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Our staff

CEO

Andrew McKinnon

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Tel: 0412 401 102 Email: andrew@oaansw.com.au

After nearly 25 years in the hot seat, what continues to inspire and drive me? The answer is simple: our members. I know many of you personally and I really enjoy working with you to help make your professional lives a little easier and more rewarding.

I graduated with a Business Degree (UTS) in 1986 and have since added an MBA and Graduate Certificate in Employment Law. Prior to becoming CEO, I’d been aware of optometry for some time (through my cousin, optometrist Tim McKinnon) before fate brought me to an interview with Tony Lord and Brian Layland, and the rest is history.

Outside of work? Saturdays are usually taken up with my alternative role as CEDW – Chief Executive Dog Washer. My wife runs a dog grooming and training business so you’ll normally find me cleaning pooches! Sundays are spent messing about on our boat as often as we can arrange it, in between looking after our young granddaughter and catching up with friends.

I truly believe that there is so much scope for optometry’s future. It’s really exciting to be part of a profession which is genuinely going places.

Administration Manager

Nicole Smart

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Tel: 0418 684 779 Email: nicole@oaansw.com.au

I’m the voice you’re most likely to hear when you pick up the phone to call Optometry NSW/ACT. I’ve been at the helm since 2004 and have built a strong rapport with members, our board, national and other state divisions, and our other industry partners.

My role is very diverse – running the office, organising major conferences, even project managing the office renovation in late 2018. I also manage the accounts and HR, but the best part of my role is dealing with the members, from renewals to audit support and everything in between.

Outside work I love to go camping with my husband of ten years (Pete) and my kids (Zac and Kate).

Optometrist and Professional Services and Advocacy Manager

Paula Katalinic

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Tel: 0407 115 639 Email: paula@oaansw.com.au

I’m passionate about raising the profile of optometry at all levels – from patients seeking the best eye care through to government policy makers, I believe that optometrists should be centre stage.

I’m frequently involved in undergraduate and postgraduate education aiming to support optometrists to practise to the best of their ability, with a particular interest in their role in reducing preventable vision loss through the early diagnosis of eye disease.

I’ve been part of the Optometry NSW/ACT team since 2004. I’m also a Lead Clinician at the Centre for Eye Health. I received my Graduate Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics in 2008 and completed my Masters in Optometry (UNSW) in 2010.

Soon after I graduated, I worked at Joslin Diabetes Center’s Beetham Eye Institute in Boston for nearly four years. I’ve also been a staff optometrist in the School of Optometry and Vision Science UNSW and worked in both rural and urban practices in Australia. I’ve spoken at numerous conferences and educational events both nationally and internationally and have experience with clinical research.

Outside optometry my interests include playing the violin in the Eastern Sydney Chamber Orchestra and travelling the world as frequently as I can with my husband Jon and our two boys.

Policy Advisor and Former CEO of Optometry Australia

Joe Chakman

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Tel: (02) 9712 2199 Email: joe@oaansw.com.au

Why, after all these years, do I still advise Optometry NSW/ACT on policy matters? The answer is that I’ve realised we don’t necessarily grow wiser as we get older – we just get more experienced. After 33 years in my previous role of CEO of Optometry Australia, involved in every facet of the organisation – from assisting members to lobbying government ministers – I’ve become very attached to the optometry profession. It’s like one of my children. I’ve come to really believe that our profession has something vital to offer the world. As long as I have something to contribute, I’ll keep doing so.

Optometrist and Strategic Communications and Member Liaison

Audrey Molloy

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Tel: 0414 386 824 Email: audrey@oaansw.com.au

I’m dedicated to supporting optometrists through all stages of their careers.

I grew up in Ireland and qualified as an optometrist in Dublin, where I worked for several years in clinical practice, both private and corporate.

Itchy feet led me to Sydney in 1998 and since then I’ve added to my qualifications with Graduate Certificates in Therapeutics (UNSW and ACO) and Advanced Contact Lenses (UNSW). Being a naturally creative person, I felt I had a unique role to play in developing engaging, useful resources to support my peers throughout their profession. To this end, I undertook diplomas in Marketing (2005) and Editing & Publishing (2013).

