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By Helen Carter

Evan MacRae is the new executive officer of Optometry Western Australia (OWA).

He replaces Tony Martella who, after 13 years at the helm, left in March for a position with the Australian Medical Association.

Mr MacRae, who started in the role on May 1, has a wealth of experience in business management, advocacy and health care fields, including advocacy in pharmacy.

‘There is some comfort in the fact that I’ve joined an organisation that has a cohesive voice in WA and that our organisation has an integral role in the overall voice and direction of optometry nationally,’ he said.

‘Value for members is also important and encouraging relevancy.’

Mr MacRae hopes he can work with members, and embrace the Good vision for life campaign in WA, to draw more people through practice doors.

He would also like to investigate ways to reward optometrists and their contribution to community eye health and to leverage the OWA and an Indigenous Aboriginal health day in WA in March. He is keen to involve politicians and key industry sectors outside optometry, such as the mining and resources sector.

President of Optometry WA, Rob Howie said: ‘Evan is new to optometry but I’m sure he will work hard to improve Optometry Western Australia and the benefits provided to each and every member.

‘I am also sure his insights from other industries will benefit us, as well as members of our Federation.’

Advocacy for pharmacy at home

Mr MacRae originally studied nursing at WA School of Nursing then worked as a nurse for 18 months including in the occupational health and safety field. He also studied psychology before moving into the world of business.

A sales job with a medical and surgical company kicked off his business career and he later became state manager before moving to manage the home health care division of Faulding Pharmaceuticals.

‘This role involved growing, educating, training and helping community-based pharmacies link with the community and developing advocacy on their behalf,’ he said.

‘It involved promoting the care pharmacists could provide in looking after people at home to help them remain independent, and the value of community pharmacies in this role.’

After this Evan became a state manager for Chubb Business Services and had five divisions reporting to him including medical and surgical supplies, paramedical labour hire and ambulance and first aid services to the mining sector.

He oversaw the buying of a nursing agency and grew this from a $1.2 million to an $18 million business in two years.

He later ventured out on his own and bought a small labour hire company, and several other similar businesses including a labour hire, executive recruitment and HR consultancy with 600 employees on the books at any one time.

The company was successful in gaining several WA state government tenders.

Top 100 business people

In 2014, Evan MacRae was named one of the top 100 most influential business people in WA by Nifnex, an organisation which runs business networking events.

Work as a business mentor, providing advice and counselling to the small business sector on behalf of West Coast Institute of TAFE later led to a job as the CEO of the Stirling Business Centre in Perth where Evan was involved in business advising, lobbying, mentoring and advocacy, helping businesses source revenue streams including government funding. He also managed a business incubator with 23 tenants.

Mr MacRae’s most recent job before coming to OWA was working as a resources manager, developing efficiencies and managing staff in the mining sector.

He has a partner and a daughter, enjoys boating, fishing and swimming and is a motor racing fan.

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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.