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Tuesday / June 25.
HomeminewsStrong Results: OA Releases Annual Report

Strong Results: OA Releases Annual Report

Eighty five percent of Australia’s registered optometrists are now members of Optometry Australia, up 3% year on year, according to the National Association’s annual report for financial year 2020-2021.

Of those members, 68% work full time, and there is a relatively even split across all age groups.

President, Murray Smith

President, Murray Smith

Member and Staff Satisfaction

Impressively, according to the annual member survey conducted in October 2021, 86% of members said they would or would likely recommend membership; 96% said Optometry Australia was “trustworthy” and 94% said the Association is “member focussed”.

Additionally, the Association’s member advisory team consistently receives a 98% satisfaction rating from members who have used its personalised service.

Staff too, have shown their appreciation of the Association. According to the report, the 2021 staff survey found that, “In relation to overall job satisfaction, 80% of staff said they felt engaged (10% above benchmarks); 78% cited they felt well at work and able to manage job stress (6% above benchmarks); and 94% of staff indicated they are satisfied with the organisation’s progress and success in delivering outcomes (30% above benchmarks).”

The survey also found 100% of staff believe in Optometry Australia’s purpose, in its values and its health and safety priorities. All staff indicated their confidence in their colleagues to perform their work.

the Association’s member advisory team consistently receives a 98% satisfaction rating from members who have used its personalised service

Reflecting this, in early December, Optometry Australia received a 2021 Best Workplace Award in recognition of its exceptional levels of employee engagement and satisfaction.

President, Murray Smith said the National Board of Directors was pleased to see such solid results against a backdrop of on-going COVID-19 challenges.

“This capped off a remarkable year for the organisation which faced its own challenges with staff working remotely for the entire period. This did not prevent them from being highly engaged, respectful of each other and committed to the delivery of exemplary member service,” Mr Smith said.

Report Highlights

Highlights from the annual report include:

  • Rebateable Medicare services increased 13.5% with AU$507m in Medicare benefits paid, despite the lockdowns impacting many practices’ ability to operate to capacity,
  • The Make this your year of good vision for life campaign potentially contributed to 3.45 million Australian’s booking an eye examination,
  • Members spent more than 53,700 hours participating in the Association’s CPD programs, and
  • Optometry Virtually Connected attracted 2,480 registrations from 15 countries.

Scope and Sustainability

During the year, optometrists were endorsed to administer COVID-19 vaccinations as part of the national COVID-19 surge workforce. As part of the profession’s 2040 strategic vision, Optometry Australia continued its work to ensure optometry’s sustainability and value as a critical component of the health sector, by advocating to evolve scope and challenge the business norms.

To provide greater insights into the role of optometry in population eye health and eye health journeys, the Association is developing, and has successfully undertaken, a proof of concept for a national optometry dataset. Work to date has demonstrated that meaningful de-identified clinical data can be obtained from community practices.


Structural optimisation is a cornerstone of the Association’s FY2021-2024 Shared Strategic Plan, and Optometry Australia is proactively working with the state division Presidents to maintain momentum around ways to generate greater efficiencies across the federation.

As Mr Smith explained, “We need to do this so that we, the collective professional body for optometrists, can be more efficient at evolving and sustaining the profession, and providing exceptional member value.

“We have also invited the state divisions to identify champions to lead the profession to work to full scope across all state jurisdictions”.

Federal Election

With a federal election looming, Mr Smith said Optometry Australia will be asking members to write to sitting and aspiring politicians to put eye health on the federal agenda as a matter of priority.

“We’ve already had many members respond to our call out with hundreds of pieces of correspondence sent to politicians across Australia to date, but we will need many more voices to sway opinion and to generate the level of debate necessary to instigate change.

“By working together and igniting our collective voice, we will have a much stronger probability of informing national debate on the timely diagnosis and treatment of eye disease in Australia,” Mr Smith said.

Optometry Australia is developing a 2022 Federal Election platform which will be o distributed to key policy makers.

“This platform summarises our practical solutions to address Australia’s looming eye health crisis and its goal is to generate a political reaction.”

You can access the full report here.