I have always been interested in ocular pathology and I worked at Vision Eye Institute for 15 years (in clinical, marketing, referrer liaison and content-editing roles). I’m also very interested in the dry eye epidemic and what optometrists can do to help.

Outside of work I love to write creatively and I’m a widely-published poet. I also like to get away from it all by hiking in our beautiful outdoors. My three young kids keep me from ever getting bored.

Administration Assistant

Sarah McKinnon

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Tel: (02) 9712 2199 Email: sarah@oaansw.com.au

When a member has a problem, I enjoy taking the time to solve it for them. My background in studying anthropology and psychology nurtured my interest in both researching and being involved with people. I am currently researching the history of the optometry profession in NSW and find it fascinating. I hope to be able to turn this research into a permanent record of the progress of this profession over its 100-year history.

Outside the office I have a huge passion for writing and am working on my first novel. I also love to do competitive weightlifting and gymnastics. Aside from that I love anything outdoors – snowboarding, hiking, paddle-boarding, travelling and anything involving music.

Board of Directors

Optometry NSW/ACT is managed by a Board of Directors elected from our membership. The key function of the board is to ensure the good governance of the organisation.

President

Luke Cahill

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Tel: (02) 9712 2199 Email: vision@oaansw.com.au

I’ve been a part of our profession for 35+ years and consider myself fortunate to have experienced almost every facet of optometry. I have worked as a consulting optometrist and practice manager in both regional and metro locations, worked as a locum optometrist, taken on roles in optometric management with a large corporate optical business, and been employed in professional and medical services, as well as working in R&D with a large contact lens manufacturer.

The one constant I’ve seen over these years is change! I’m very optimistic about the future of optometry. Past leaders in our industry have helped create a profession which is respected by the public and allied health professions alike. A key role of our organisation is to continually monitor community needs in a fast-changing world, to ensure our profession is even more viable, relevant and profitable in the future.

Outside of optometry I enjoy travelling with my wife Michelle and son Conor, often combining the travel with skiing or trekking in adventurous locations!

Vice-President

Carina Trinh

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Tel: (02) 9712 2199 Email: vision@oaansw.com.au

I’m confident that Optometry Australia will always have its members as its number one priority and I believe that an empowered optometry workforce will deliver optimal eye care throughout Australia.

I’m passionate about the younger voices of optometry being clearly heard. I joined the board in 2016 when I recognised the real need for better representation of early career optometrists. Thirty-five per cent of optometrists in Australia are under the age of 35 and they are the future leaders of our profession. We have made some progress in ensuring their voices are heard, but we have a long way to go.

My clinical experience spans my current position at Dresden Optics to regional work in Dubbo, outreach services across small towns in Western NSW, Indigenous clinics in the Northern Territory, school screenings in Sydney, outreach work in the Himalayas, to myopia and contact lens focused practice in Sydney. I am a founding member of Eyes4Everest and former Young Optometrists Inc. NSW/ACT Chair and Treasurer.

Vice-President

Katrina Ong

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Tel: (02) 9712 2199 Email: vision@oaansw.com.au

Since running for council in 2006 I have learnt so much about the optometry profession and its forward march over time. What strikes me is the role that individual passionate optometrists contribute to this progress.

I believe we can make optometrists proud of their profession and increase their job satisfaction. I am highly impressed with what Optometry NSW/ACT has achieved over many years and am honoured to be part of it, surrounded by other motivated people.

Outside of work my loves are my family, snowboarding, music, karaoke and a good book!

Past-President and Director

Christine Craigie

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Tel: (02) 9712 2199 Email: vision@oaansw.com.au

Ever since I was involved in equestrian sports in my early years, I was motivated to jump higher and go faster to achieve my goals. Riding teaches you to have courage and to be persistent. I gained university entry to both veterinary science and optometry, but I chose optometry because I believe sight is the pinnacle of human perception.

As an early adopter of new optometry techniques, I took myself to the USA and learnt BIO and indentation skills from US university colleagues, well before the schools of optometry in Australia integrated these into our degree courses. Being exposed to advanced testing I became interested in the American Academy of Optometry for conferences and later went on to complete my Fellowship of the American Academy of Optometry in 1998.

