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Last year, Optometry Australia offered 100 members the opportunity to undertake cultural safety education through Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA). Following the incredible interest we received in this space, we’re pleased to announce that we have purchased access to IAHA’s Cultural Responsiveness Training (Levels 1 and 2), available to all members via the Optometry Australia Institute of Excellence. This course is free for all members.

IAHA’s cultural safety training is market-leading, and uses its evidence-based Cultural Responsiveness Framework. Levels 1 and 2 are action-oriented and highly interactive, focusing on strength-based outcomes through critical self-reflective practice. Together, these courses offer up to eight hours of CPD (three non-clinical hours for Level 1 and five non-clinical hours for Level 2).

In 2022, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) and National Boards (except Medical, Nursing and Midwifery and Psychology) released a revised shared Code of Conduct which took effect on 29 June. The revised Code includes a new section on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and cultural safety, requiring that all optometrists provide culturally safe and sensitive practice for all communities. As such, we strongly recommend all members undertake both levels of the training.

IAHA Cultural Responsiveness Training modules

Level 1

  • Develop a foundational understanding of the diversity of cultures and languages, including the variables in terminology and communication with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples

Level 2

  • Develop a foundational understanding of the 2019 IAHA Cultural Responsiveness Framework
  • Develop a foundational understanding of the politics of identity and diversity of culture both for the individual and that of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Develop a foundational understanding of the impacts of global dominant cultures and how differences in culture and communication can hinder the engagement of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, creating barriers towards accessing health care and optometry services

It is our goal that optometrists and businesses possess the knowledge, skills and attitudes to provide culturally responsive care. We strongly encourage all members to complete this valuable training.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at or call 03 9668 8500.

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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.