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HomeminewsACO Appoints All Woman Council

ACO Appoints All Woman Council

Associate Professor Lauren Ayton, Sophie Koh and Theodora Elia-Adams.

For the first time in the Australian College of Optometry’s (ACO) long history, three women have been appointed to leading positions on its council.

At the recent Annual General Meeting for the ACO and National Vision Research Institute (NVRI), Associate Professor Lauren Ayton and Theodora Elia-Adams were confirmed as ACO Vice President and Treasurer respectively, joining ACO President Sophie Koh.

For the first time in the Australian College of Optometry’s (ACO) long history, three women have been appointed to leading positions on its council

Members and stakeholders were welcomed to the organisations’ first in-person AGM in four years on Wednesday, 31 May.

Returning Council members Associate Professor Lauren Ayton and Dr Michelle Waugh were reappointed for a further two-year term. Additionally, the ACO welcomed newly appointed Council member Roman Serebrianik, a former ACO optometrist of 14 years with experience in senior policy and advocacy roles at Vision 2020 Australia and the Stroke Foundation (current). Denise Gronow, immediate past treasurer of seven years, will remain on Council.

Outgoing Council member and Vice President, Tim Powell, was acknowledged for his valuable contributions to the ACO during his five-year tenure and his exemplary stewardship.

Current ACO Council members are: Prof Bruce Thompson, Darrell Baker, Denise Gronow, A/Prof Lauren Ayton, Dr Michelle Waugh, Rodney Hodge, Roman Serebrianik, Sayuri Grady, and Theodora Elia-Adams.

A Strong Recipe for Success

ACO’s first female President, Sophie Koh, said she was honoured to serve alongside the dedicated team of optometrists and skill-based professionals who make up the council, including representatives from the legal and finance fields, who volunteer their expertise to provide strategic and governance oversight.

She said described diverse group as “a strong recipe to steer an organisation”.

Ms Koh,and CEO, Pete Haydon, welcomed questions on the transition currently underway at the ACO to improve organisational stability and secure continued delivery of ACO’s public health, education and research work into the future.

“The ACO’s new strategic plan offers us a once in a generation opportunity to bring about change and the Council is enthusiastic to continue working with Pete and staff to take ACO to its new heights,” Ms Koh said.

Graduates Awarded

At the meeting, the ACO awarded outstanding university graduates from those nominated by universities in recognition of their combined academic excellence and professional commitment.

The awards were presented to:
Deakin University: Kayla Adams,
Flinders University: Amy Ricks,
University of Melbourne: Mahmoud Haddara,
UNSW Sydney: Johnson Tran, and
Queensland University of Technology: Vyasa Bliss.

Outstanding Graduate Award for ACO Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics

This award was presented in recognition of the candidate who has achieved the highest score across all assessments for their graduating year of the ACO Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics:
Awarded to Hetal Dagar

Annual Report

The ACO’s 2022 Annual Report was also launched during the AGM and can be viewed online at aco.org.au/aco-publications.