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The theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) in 2024 is ‘Invest in women: Accelerate progress’. Held on 8 March each year, Optometry Australia harnesses IWD annually to highlight the important conversation of gender equality with our members, over half of whom identify as women, within the context of optometry.

In between working in a busy, private practice and in the outpatient Eye Clinic at the Royal Hobart Hospital, Lisa finds time to contribute to the profession in her role of treasurer for Optometry Tasmania. She graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2009 and has particular interests in glaucoma, children’s vision, and specialised contact lenses.

Lisa spoke to Optometry Australia about her career to date and how others have helped her along the way.

Why did you choose a career in optometry?

At high school, I was drawn to health and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. Since my dad is an optometrist, I had an excellent insight into what optometry might be like as a career.

I was attracted to optometry’s fulfilling mix of healthcare and business, as well as the prospect of a manageable work-life balance.

Where are you currently working?

I’m lucky to enjoy a diverse and fulfilling career. Three days a week, I consult and also help manage at Glenorchy Eyecare, a full-scope, independent practice in Hobart. I am also committed to one session a fortnight in the optometry-led Glaucoma Screening and Monitoring Clinic at the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH). Finally, I’m the treasurer of the Optometry Tasmania board.

What have you found to be the biggest challenge of your career?

Without question, the biggest challenge is my current one of transitioning into practice ownership. It’s an exciting and steep learning curve – developing skills I didn’t know I’d need. These include understanding how to manage staff, learning about equipment and IT requirements and making business decisions.

What has been your biggest career highlight so far?

It’s hard to single out a single moment but for me, working with inspiring optometrists and other health professionals is definitely a highlight.

My various roles in optometry practices and on the Optometry Tasmania board have provided many opportunities to engage with the amazing people in our profession. My current role at the RHH in a multidisciplinary team of ophthalmologists, orthoptists, optometrists and nurses informs and inspires me about the broader picture for eye care and health care in Australia.

In line with this year’s theme for IWD, has anybody invested in you and helped shape the optometrist that you are today?

I feel extremely lucky that many wonderful professionals give their time, energy and expertise to my professional journey. Rod Baker, with whom I worked with at Sunbury Optical, is an incredible practitioner and educator. He invested so much time and energy into building my confidence and skills. My Dad, John, has provided guidance and support daily over the long term. I wouldn’t be the professional I am today without him.

What advice would you give an optometrist navigating the early stages of their career?

It can be hard to get the work-life balance right, but I find time invested in peer networking (face-to-face or online) to be particularly worthwhile. Colleagues and early career optometry groups can provide great support and guidance. The early years are an ideal time to diversify skills and seek out experience with high quality mentors.

How do you maintain a healthy work life balance? What are your hobbies and interests?

Lisa with her family in New Zealand

It’s a constant challenge in the modern workplace to maintain balance, particularly with a young family.

However, optometry is a great career as it supports working part time and is flexible. The work itself being so interesting and variable is also very fulfilling.

As for hobbies, I really love making the most of all that Tasmania has to offer. I enjoy hiking and camping with my family, visiting wineries and restaurants. I also love gardening and am having more success with indoor plants than outdoor at this stage!


Can you recall a moment in your career where you faced self-doubt or imposter syndrome? 

Many times! For example, I had imposter syndrome when I joined the Optometry Tasmania board, as I felt very much out of my depth. However, it’s been so rewarding and I’ve been well supported with mentorship and formal training. Now I feel confident in my capacity to perform my role as treasurer and I’m really glad I took up the challenge.

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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.