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Optometry Australia will run Advocacy Upskilling Workshops in June for members in Queensland and the Northern Territory, with a focus on the upcoming elections in both states. 

Participants in the program will develop their advocacy toolkit and learn how to identify opportunities to promote optometry and establish relationships with key decision makers.

CEO of Optometry Australia, Skye Cappuccio, said it is imperative that major decision makers recognise the important contribution of optometry, optometrists and community eye health in Australia.

‘As important members of the community, optometrists wield the power to move the profession forward through advocacy. But it’s not always clear how to get involved, who to talk to or how to best advocate for your profession. This workshop series is a fantastic opportunity for members in Queensland and the NT to learn how to build strong relationships with local political representatives, both at a state and federal level, and create collaborative partnerships with decision makers in other positions of influence,’ Ms Cappuccio said.

The workshops will be facilitated by David Quilty, Managing Director at National Advisory Pty Ltd. Mr Quilty is a successful strategist, adviser and corporate affairs executive who has served with distinction at the highest levels of government, business, and national industry associations for 25 years. He has worked with Optometry Australia’s Optometry Advancement team over recent years and is well versed in the optometric political landscape.

Twenty participants will work with Mr Quilty over three online sessions. They will cover Australia’s system of government and decision making, how to engage with your local MPs and other decision makers, and how to develop your key messages to best advocate for change.

The advocacy workshops were successfully run for OV/SA and OTas members earlier this year, with one member commenting, ‘They were really valuable sessions – it’s a fantastic initiative from the Association to extend the advocacy skills of the profession’.

The program will be free of charge for the selected candidates.

Workshop dates

  • Workshop 1: Tuesday 4 June, 8:00pm to 9.30pm AEST
  • Workshop 2: Tuesday 11 June 2024, 8:00pm to 9.30pm AEST
  • Workshop 3: Tuesday 18 June 2024, 8:00pm to 9.30pm AEST

How to apply

Express your interest via email to Sarah Davies, Director of Optometry Advancement at Applications close Friday 31 May.

Your email should include your member number and briefly outline (no more than 250 words) your interest in participating in the workshop and what you hope to achieve afterwards.

Advocacy in action

Many Optometry Australia members are already engaged in meaningful conversations with decision-makers. We have profiled some of these meetings; Victorian optometrist Mina You met with her federal MP Michael Sukkar; Optometry Australia Board member Theo Charalambous met with his local Federal MP Dr Katie Allen; and a group of Optometry Australia national Board members met with their MPs to put eye health on the political agenda ahead of the 2022 federal election.

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Acknowledgement of Country

In the spirit of reconciliation Optometry Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.