The Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association (ODMA) is committed to strengthening, supporting, and growing the optical industry as a whole, while also working to benefit the individual optical distributors and manufacturers that make up the ODMA membership.
In March, ODMA distributed its biannual Industry Snapshot report to ODMA members. Commissioned by ODMA, this independently prepared report covers the two prior years and provides insights to optical industry suppliers around general market influences, the market size, international trade as well as observations of key market changes from prior reporting periods.
ODMA provides key trading and information exchange platforms, to facilitate the exchange of updates on products and services, and enable business to be done in a cost-effective manner over a short period of time and in a fun environment.
ODMA produced OSHOW22 in May in Sydney, which provided a platform for over 70 suppliers to display their offering to 1,000 optical industry members in the first major trade event held in years. A variety of masterclasses included free training on topics such as optical dispensing as well as customer service and assisting customers to choose the right eyewear for their face shape.
SCHOLARSHIPS AND SUPPORT
ODMA is particularly proud to support optical dispensing scholarships for students employed in independent practices. These scholarships enable budding eye health professionals to seek the Certificate IV and further training.
Griffin Banfield received one ODMA scholarship this year, which enabled him to secure his place in the Certificate IV course, and contributed to the costs involved in completing an overall traineeship offered by the ACO.
Mr Banfield, who is a young First Nation’s person, commenced his studies and employment at the ACO, and is already making a significant contribution to the future of eye health. For example, he recently travelled to Darwin to participate in the 2022 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Eye Health Conference (NATSIEH22) where there were multiple discussions regarding the importance of training Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to provide eye health care.
Neville Turner, Director of Clinical Services at the ACO commented, that “Access to this funding is important for organisations as they invest in young staff and new initiatives… being in a position to support First Nations people develop skills and experience that can assist them in ultimately establishing new opportunities for employment is important and we continue to move to self-determination in the eye care space”.
As well as supporting individuals with scholarships, ODMA receives a variety of requests for industry support – from connecting suppliers with potential distributors, to sourcing donated product for causes, recognising key industry contributors, and providing articles for media inclusion. The Association also supplies, free of charge, a booklet called Start Your Own Practice, and produces regular releases of the Eyetalk Reference Guides, as well as lens and equipment supplements and the fashion focused Lookbook.
Throughout the year, ODMA attends various committee meetings, such as those held by Standards Australia and RegTech, a Department of Health initiative, where matters relating to topics such as Therapeutic Goods Administration classifications are discussed. In this space, ODMA’s focus over the last 12 months has been the exclusion of spectacle frames as a Class 1 device, which came into place on 20 August 2021.
ODMA also investigates any matters of concern brought to their attention and liaises with the relevant authorities as required. These matters are discussed every two months at Executive Committee meetings, attended by the ODMA Directors who volunteer their time and knowledge to help steer ODMA and its strategic direction. ODMA is thankful to them for their dedication.
Amanda Trotman is the acting chief executive officer of ODMA.