tlc/. We hope to see you at TLC!

Jonathan Jones is the Chief Executive Officer of Optometry Tasmania. 


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