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HomeminewsODA Recognises Dispenser Excellence

ODA Recognises Dispenser Excellence

Optical Dispensers Australia (ODA)  has honoured outstanding optical dispensers from across Australia at the ODA 2023 National Excellence Awards, a gala dinner that took place in Sydney on 28 April.

Celebrating “the vital contribution” optical dispensers make to the industry and their important role within optical practices, April Petrusma, Chief Executive Officer of ODA presented six key awards:

  • Rookie of the Year: Charlote Swailes, Specsavers Karinyup, Western Australia,
  • Community Champion Award: Bobby Bugden, Be Seen Eyewear Lismore & Ballina, NSW,
  • CEO’s Member Dedication Award: Keeley Wicks, Wicks Eyecare in Keilor, Victoria,
  • Role Model & Leadership Award: Sarah Thompson, Will Street Eyecare, Bendigo, Victoria,
  • Outstanding Practice Owner Award: Belinda Musitano, Eyes@Optometry, Western Australia, and
  • ODA National Medal for Optical Dispensing Excellence: Lisa Raad Pinpoint Vision, Sydney NSW.

Celebrating “the vital contribution” optical dispensers make to the industry and their important role within optical practices, ODA presented six key awards

Rookie of the Year

April Petrusma with Charlote Swailes

Presenting the Rookie of the Year Award to Ms Swailes from Specsavers Karinyup, ODA said, “She is dedicated towards her career in optical dispensing and is an enthusiastic employee. She completed her high schooling, commenced her role as an optical assistant, then enrolled and completed her Certificate IV, all within three years.”

Community Champion Award

Bobby Bugden

ODA said the Community Champion Award presented to Bobby Bugden “recognises the acts of someone that has gone above and beyond their call of duty. Bugden is an ophthalmic practice director in Lismore and newly qualified optical dispenser. In February 2022, Lismore and the surrounding areas were devastated by floods and he participated in the flood rescues and the re-build that followed.”

CEO’s Member Dedication Award

Keely Wicks

Keeley Wicks received the CEO’s Member Dedication Award “for taking pride in her role as an optical dispenser and her own professional development”. ODA states that “she is an advocate for continuing education and is constantly striving to better herself. It is unusual to not see her at one of ODA’s CPD events and in 2022 she was a recipient of and ODA Currency Certificate for achieving 10 ODA CPD points for the year”.

Role Model and Leadership Award

April Petrusma with Charlote Swailes

Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson was recognised as a practice manager with a can-do approach to the operational needs of the business and an approachable mentor to her team. In presenting the Role Model and Leadership Award, ODA said she “takes her own ongoing professional development seriously and regularly communicates with team members and patients about the Cert IV she has completed. She is a role model both in and outside of the practice, giving her time to aged care, volunteering in the local netball club and co-hosting a successful podcast.”

Outstanding Practice Owner Award

Belinda Musitano

Belinda Musitano, who has built a small successful group of three independent practices in Western Australia, received the Outstanding Practice Owner Award. Ms Musitano is involved with the community through facilitating a vision learning program in schools, and is actively involved in fundraising and encourages sustainable practices through participating in the Terracyle frame recycling program. The winner of business person of the year and business awards on more than one occasion, ODA stated that Ms Musitano “empowers her team, putting them through industry training, coaching workshops and constantly encouraging ongoing development”.

ODA National Medal for Optical Dispensing Excellence

Lisa Raad

The ODA National Medal for Optical Dispensing Excellence was presented to Lisa Raad, Pinpoint Vision, Sydney NSW. ODA stated that, “When she’s not hard at work in her own practice, Ms Raad is either testing children’s vision at schools across greater Sydney or onsite in workplaces, teaching at UTS or facilitating workshops to other allied health professionals in the optical industry. She continues to grow her own knowledge of dispensing via ongoing voluntary CPD and through developing strong relationships with industry suppliers. She believes that optical dispensers are the superheroes of the practice and puts her patients first.”