Australia will showcase its leading edge in sustainable event delivery when it hosts international eye health professionals at the largest clinical conference and trade show for optometry in the Southern Hemisphere.
O=MEGA23, in partnership with the fourth World Congress of Optometry, will be held in Melbourne from 8 – 10 September 2023, following a partnership between the Optical Distributors & Manufacturers Association of Australia (ODMA), Optometry Victoria South Australia (OV/SA) and the World Council of Optometry (WCO).
Joining forces for the first time, the two events are expected to attract over 2,000 global professionals including optometrists, optical dispensers, ophthalmologists, orthoptists, ophthalmic nurses, practice staff, optical retailers and service providers, technicians and students to Australia over three days.
Professor Peter Hendicott, WCO President, has advised that “O=MEGA23 and the fourth World Congress of Optometry is an opportunity for optometrists internationally to participate in what will be a high-quality learning and professional development experience, and importantly, allows optometry to highlight its role in the international agenda of securing improved vision and eye health outcomes across the world. The WCO is excited by our congress partnership with OV/SA and ODMA, and the value the congress will bring to optometry worldwide.”
OV/SA CEO Ilsa Hampton said she was excited by the opportunity to showcase Australian optometry to a world stage.
“Offering opportunities for quality learning is at the heart of what we do at OV/SA. After two years of not being able to meet up, O=MEGA23/WCO4 will provide eye care professionals the chance to meet in person, to workshop and engage with interesting developments in the industry. We are also partnering with local Indigenous representatives to ensure that First Nations eye health and cultural awareness are integrated in the program,” Ms Hampton said.
O=MEGA23/WCO4 will feature a fully accredited, engaging and inspiring program, with exceptional learning opportunities from clinical speakers from Australia and around the world in a multi-stream format including keynote lectures, poster sessions and breakout sessions, along with a networking program. The program will also include masterclasses aimed at further developing business management skills of optometrists, to better support their professional practices.
Alongside the program will be the largest eyewear and eye care trade fair in Australia, featuring the latest technology, fashion, lenses, frames, equipment, instruments, and accessories giving unparalleled reach to all major suppliers in the optometry and ophthalmic community in the Southern Hemisphere. The trade fair will incorporate a Knowledge Centre where sponsors and exhibitors can provide concise educational seminars to help improve business processes and promote best practise.
ODMA Acting CEO Amanda Trotman said it was important that O=MEGA23/WCO4, themed Optometry Unites, Down Under, took a fresh sustainability stance as it showcased Australian optometry to the world.
“Melbourne provides an ideal location for the fourth World Congress of Optometry and O=MEGA23. The thriving metropolis is not only known for its global expertise in eye health but also for being one of the most liveable and sustainable cities in the world,” Ms Trotman said.
“The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is recognised for its green credentials, launching a sustainability strategy in 2021 with a commitment to be powered 100% by renewable electricity by 2028, and to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2030.
“The venue is also a partner in the Melbourne Skyfarm initiative through which it will source sustainable produce from a nearly 2000m2 rooftop car park converted into an urban farm.
“Our partner in the delivery of O=MEGA23/ WCO4, Arinex, also has a proven commitment to sustainability. In early 2022, Arinex became the first Australian event management company to be certified carbon neutral.
“O=MEGA23/WCO4 will showcase the best in eye care and eyewear through an exceptional educational and trading platform. I am proud that we have chosen a venue and event management company that are focused on sustainability goals both within their organisations and when assisting events such as ours to move toward more sustainable practices.”
The fourth World Congress of Optometry was secured by the Melbourne Convention Bureau in partnership with OV/SA and ODMA with support from the Victorian State Government and Tourism Australia’s Business Events Bid Fund Program.
Originally scheduled for 2021, the fourth World Congress of Optometry and O=MEGA21 were postponed due to the impact of COVID-19 and travel restrictions. The 2023 event will mark the first major international gathering of eye health professionals in four years.