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Saturday / June 15.
HomeminewsSouthern Optometry Associations Discuss Unification

Southern Optometry Associations Discuss Unification

Optometry Australia (OA) has confirmed discussions are being held on a possible ‘southern alliance’ of optometry associations.

OA has confirmed the boards of Optometry Victoria South Australia (OV/SA) and Optometry Tasmania (OTas) are exploring an amalgamation, although no structural details have yet been decided on.

The goal of a potential unification with Optometry Australia is to create a more streamlined single entity

OV/SA, OTas, and Optometry Australia are currently three separate entities. Optometrists are members of their respective state divisions. As state divisions, OV/SA and OTas are in turn member organisations of Optometry Australia.

“The goal of a potential unification with Optometry Australia is to create a more streamlined single entity with the aim of delivering more efficient use of member funds and reduce duplication and administrative burden,” OA says on its website.

The OA points to the success of the 2019 amalgamation of Optometry Victoria and Optometry South Australia as proof of the “increased value and greater efficiencies” of a unified body.

“This is an exciting time for our three organisations, and we will keep you updated at every step of the way,” OV/SA President Elise Pocknee-Clem said.

“While our talks are still early, our boards wanted to be transparent… we will keep you updated and provide (members) with opportunity to input,” said OTas President John Kingshott.

Discussions will run over the next few months with plans for a possible amalgamation in 2023.

As member organisations, the decision on amalgamation will ultimately be left up to the members of each state organisation.

OA Board Restructure

The news comes as OA announces a restructuring of its Board with Theo Charalambous becoming the new Deputy President and Albert Lee the new Treasurer of the national board.

Margaret Lam retains the position of President.

Their appointments follow the departure of Fiona Moore, Tori Halsey, and Rob Howie who stepped down from the board at OA’s annual general meeting last week.

Ms Lam praised the three departing directors, thanking them for their “significant” contributions to the national board and for their “strong commitment to ensuring that Optometry Australia delivered against its strategic commitments”.

New OA board members are Lee Baumwol, Kevin Sun and Shuvagata ‘Shuva’ Bose.