Optometry Australia’s membership down 25%

Optometry Australia’s membership is down by about 25 per cent since it claimed to have more than 95 per cent of all registered optometrists as members.

OA now claims 80 per cent membership, however some quick arithmetic in the light of figures released by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency figures published in March 2018 indicate it is more like 76 per cent of registered optometrists.

‘Peak body’ used to be a fair claim

Not so long ago, Optometry Australia (or the Australian Optometrical Association or any of the succession of names over the years it chose to operate under) used to make fair claim to being the peak organisation for optometrists in Australia, whether it was dealing with governments, health departments, other professions, the public or anyone else.

However, while that claim may still be a reasonable one, it is starting to look a little shaky.

Optometry Australia itself, in its submission prior to the Federal Budget 2018-19 stated its membership is 80 per cent of registered optometrists in Australia.

An actual membership figure was not provided (it rarely has been), however figures published in March 2018 by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency show there were 5521 registered optometrists in Australia at that time, meaning about 4,200 members of Optometry Australia.

What has happened?

What has

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By | June 24th, 2018|Associations|

AMA elects new president and vice-president

Dr Tony Bartone has been elected the new president of the Australian Medical Association at AMA National Conference in Canberra on 27 May, replacing Dr Michael Gannon whose two-year term had come to an end.

Dr Chris Zappala was elected vice-president, replacing Dr Bartone.

Dr Bartone, the immediate past vice-president of the federal AMA, is a GP from Melbourne and a former president of AMA Victoria.

Dr Bartone spoke about how the dedication and care that his family GP showed to his father during a serious health crisis inspired him to pursue a vocation in medicine.

“I now want to fight for Australia’s doctors so that they can continue to deliver the same quality health care that my father received,” Dr Bartone said.

“General practice has been systematically starved of funding, putting at risk its very survival.

“The AMA, under my leadership, has the solutions.

“A GP President will send a message. Our federal health minister needs to understand the time for rhetoric is over. We need to see real action now.

“We will have a federal election in the next year, and I am ready for any early election call.”

The two-year terms of office for Dr Bartone and Dr Zappala commence immediately.


Five additions to AMA Roll of Fellows

The Australian Medical Association has inducted five new members into

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By | June 3rd, 2018|Associations|

Optometry Australia says it increased media coverage by 33% in past 3 years


Optometry Australia says it has increased its media coverage over the past three years by 33 per cent with much of the coverage focused on raising awareness of eye health.

Editorial coverage since 2014-15 has risen to 363 pieces to date this financial year and the organisation is confident of achieving additional quality articles by 30 June, the association says.

The increase aligns with goals within the organisation’s strategic plan to promote optometry, optometrists and community eye health, the association says.

It also supports Good vision for life’s consumer campaign goals which aim to highlight the need to have regular eye examinations throughout life and to motivate consumers to book an eye examination.


By | May 20th, 2018|Associations|

New chief for Optometry Western Australia

Mr Evan MacRae has been appointed chief executive officer of Optometry Western Australia, succeeding Mr Tony Martella, who was in the role for 13 years. Mr Martella has been appointed to a position with the Australian Medical Association.

The president of Optometry WA, Mr Rob Howie, said Mr MacRae’s career spans the mining, health care, business management and advocacy sectors.

“There are also plenty of opportunities to work more closely with politicians and the business sector – particularly mining and resources – to raise awareness of eye health”, Mr MacRae said.

By | May 16th, 2018|Associations|

IACLE Announces Worldwide Winners of Annual Awards

The International Association of Contact Lens Educators has announced the winners of the 2018 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards, which recognise and reward achievement in contact lens education.

IACLE has also announced the recipients of the 2018 IACLE Travel Awards for members to attend major international meetings.

Through sponsorship from CooperVision, four IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards will be presented to IACLE members in each of IACLE’s three global regions.

The 2018 IACLE Contact Lens Educators of the Year will receive their awards at the American Academy of Optometry’s Academy 2018 meeting in San Antonio, Texas, in November.

