After an historic vote by members, Optometry South Australia will amalgamate with Optometry Victoria from 1 July 2019 under the new name of Optometry Victoria/South Australia (OV/SA).
The vote, which was the first of its kind in the history of both organisations, showed members overwhelmingly voting in favour of the proposal to amalgamate. Of the 52 per cent of members who voted in South Australia, around 97 per cent supported the change.
This resounding show of support was replicated in Victoria where around 96 per cent of members supported the proposal.
The voting was conducted by independent organisation Big Pulse with the voting tally overseen by independent accounting firm McLean Delmo Bentleys.
The suggestion to amalgamate was first proposed by the Optometry South Australia Board in 2014. The boards and CEOs of both organisations have worked hard behind the scenes since then to build relationships, model options and determine how amalgamation might work in practice.
Overwhelmingly, the boards of both organisations determined that joining forces as a new, combined, single entity will result in a stronger, more effective, efficient and supportive member organisation capable of delivering the needs of both South Australian and Victorian optometrists well into the future.
The new organisation will be in operation from 1 July 2019. We’ll be doing quite a bit of work on the operational transition behind the scenes in the lead up to July 2019, to ensure we hit the ground running.
For a full two years from 1 July 2019, we’ll be in a process of ‘operational transition’, ensuring we get the services and focus right for members from both states, in addition to ensuring that we don’t ‘drop the ball’ on other critical advocacy projects.
The transition planning will be professional and transparent, and we look forward to sharing with members the processes and considerations undertaken when making decisions.
Our promise to members is that there will be no lag in any of the services you’ve come to expect from us in the transition to a single entity.
For now the substantive work will continue, to ensure that we live up to the mandate from our membership.