Professional Development / Events

Our members tell us that despite being surrounded by people all day, optometry can be a lonely job with few opportunities to “chew the fat” or to discuss “the state of the nation” with like-minded colleagues in a professional context.

In response to this, OSA offers Professional Hubs for members and invites you to join one of these for regular, informal and confidential discussions about your professional challenges.
Topics vary, depending on the Hub and the members in that Hub, but have been known to include: work/life balance, resolving conflict at work, how to meet clinical standards in a busy environment, ways to grow your business. It's also a great opportunity to make friends and hear the wider optometry news. Members currently participate in Hubs face-to-face and by Skype/FaceTime.

Groups are limited to 10 members per group and we have had 4 "special interest" Hubs up and running since April 2014 – so get in touch and give it a go. If none of our suggested Hubs take your fancy and you’d like to initiate a different one – just let us know and we’ll put it out there. Make the most of nine additional heads to meet the challenges and opportunities presented in 2016!

Each Hub works slightly differently because the Rules are agreed by the Hub members themselves. The only hard and fast rules are these:

- everything said within the Hub stays within the Hub, unless the Hub members agree otherwise;

- all conversations within the Hub must be respectful and inclusive;

- you can leave a Hub whenever you wish.

Each Hub is facilitated by a member of the OSA Board or staff member (and the same rules of confidentiality apply to them). The frequency of Hub meetings and the day, time and location, are all decided by the individual Hubs. When members leave, replacement Hub members must be agreed by all of the existing Hub members.

Hub membership is free and refreshments are provided.

Established Hubs:

Mums and Bubs - follow this Hub on Facebook for the latest news and dates.

Despite the name, Dads are welcome too. If you are on parental leave or are back at work and juggling children and career: this is for you. It provides a relaxed environment in which you can discuss professional issues or family issues with others in the same boat as you. In the past, accredited CPD has also been provided in response to the Hub mebers' request. Meeting locations vary (OSA office, the park, a play cafe) but you and your children are welcome.

The Hub will soon establish its own dedicated and private FB page which will allow you all to keep in touch and plan Hub meetings and topics. For now, to be kept in the loop, contact the Hub facilitator, Aimee Patten at yam_yam_yam@hotmail.com

Independent practice owners - click here for next meeting date

Forget competing with each other for a couple of hours and (over a glass of red) utilise the time, head-space and variety of expertise around the table to tackle the problems that unite you all. Due to a couple of interstate moves, we now have 2 vacancies in this Hub.

Hub facilitator Kurt Larsen can be contacted at kurtclarsen@hotmail.com

Locum optometrists 

Flitting from place to place, room to room and team to team creates a whole host of unique challenges over and above the regular ones shared by all optometrists. Find out what works for others on the locum path and get your heads together to make your professional lives more rewarding.

Clinical supervisors 

This is an opportunity to chat informally & confidentially about the clinical supervising you have been involved with to date and to share ideas on how to improve the experience for you, your practice team and the student. It's also a great chance to network with your optometry friends and colleagues. It doesn't matter which university your students are studying at (UNSW, Melbourne, Flinders, QUT or Deakin), or where you work. Although Ben's day job is at Flinders University School of Health Sciences (Optometry), he will be fulfilling his role as facilitator of this Hub strictly as a Board member and representative of OSA. All discussions at the Hub are confidential and will not be passed onto any other party (including Flinders) without the permission of the Hub members.

Hub facilitator Ben Hamlyn can be contacted at benhamlyn@y7mail.com

Young Optometry - Follow this Hub on Facebook and click here for next meeting date

Never are the pressures of your employer greater than in the first few years out when you are still trying to find your feet professionally. This is the perfect time for you to escape from your workplace and to pick the brains of your professional colleagues who have different work experiences and expertise. It's also a great opportunity to expand your professional networks, friendship groups, your clinical knowledge and your career choices. If you graduated less than 5 years ago, this Hub is for you!  We will be launching your own FB page soon.

Hub facilitator Luke Higgins can be contacted on higglu89@gmail.com

Emerging Hubs:

Employees

Member surveys and informal chats indicate that if you are working for either a private practitioner or a corporate optometry provider, you are faced with the challenges of juggling your needs and aspirations as a health professional and the expectations of your employer in an increasingly cut-throat market place. This is an ideal opportunity to raise your concerns and come up with ideas on how to tackle them together.

Contact OSA to express your interest in joining this Hub.

Franchisees and partners 

I am receiving calls on a regular basis from many of you in arrangements that are becoming increasingly challenging when it comes to balancing the healthcare needs of your patients, your staff, your personal aspirations and your business partners’ or franchise expectations. You do not need to shoulder this alone. Come to just listen or share frustrations and brain waves.

Join the Optometry NSW/ACT Franchisee Optometrist Group - online, free and confidential. Click here for details.

Are none of these for you?

Then please suggest another for us to promote!

The reasoning behind our new Professional Hubs:

So what can these regular pow-wows give us that working solo day after day does not? Why does the opportunity to get together with colleagues each month enhance both our performance and the pleasure we can get from our work, in addition to relieving work-related stress?

Fundamentally we believe it supports our intellectual growth because two (or three, four, etc.) heads are indeed better than one when it comes to generating ideas and solving problems. The diversity of skills, experience, knowledge and personalities in the melting pot of a professional HUB such as this allows each of us to look at our daily challenges with a whole new perspective and in so doing find previously elusive solutions. The interaction also improves our confidence, by providing an opportunity to explain our thinking and conclusions and having them verified by professional peers.

Let us be clear: this is not what we think of as networking.  The sort of interaction we're talking about is more informal, low-key and nurturing. It relies on the development over time of trust and respect between the group members. It also requires a common, shared intent of personal growth and a passion for and belief in the future of your chosen profession.

For our rural members:

We appreciate that your location adds a different dimension to the concept of a professional Hub such as this, but encourage you to think seriously about how this could work for you. Perhaps you could join with members in your area (there would be a critical mass in say the Riverland, Mount Gambier, Barossa/Gawler, Port Pirie/Port Augusta). Alternatively, where you are flying solo, we are happy to work with you to figure out how we can effectively deliver a virtual hub to you using FaceTime or Skype (we already have 2 virtual Hub members).

How do the Professional Hubs work?

It really depends on the Hub members and what they need, but for example: OSA CEO Libby's Dad was in a professional hub such as this for over 60 years! As a farmer and small-business owner, he met with 8 other individuals once a month, rotating around each other’s farms. They would inspect the crops and livestock and then sit down and toss around ideas over a beer and ham sandwich. Libby is also a member of a professional hub of Association Executives (also a lonely job) and they meet for breakfast once every two months to share ideas, experience and resources to one of their chosen current problems. It’s something she looks forward to and learns a lot in the process.

How can you get involved?

Just email Libby on l.boschen@optometry.org.au to express your interest to be involved and we’ll take it from there. Indicate which of the proposed hubs are of interest to you, or if you’d like to start a different one. If hub membership doesn’t turn out to be what you expected: no stress. You can leave at any time (though it’d be better to say what you think and contribute to it working in a way that suits you!)

Optometrists wanted

South Australia:

16 August     Philip Milford & Associates - Glenunga, Adelaide, Norwood & Mount Barker

Interstate:

16 August     OPSM franchise  - NSW Central Coast