Optometry Australia’s President, Murray Smith, will step down from the role of President of Optometry Australia, to focus on family, health and well-being. His resignation as President of the peak professional body, is effective as of Monday 27 June 2022.
The successor for Mr Smith, who will become the 40th President of the peak professional body, is yet to be announced.
In my opinion as one organisation, rather than six, we can best serve you our members, so I am delighted that the five state divisional members of Optometry Australia have been meeting to discuss structural reform
Mr Smith made the made the following statement:
“I have made a very difficult decision to stand down as President of Optometry Australia. I have reached the conclusion that my family, my health and well-being must come first.
“As a company director, you carry a large load of legal obligations to ensure that the organisation truly serves the beneficiaries it services and supports. You must ensure that it operates at the highest levels of governance, financial management and lives and breathes its values. I am so incredibly proud that Optometry Australia and its Board excel in all these areas. I know that I could never be a director of a Board that didn’t operate like this or was impeded in seeking to operate at this level.
“I’m an optometrist who’s committed to my profession. I want a strong future for optometry, so like you, I can enjoy my career, evolve my scope, continually improve how I practice and be even better at looking after my patients. I hope that at some point I can once again contribute to that future, though sadly not right now as Optometry Australia President.
“I got on to my state divisional board, served as President of Optometry Victoria and then moved onto the national board to contribute to the profession. Everything I have done, and OA continues to do, is done to serve you and that future. As President of Optometry Victoria, I worked diligently with the directors and secretariat to amalgamate the organisation with Optometry South Australia. Our singular aim was to better serve our members, and this unification has been very successful.
“In my opinion as one organisation, rather than six, we can best serve you our members, so I am delighted that the five state divisional members of Optometry Australia have been meeting to discuss structural reform. I urge them to act with commitment and haste, to ensure the short, medium and long-term future of Optometry Australia and the profession, through a singular focus on best serving you.
“I know the Board of Optometry Australia is keen to contribute to these discussions, and is looking forward to participating in the near future. I believe that unification is critical and urgent, and it will be the path to being the best we can be, for you.
“In the past weeks, the state divisions have advised us that they have developed a new model to fund Optometry Australia in the future. Over the past few years, Optometry Australia has become nimble, responsive, and innovative and provided exceptional value to you, our optometrist members. Representation of the profession is back up to 85% of all registered optometrists. We are driving forward to ensure members work to full scope, and we evolve scope. The provision of online CPD has been transformative and we have achieved a position as market leaders.
“I sincerely hope that the new funding model that the state divisions have developed, will ensure the continued success of Optometry Australia, as it is intrinsically tied to your own personal success as an optometrist now and into the future.
“I remain committed and passionate about my chosen profession, and wish you continued success.”