In Focus by Andrew McKinnon

Want to be Part of Plotting the Future of Optometry?

Then join us at the Future of Optometry Seminar, Saturday 20 May at the Burwood Coronation Club, Burwood, commencing at 6.30pm. For more information and to register, click here.


Pay Arrangements Over Easter & ANZAC Weekends

Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday were ALL gazetted public holidays. If any Award-covered members of staff worked on those days (typically retail or reception staff) then they would be entitled to penalty rates as detailed by the General Retail Industry Award. No optometrists and almost no optical dispensers are covered by an Award, thus whatever they are paid for working on public holidays is the subject of their individual contractual agreement with their employer. They have NO automatic right to penalty rates for public holidays.

Re the ANZAC Day period, Monday 24 April was a normal working day. Tuesday 25 April was a public holiday. See above for comments re pay rates on public holidays.


16th Annual Cornea & Contact Lens Congress 2017 - See the Light

The Congress is being held in Sydney from 8-10 September 2017. For more information please click here.


Working With Children & Working With Older People Checks

In NSW, any optometrist who at any time may find themselves working unsupervised with a child MUST obtain a Working With Children Check. There would be very few optometrists who would be exempt from this requirement. To apply, click here.

In the ACT, registered health professionals are NOT required to have a separate check if their contact with children (or vulnerable people) is in the course of their normal professional activities – in our case, working as an optometrist. HOWEVER, if your contact is in some other capacity (say as a sports team coach) then despite the fact that you are a registered health professional, in that circumstance you must obtain a clearance. For further information, click here.

IMPORTANT – the Federal Government has requirements about police checks for people who work with the aged. The NSW Working With Children Check does include a police check, as does the ACT WWVP check. 


Your Association - Our Support for You

A member received a letter from AHPRA, questioning some of the content of their website, as well as some (very positive) comments which had been left on Google Reviews. The member was unsure how to respond.

We reviewed the website and the concerns identified by AHPRA. Our advice to the member was that there were several things on the website which could have been worded better and in fact two items which should be removed.

We prepared a letter back to AHPRA acknowledging their concerns and advising of the remedial action which would be taken. We also provided the member with alternative wording which would meet AHPRA’s requirements. However we also backed the member up in terms of AHPRA’s concerns about the Google Reviews. As we’re sure everyone is aware, Google controls their reviews and will not generally allow reviews to be deleted. This point was made very clearly in the response – it is well outside the member’s control.

The Association is here solely to safeguard and enhance your interests. We have extensive experience and knowledge, backed by specialist professional resources. That’s why you belong!


Visiting Optometrists Scheme

The Visiting Optometrists Scheme is seeking expressions of interest from optometrists who may be interested in providing services to some of their outreach centres. For further information, click here.