Judging has commenced for the first Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association (ODMA) Awards for Excellence in four years.
The Awards, which acknowledge and reward the very best in fashion, innovation, and technology within the optical industry.
ODMA CEO, Amanda Trotman said, “we have had an overwhelming response in 2023 from organisations keen to be part of this year’s ODMA Industry Awards for Excellence program. It’s obvious that there have been lots of great new products in recent years and ‘innovation a plenty’ in our industry. I am thrilled that distributors and manufacturers have taken the time to share the details of these initiatives and are keen to celebrate their achievements.”
ODMA received 87 submissions across 10 award categories, from optical frames and sunglasses, to children’s frames, sports eyewear, lens design, lens coatings, optical equipment, over-the-counter products, accessories and point-of-sale initiatives.
An independent panel of experienced industry experts, some with prior experience judging these awards, are reviewing submissions
Ms Trotman said a new category, sustainability initiatives, was well received. “It is great to see how the industry has embraced submissions in this new category and to hear just some of the ways that optical manufacturers and suppliers are finding ways to be more environmentally friendly, whether that be through materials used, production and distribution processes, or changes to packaging,” she said.
Independent Judging Panel
An independent panel of experienced industry experts, some with prior experience judging these awards, are reviewing submissions.
The panel comprises:
Richard Banks – Independent Optometrist
With over 30 years’ experience as an optometrist and over 20 years running his own practice in Woollahra, Sydney, Mr Banks is well-qualified to comment on a range of optical products and services. He has undertaken post-graduate studies in ocular therapeutics, allowing him to prescribe eye medications for common anterior eye diseases. He also has training in fitting orthokeratology contact lenses and other myopia-control modalities.
Keleigh Walsh – Head Teacher, Clinical Health, TAFE Digital
Keleigh Walsh began her career in the optical industry in the early 1990s, in the retail section of a superstore chain, with a fully functioning surfacing and fitting laboratory instore. She undertook her Diploma in Optical Dispensing through the Guild of Dispensing Opticians. With a 1-hour lab onsite, Ms Walsh experienced spectacle production, surfacing, edging and fitting, firsthand.
After five years Ms Walsh moved to a smaller franchise practice in Sydney’s CBD, before moving into the wholesale side of optics where she travelled around the state and country, visiting optical laboratories and retail practices, and attending trade shows, including ODMA’s events.
For the past 14 years Ms Walsh has been teaching optical dispensing at TAFE NSW. She is currently the Head Teacher in the Clinical Health section at TAFE Digital, has consulted to optical suppliers and was part of the recent redesigning of the ever-popular W&G PD Ruler.
Fiona Stapleton, Scientia Professor, UNSW
Professor Fiona Stapelton is a well-known and respected optical industry member and a prior ODMA Awards judge. Her credentials include Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, 2018; Life Fellow, British College of Optometrists, 2019; Diplomate, Cornea, Contact Lens and Refractive Technologies, American Academy of Optometry, 2015; Fellow, Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia. 2012; Fellow, British Contact Lens Association, 2009GradCertOcTher (University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 2008). Prof Stapleton’s completed her PhD with a thesis entitled ‘The pathogenesis and epidemiology of contact lens related disease’ at City University, London, England in 1991.
Stefanos Stefanou – Fashion Guru, www.stefinc.com
Born into the fashion industry in London, Mr Stefanou’s career has encompassed concept, design, product and business development. With a design background across diverse categories from denim to suiting for both men and women, he has worked with iconic brands both in Australia and internationally, including launching a boutique women’s label at Paris Fashion Week.
Mr Stefanou is currently General Manager – Apparel for a suit company, where he has built a corporate segment for the business, providing wardrobe solutions for clients’ including concierge, security, building and centre management needs across the country.
Recently he has developed a brand for sustainable corporate uniforms and apparel through sustainable brand ‘inka’. Engaging in contemporary recycling initiatives and circular economy opportunities is something Mr Stefanou is very passionate about.
Penny Prasad – Sustainability Expert, Director of The Ecoefficiency Group
Ms Prasad has over 25 years’ experience working with manufacturing industries. Before founding The Ecoefficiency Group, she worked as a consultant and researcher on ecoefficiency projects across various industries including metal fabrication, poultry production, and dairy processing. Ms Prasad managed both production and sustainability for some of Australia’s largest food production organisations. She is a Certified Measurement and Verification Professional, Professional Credentialed Specialist for Alliance for Water Stewardship and a member of Reconciliation Queensland.
Her qualifications include a Bachelor Chemical Engineering (Honours), Master of Energy Studies, Graduate Certificate in Developmental Planning, Certified Measurement and Verification, Registered Consultant for Climate Active Program and Professional Credentialed Specialist with the Alliance for Water Stewardship.
ODMA Awards for Excellence finalists and category winners will be announced on Friday 8 September within the trade fair at the Friday networking event as part of O=MEGA23 being held in Melbourne. The award winners will also be announced in an exclusive feature to be published by mivision. Additionally, winners will be announced on www.omega-event.org and the ODMA website at www.odma.com.au.