Optometry Victoria South Australia (OV/SA) is undergoing a significant transition as Ilsa Hampton, the Chief Executive Officer, announces her decision to step down from the role. This development comes as part of the OV/SA preparation for an operational integration with Optometry Australia from 1 November.
Following on from OV/SA members overwhelmingly voting ‘yes’ for the integration with Optometry Australia to occur, OV/SA no longer requires its own CEO, which has been a bittersweet success for Hampton.
As 1 November approaches, the optometry community prepares for a new era of collaboration and growth
“I have greatly enjoyed my time at OV/SA, working with a wonderful team, getting to know optometry and our partners in eye health,” she said. “Apart from the hundreds of individual conversations I have had with our members from Mildura to the Fleurieu Peninsula and many places in between, in such a short time there have been many highlights.”
Instrumental in Driving Change
Since joining OV/SA in February 2022, Ms Hampton has been instrumental in driving positive change within the organisation and fostering growth within the optometry community. Her leadership has been marked by numerous accomplishments for the OV/SA team, including strengthening relationships with optometrists across the region, providing enhanced professional development opportunities for members, and advocating for the crucial role of optometry within the healthcare landscape.
She led the charge in addressing front-of-house workforce challenges, launched initiatives focused on preventing occupational injury, and delivered the highly successful O=MEGA/WCO event in partnership with ODMA. This flagship conference resulted in the Southern Hemisphere’s largest optical gathering, attracting over 3,500 registered optometrists and eye care professionals. Deemed a great success by delegates, the event included a massive Trade Fair, 80 educational sessions, 90 posters, a slew of social events and an Indigenous eye health stream and market.
In addition to these achievements, Ms Hampton launched the OV/SA awards program, increased student engagement and brand recognition, and strengthened the Early Career Optometrists (ECO) committee. She also prioritised the needs of new optometrists, recognised the importance of retired members, and demonstrated support for The Voice to Parliament initiative which led to a statement of support from the OV/SA Board.
Ms Hampton’s commitment to fostering evidence-based practice was apparent via the reframing of CPD offerings as was her focus on cultural responsiveness when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“It has been a great pleasure to work with such a dedicated team at OV/SA and achieve so much together over the last 18+ months,” Ms Hampton said.
A Strong Legacy
President of OV/SA, Elise Pocknee-Clem, said: ‘Ilsa has left a strong legacy during her short time at the helm of OV/SA. She has embraced the optometry profession and dedicated herself to improving eye care across our states. In addition to the achievements listed, OV/SA recognises Ilsa’s pivotal role in the Integration of OV/SA, OTas and OA. Despite it making her own role redundant, this project will bring a myriad of benefits to our members, and is a testament to her admirable leadership.
“The OV/SA team, under Ilsa’s guidance, has achieved remarkable strides and fostered a culture of collaboration and excellence. She will be greatly missed, and we wish her every success in her next role.”
Ms Hampton expressed confidence in the future of the optometry community, stating that the integration between OV/SA and Optometry Australia is a significant milestone, anticipating a more unified voice for optometry professionals and enhanced support and resources for Victorian and South Australian members.
As 1 November approaches, the optometry community prepares for a new era of collaboration and growth. OV/SA said Ms Hampton’s legacy of dedication and achievements will continue to inspire the team as they embark on this new phase. With OA CEO Skye Cappuccio at the helm and the collective expertise of both organisations, the integrated entity is poised to make an even greater impact.