I believe we can all advocate for our profession in many different ways. Development of different pathways for our optometry graduates is dear to my heart, as I believe optometry’s skills are under-utilised in our society.

Devoting time to the ProVision Board for many years was beneficial to developing a viable choice for independent optometry to thrive amid a crowded corporate and ever-changing marketplace. The number of those independent practices now exceeds 450 in Australia.

Outside of work I teach the Avatar self-development course internationally, to increase people’s awareness of living deliberately and achieving their goals. I love art and visit many galleries, especially when visiting new cities. And I still go horse riding when on vacation.

Director

Narelle Hine

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Tel: (02) 9712 2199 Email: vision@oaansw.com.au

As one of the longer-serving current councillors, I believe that our organisation plays a vital role in guiding the direction the profession takes. Our council think tank is comprised of dedicated optometrists representing a cross section of practice. The reality is that sometimes our efforts are sidelined by the aspirations of other stakeholders in vision care – but we can’t give up! The right to use therapeutic drugs in our state was not just given to optometry by the government or medicine, it was gained only by a 15 year-long campaign waged by Optometry Australia.

I was a late starter. In my earlier career, I moved to practise in the UK then returned to work in contact lens research in Sydney and completed postgraduate studies with what is now known as the Brien Holden Vision Institute. So unsurprisingly, I have a strong interest in contact lens fitting and myopia control, and offer some consulting services to industry.

I am pleased to say that running and growing my private practice over the past 20 years, pursuing postgraduate studies, regular clinical teaching at UNSW, serving on the Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia and on the ONSW/ACT council for the last 25 years, have all kept me far too busy for playing golf on a Wednesday. My chosen profession has kept me interested and challenged since I graduated because there are so many avenues open to explore with an optometry degree. And I still love how my growing clinical skills can change people’s daily lives. I find my continuing professional development keeps me motivated and I want to see colleagues publicly recognised for their postgraduate studies and upskilling.

Optometry is a great profession deserving of a bigger role in eye care, so supporting our organisation is an obvious way to attain that.

Director

Margaret Lam

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Tel: (02) 9712 2199 Email: vision@oaansw.com.au

Thinking about what motivates me to serve as an Optometry NSW/ACT councillor, it comes down to what this profession has given me over the years. From the joy of positively impacting our patients’ lives, to the pride I feel in belonging to a close-knit community of professionals, optometry has presented me with an abundance of riches.

I bring a lot of experience to my role as a councillor because of my diverse background in optometry. I have worked in independent and corporate optometry practices, as a locum, and built my own independent practice, theeyecarecompany, which has since become part of George and Matilda Eyecare.

As the environment in which we practice has diversified, we need to ensure we support optometrists along all of their possible career paths. This is critical in order for our profession to not only survive, but thrive. We also need to safeguard the profession by ensuring the standards of care we believe in are upheld. I believe our organisation is essential in supporting our profession and encouraging a healthy co-existence and collegiality among all of our colleagues. This underpins the work I do in the Member Engagement Committee.

Beyond this, I think we need to build the foundations for our scope of practice to grow, which is why I am also on the Advanced Skills Committee for ONSW/ACT. This committee aims to improve how we can work together to better recognise specialty skills within our optometry profession and encourage their development.

Director

Lisa Keay

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Tel: (02) 9712 2199 Email: vision@oaansw.com.au

I started my career in optometric practice in regional NSW, followed by a stint in research and development projects for the contact lens industry and most recently in public health research in the US, India, China and Australia. I took on the role of Head of the School of Optometry, UNSW Sydney in 2019 and will be focusing my efforts on high quality training in optometry and on engagement with industry and government for the best outcomes in eye health. I am really excited to be working with Optometry NSW/ACT.

I bring experience in health systems research such as evaluations of new models of care for chronic eye diseases and epidemiologic studies generating evidence for timely provision of cataract surgery and access to refractive services.

Outside of work, I enjoy community sport as a player, manager and spectator. I am also a passionate advocate for women in sport, particularly women’s soccer.

