In Focus by Andrew McKinnon 29/07/18

Membership Renewals Are Happening Now!

Members - membership renewals are happening now!

When you’re busy in the consulting room, you need to know that someone is out there looking after your interests. Someone you can call if an employment matter crops up, of if the HCCC sends you one of 'those' letters. That’s why you’re a member of the Association – and why we hope you’ll continue to be long into the future!

You should have received an email with your renewal details enclosed. If not, please call (02) 9712 2199 or email us and we’ll fix that up for you straight away.

Optometry Giving Sight

When renewing, remember to support Optometry Giving Sight!

Optometry Giving Sight is our profession’s charity, helping millions of people around the world to see through the simple expedient of an eye exam and a pair of spectacles. When you’re renewing your membership, if you’re able to, please support OGS by clicking the image below – their work is invaluable!


Love Skiing? Need CPD? Why Not Combine the Two!

The NSW/ACT Ski Conference is on at Thredbo from 24-26 August – snow is currently 1m deep with all 14 lifts open! Make a weekend of it – to register, click here.

Congratulations, Prof Fiona Stapleton!

Congratulations to our Head of School, Professor Fiona Stapleton who was recently awarded the Donald R Korb Award for Excellence from the American Optometric Association (AOA) Contact Lens and Cornea Section (CLCS) council.

Word Sight Day - Thursday 11 October

Mark your diaries! World Sight Day is coming soon and everyone is invited to get involved! For more information click here.

Patient Information DVDs from the Sydney Eye Hospital

Sydney Eye Hospital has produced a series of excellent DVDs to help patients understand what will happen surgically when they are treated for a range of conditions. You can get these DVDs without charge from SEH – they’ll make a valuable addition to your patient information armory. For further information click here.

Kett Optometry Museum - Become a Friend Today!

The Kett Museum is an amazing repository of the history of our great profession. Keep up to date with their work and become a Friend – its free and a wonderful way to help ensure that our history is preserved. Click here for the latest newsletter.

Locums - Understanding What it Means

We’re going to write an extended advisory on this shortly, but as a very brief overview:

  • A locum is, by definition, a temporary or short-term appointment. The Australian Taxation Office does not recognize the concept of a 'permanent locum' – anyone who regularly attends a place of work for a period exceeding 12 months is, for the ATO’s purposes, a part time employee.
  • Superannuation – as a locum, unless you are trading through a Pty Ltd company or a Trust, your employer MUST pay superannuation on your behalf into an approved super fund.
  • Employers are particularly at risk if they enter into 'creative' arrangements with locums. The ATO has extraordinary powers to levy fines and penalties. Even if you want to challenge them, you must pay the fine first and then go to court to try and get it back!

As noted, we’ll issue a more extensive advisory on this shortly, but in the meantime if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Your Association - Our Support for You

Each month we bring you a short article about things that the Association is doing to support members.

Two members recently contacted us to ask similar questions – if an optometrist wishes to see a patient in a personal relationship, what do they need to do in order to stay on the right side of their professional obligations?

As a broad answer, the first thing that has to happen if a relationship is to move from professional to personal is to terminate the professional contact. In other words, if you want to see someone personally, then you can’t see them professionally.

That’s a very good rule of thumb, but it isn’t always perfect. For example, when does a 'relationship' start? Does inviting a patient for coffee because you’ve discovered a mutual interest constitute the start of a 'relationship'? Can you call a patient to make an invitation using their phone number which has been given to you as part of a consultation?

The great difficulty with all of this is that there is no clear cut answer in many circumstances. In a lot of cases it comes down to a judgement call – but of course that is precisely what the Association is here to help you with – making the right call to protect yourself and those close to you.

It’s this level of expertise that stands behind you as a member of the Association. The Association is here to safeguard and enhance your interests. We have extensive expertise, backed by specialist professional resources. That’s why you belong!