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Optometry Victoria South Australia: stronger together

Membership renewal is an important time of year, where we ask members to continue their support for their association and their profession.

We have provided below an update on Optometry Victoria South Australia’s (OV/SA) work and achievements for 2020-21 and a broad outline of our plans for 2021-22.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the OV/SA office on office.vicsa@optometry.org.au or call us on (03) 9652 9100.

OV/SA 2020-21 update

In the early part of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we moved all of our CPD events online to ensure that members could continue to access the highest CPD and professional learning. This included specific events for early career optometrists and regional and rural practitioners, as well as the broader membership.

Since the beginning of 2021 OV/SA delivered Blue Sky 2021 in Adelaide as a hybrid event, we’ve relaunched our face-to-face rural and regional seminar series across the two states, and delivered early career CPD seminars. We’ve had an enthusiastic response from members to these activities, which were all run under strict COVID-safe procedures. It’s pretty clear that members are eager to come together to network and learn.

Throughout the last financial year we supported members with quality clinical advice and assistance, the latest in infection control guidance, and business and employment advice and, we connected members with online mental health support.

During 2020-21 we built strong and lasting relationships with the South Australian and Victorian state governments, in particular with the Chief Allied Health Officers, which enabled us to advocate for the profession and to keep members up to date with the latest, reliable information and advice. We worked hard to ensure that the needs of members and patients were appropriately recognised within the state government response to the pandemic.

We secured improvements to the GlassesSA subsidised spectacle scheme, supported access to the Quit patient smoking cessation online education and materials, and worked to strengthen engagement with GPs through our support of Vision 2020’s Vision Initiative in Victoria. We also actively supported and promoted the new Statewide Referral Criteria for public ophthalmology services in Victoria which came into effect at the beginning of May.

We are now cautiously emerging from this time. In many ways we are stronger than we were before, but we’re certainly more alert to the unpredictability of our world. Even events in recent days have reminded us that we cannot be complacent, and we must continue to work together and show leadership in the community.

2021-22 Plans

As we turn our minds to the financial year ahead we have a fantastic schedule of events lined up, headlined by O=MEGA21 which will be held face-to-face in Melbourne from 2-4 September. Over 600 optometrists secured early bird tickets during April, and the trade show floor space has now completely sold out. The clinical program features the best of Australian optometric talent and the masterclass series for optical dispensing staff will be outstanding. It’s not too late to book yourself a spot, and we’re really looking forward to seeing many of you there.

We will be starting our next rural and regional seminar series later this year (including events for our metropolitan members in Melbourne and Adelaide), and from July we’ll be delivering CPD events on a range of topics for early career practitioners both face-to-face in Melbourne and Adelaide and online. We will be re-establishing our one-day mini-conferences in South Australia in November 2021 and May 2022 (with similar events for Victoria in 2022-23).

And of course our Professional Indemnity Insurance remains one of the best products on the market, offering members comprehensive coverage for life, flexibility, one-on-one support in the event of a claim and peace of mind, regardless of where or who you work for.

We’ll continue to advocate for the profession at the state and national level, and in partnership with other key health professions where we can. In partnership with Optometry Australia we’ll continue to support expanding scope of practice, through advocacy for oral therapeutics and intravitreal injections. We’ll continue to advocate for stronger collaboration between primary care, optometry and ophthalmology.

We’ll work closely with our advisory committees, and our Board will continue to deliver strong and progressive governance in the best interests of the entire profession. We will continue to aspire to be the most forward looking, member-focused organisation in the country.

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