Director

Angelica Ly

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Tel: (02) 9712 2199 Email: vision@oaansw.com.au

In my ten years in the profession, I’ve seen a significant shift in how optometrists practise, where we practise and our overall level of engagement and satisfaction. Optometry faces several challenges. It’s been my experience that the future of the profession I love is threatened and we will need to reinvent ourselves.

I am proudly involved with the organisation as I regard it as one of the few collective voices that optometry has. It’s only through numbers and working together that we may steer and push the future of our profession forward. I view technology, evidence-based optometry, research and collaborative care as other tools to generate that change.

I am passionate about maintaining a high standard of care in optometry and my ideal vision for the future would be to see engaged optometrists working cohesively with each other, ophthalmologists and other health professionals for the benefit of our community.

Director

Peter Herse

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Tel: (02) 9712 2199 Email: vision@oaansw.com.au

I see optometry as a vital service in improving vision around the world. I’ve practised optometry in Kenya and Australia and I’ve been involved in developing optometry programs in Thailand, India, South Africa and New Zealand. Closer to home, I’ve supported the profession with three separate periods on the board over the past 20 years.

Having been an academic for 25 years as well as Director of Optometry Professional Development at Luxottica Australia/New Zealand, I bring expansive experience to our CPD committee. I enjoy developing stimulating education programs and value lifelong learning.

My special interests include diabetes and low vision. I have diabetes myself and have been a consultant low vision optometrist for Vision Australia and the Anglican Retirement Villages. I’m currently in semi-retirement working as an optometrist in Newtown, Sydney. I spend several
months a year travelling to beautiful places with my wife.

Director

Soojin Nam

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Tel: (02) 9712 2199 Email: vision@oaansw.com.au

Studying optometry was accidental. It was a process of elimination that got me into the degree in the first place because nothing else seemed to fit! I almost left optometry after I started my MBA as an exit-strategy degree, but fortunately I grew to love optometry and quickly realised what an amazing industry it is.

I fell into ortho-k early in my graduate years which felt so cutting-edge in those days. And when I attended behavioural optometry conferences, I was fascinated at how they helped explain patient case studies that had me perplexed. Why and how do people 'see' how they see? Each answer leads to more questions and many years later, I am still searching for the answers and enjoying the process along the way.

ProVision was a great stepping stone to developing the confidence to become a practice owner. When it was time for a change, I found the Eyecare Plus national brand to be an excellent fit. Marketing was a crucial part of running the business and I wanted to be part of a group that would collaborate with marketing and provide a national presence to compete with global competitors. After being part of the Eyecare Plus Board of Directors and seeing the challenges experienced by optometrists in small business, I wanted to add to the collective effort of the work being done by other optometrists for the benefit of our profession.

I love reading books – particularly novels like Jane Austen books – or watching zombie movies. (I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when they came out with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!) I have two little boys at home. They are my little ‘zombies’ who keep me entertained!

Director, Past President and Optometry NSW/ACT nominee to the Optometry Australia National Board

Steve Zantos

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Tel: (02) 9712 2199 Email: vision@oaansw.com.au

I fervently promote programs and services that will provide good value for our members, and decisions that will maintain the strength and integrity of our organisation and profession.

I bring a broad range of experience to the optometry organisation boards I serve on through my roles in private practice optometry, the optical industry, academia, government, and ophthalmology.

I worked for 12 years in the contact lens industry R&D area with Bausch & Lomb in Rochester, New York. I was Professor of Clinical Optometry at UNSW, as well as being responsible for the re-introduction of the school's popular Master of Optometry program. I also worked for many years at the ophthalmology practice group Vision Eye Institute in Sydney, where I directed optometry co-management and education programs. I’m also a Past-President of the Contact Lens Society of Australia, the organisation that supported my UNSW PhD research on overnight wear of contact lenses in the 1970s under the supervision of Professor Brien Holden.

I’m in semi-retirement now and as my three children have grown up, I’m in a position to do overseas volunteer work for the ophthalmic charity ‘Sight For All’, which I greatly enjoy. I also love spending time on my hobbies – travelling with my wife Penny, doing Greek family tree research, and working on my neglected golf game.

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