The profession of optometry has been shaped by great leaders. Now it’s time to nurture our early career optometrists who will realise our preferred future in 2040.
This month we will celebrate World Sight Day. There are few professions that can boast a day with a global focus on the core of our work – blindness and vision impairment.
World Sight Day is about highlighting the role of optometrists and their commitment to quality outcomes that enable patients to maximise their potential to live happily and productively. It is probably rare for an optometrist to reflect on the impact they have on each of their patient’s lives. It is perhaps only when the collective impact is highlighted that they then realise the benefits they are providing to individuals and the broader community.
Optometry Australia (OA) plays a key role in promoting optometrists’ collective impact to a broader audience. We work with optometrists and eye health professionals to promote the profession. Equally important is the work that we do to secure the future of our sector. We support several programs aimed at involving our younger members to develop their leadership skills so that they can play a role in the ‘bigger picture’.
We recently held the third annual Early Career Optometrist think tank, where our young leaders facilitated a day of activities to address the issues that they believe will take the profession into the future.
Aligning with the findings of the Optometry 2040 project, evolving scope of practice is always top of mind for this group. On a practical level, many of our members are working with local hospitals and assist in reducing waiting lists for eye health patients. Optometrists are highly skilled and can do more than simply triage patients. Evolving scope will ensure a more sustainable health system, and greater access to eye care for the community. It will also take advantage of the exceptional capabilities of optometrists.
As we prepare for our second annual student leadership program in 2020, we are committed to nurturing this cohort to really drive the profession forward and realise our preferred future in 2040.
we are committed to nurturing this cohort to really drive the profession forward and realise our preferred future in 2040
A big thank you to the delegates who made TLC a success this year. At TLC two Tasmanian optometrists were recognised for their major contribution to Optometry:
The late Micheal Knipe sadly passed away earlier this year. Micheal was a past National President and a respected member of the optometry community. Micheal was involved with a number of national organisations including Optometry Giving Sight and was active in the East Timor Eye Program. Clinical Professor Nitin Verma AM provided a tribute to Micheal for his large contribution to the East Timor Eye Program in his TLC presentation.
Andrew Hogan was presented with a Certificate of Merit awarded for outstanding service to the profession. Andrew started practice in Tasmania after graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1993. He has been a member of Optometry Tasmania (O Tas) since 1994, and was elected to the board of O Tas in 1995. He has been Program Director of the Tasmanian Lifestyle Congress for many years and has coordinated an outstanding lecture program each year. During his time on the O Tas board it was successful in introducing the therapeutics endorsement for Tasmanian optometrists. Andrew was elected President of Optometry Australia in December 2016 and completed a two year term.
Andrew is also a former Tasmanian Football League grand final goal umpire and the inaugural Tasmanian Head Goal Umpires’ Coach. He has worked for ABC Grandstand covering local football and has hosted ABC Radio’s award-winning digital radio show Nerdzilla. He has a special interest in social media, cross-platform and cloud technology, and how they can be applied in new and interesting ways. Andrew is one of the biggest collectors of Batman memorabilia and was a featured guest on ABC television’s Collectors program We would like to recognise these two optometrists for their major contribution to the profession.