The winners are IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year – Professor Lyndon Jones, University of Waterloo, Canada; IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year – Associate Professor Runa Mazumder, Vidyasagar College of Optometry & Vision Science, Kolkata, India; and IACLE Europe/Africa – Middle East Contact Lens Educators of the Year – Wim Borst, Deltion College, Zwollen, the Netherlands, and Henri Eek, Deltion College and Hogeschool Utrecht, the Netherlands

The 2018 IACLE Travel Awards recipients are Professor Martha Lucila Márquez García, Santo Tomás University, Bucaramanga, Colombia; Ahmed Sherry, Modern University for Business and Science, Beirut, Lebanon; and Professor Sabrina Lara, Universidad Nacional Villa Maria, Córdoba, Argentina.

By | May 16th, 2018|Associations|

Candidates for AMA leadership

Candidates for the presidency of the Australian Medical Association are: Dr Tony Bartone (Vic), Professor Brad Frankum (NSW) and Dr Gino Pecoraro (Qld).

Vice-president candidates are: Dr Janice Fletcher (SA), Dr Jill Tomlinson (Vic), Dr Xavier Yu (Vic) and Dr Chris Zappala (Qld).

Both positions are for two years, and the election will take place at the AMA National Conference in Canberra on Sunday, 27 May.

By | May 16th, 2018|Associations|

Optometry Australia celebrates its centenary this year

Optometry Australia is celebrating its centenary this year.

A national body for optometrists was established in 1918 under the name The Australian Optometrical Association, bringing together six state organisations.

The six state associations  were New South Wales, which established a state optometry association in 1904, Victoria in 1911, Queensland 1908, South Australia 1913, Western Australia 1916 and Tasmania 1905.

According to A History of Australian Optometry by Barry Cole, (including some excerpts from History of Australian Optometry by Charles Wright, the first national conference of state associations was held in Melbourne on 3-6 December 1918.

Present at the conference were Messrs W Wenborn and WG Kett representing NSW (Australasian Optical Association); WJ Aird, HC Fisher, WHM Browne, W Nott and WP Wood (Victoria Optical Association); AP Greenfield (Queensland Institute of Ophthalmic Opticians); IH Qurban and EC Murrell (South Australia).

The first national president of the AOA was Mr HC Fisher (he was also president of the Victoria Optical Association).

By | February 25th, 2018|Associations|

RANZCO welcomes new partnership between Government and GPMC

A partnership has been formed between the Australian Government and the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges, which aims to aims to improve access to health care services in Indigenous and remote communities.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists has welcomed the new partnership, saying it is “a great initiative that will see greater collaboration between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies and allied health, leading to better health outcomes for Indigenous Australians across the country.

“RANZCO supports the government’s renewed commitment to Indigenous health and looks forward to working with the Minister for Indigenous Health, Mr Ken Wyatt, in developing a practical solution to closing the gap in eye health. “Through greater collaboration between the government and the wider health care community, we can further improve Indigenous eye health and achieve equity in eye health care for Indigenous communities,” The president of RANZCO A/Prof Mark Daniell, said on 1 June.

By | June 6th, 2017|Associations|

AMA releases revised code of ethics

The Australian Medical Association on 17 March released its new code of ethics, which was comprehensively reviewed in 2016 and ratified by the AMA federal council at its November meeting.

For the first time since 2006, the code has been substantially revised, culminating in the Code of Ethics 2004. Editorially Revised 2006. Revised 2016.

The president of the AMA, Dr Michael Gannon, said on 17 March that a code of ethics is essential for setting and maintaining the very high standards of ethical behaviour that society expects from the medical profession.

“The AMA’s code of ethics incorporates the values of the profession,” Dr Gannon said.

“The AMA is the peak body representing all Australian medical practitioners. Its code articulates and promotes a body of ethical principles to guide doctors’ conduct in their relationships with patients, colleagues, and society.

“While the primary duty of doctors is to serve the health needs of individual patients, they have additional, and occasionally competing, duties in relation to other patients, patients’ family members and carers, colleagues and other health-care professionals, the wider health system, and public health.

“The AMA places a very high priority on its code of ethics, and encourages all doctors to observe its values and principles.”

The updated code for the first time addresses:

By | March 20th, 2017|Associations|

Optometry Australia relocates headquarters

Optometry Australia has relocated its Melbourne-based national office from formerly-owned premises in Carlton to leased office space in South Melbourne.

The association’s new address is Level 1, 201 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne.

The premises consist of a two-level retail and office building on the corner of Clarendon and York streets. The main entrance is on York Street.

All telephone numbers and email addresses remain unchanged.

OA sold its long-occupied Drummond Street, Carlton, premises last year.


By | March 7th, 2017|Associations|