Committee members

Early Career Optometrists NSW/ACT - ECONA - was created in 2019 as a conduit between Optometry NSW/ACT and its early career members. It consists of a committee chair and four subcommittees - Scope of Optometry, Student Engagement, Corporate Engagement and Rural & Regional Engagement. Each of the subcommittees is chaired by one or two members of the main committee.

Chair of ECONA

Jingyi Chen

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“I’m excited to be part of ECONA and passionate about bringing together and fostering strong connections between early career optometrists from all backgrounds. I believe we must build a united front to take control of the future of our profession.”

Co-chair Scope of Optometry

Kerry Ho

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I am keen to be part of ECONA with the desire to advance the field of optometry and to help transition those who are new to their careers. Furthermore, I would like to deliver further education and development in an engaging and interest manner.

Co-chair Scope of Optometry

Sukanya Jaiswal

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I am excited to be involved with ECONA Scope of Optometry subcommittee to strengthen the role of optometrists in healthcare in Australia. It is important to secure the profession in diverse skillset and capabilities and support early career optometrists through a range of career options to excel in their future.

Co-chair Student Engagement

Sue Kweon

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“As an optometrist working in an independent practice for the first time and living in Sydney for the first time, I am forging my future. This perfectly aligns with my mission for ECONA: to empower early career optometrists to build our future in the way we imagine it to be.”

Co-chair Student Engagement

Judy Nam

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I’m excited for this opportunity to be involved in ECONA to represent and promote the passions of young members within the optometric profession. By fostering a positive culture, I want to develop student engagement and create an innovative network for early career optometrists. Ultimately, I look forward to help shaping a progressive future for optometry such that the profession remains an integral part of the healthcare community.

Co-chair Rural and Regional Engagement

Lowana Littlechild

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“I am excited for the opportunity to contribute to the ECONA committee. As a young optometrist practising in a rural area, I am passionate about ensuring that the voices of optometrists like me are heard, and that everyone within the profession is well supported by the association regardless of geographic location. I want to ensure that optometrists remain an integral and respected member of the allied health community in NSW and Australia.”

Tyson Xu

Co-chair Rural and Regional Engagement

Tyson Xu

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I look forward to working with the ECONA team as it presents itself as a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of changing tides in the optometry landscape. I hope that we can realise the full potential of our profession within the healthcare system and be proud of the positive impact we have on our patients.

Co-chair Corporate Engagement

Daniel Rafla

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“I am a newly graduated optometrist who is excited to be out in the real world, testing eyes and helping to deliver optimal eye care. Being a part of the ECONA committee is an amazing opportunity, which will really allow me to contribute to future optometrists in the early years of their career.”

Co-chair Corporate Engagement

Nicholas Tran

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I sincerely appreciate that there is a group of optometrists who are committed to supporting their peers in the corporate industry. I recognise that corporate employment dominates the industry and that a large proportion of our peers work in a corporate environment. As this will likely remain the case for the future I think it is really important that there are resources available to support those in the corporate environment. I would love to support ECONA in developing resources and sharing knowledge on what can be expected from corporate optometry, especially for new graduates. Being a new grad at a rural franchise, I believe that I am in a position to support the ECONA Corporate Subcommittee continue the great work they already do.

Subcommittee members

Additional ECONA members involved in the subcommittees including:
Optometric Scope, Corporate Engagement, Student Engagement and Regional Engagement.

Corporate Engagement

Ivy Kol

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I am excited to be a part of the ECONA subcommittee and my aim is to strengthen relationships between optometrists, corporate bodies and other stakeholders. I believe that fostering these relationships will enable the profession to move forward in a positive direction.

Rural and Regional Engagement

Acyel Al-Alosi

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As an early graduate optometrist working in a regional area, I am excited to be part of ECONA Regional Sub-committee. It is an opportunity to discuss with like-minded individuals on the issues that regional optometrists face and how these issues can be solved. My hope that my engagement with ECONA will bring better community awareness of the optometrist role as well as encourage regional optometrists and other health professionals to co-manage to provide the best clinical care to our patients.

Rural and Regional Engagement

Lynn Qian

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Having graduated in 2020 with limited amount of patient exposure in my final placement year and then moving interstate to a regional town, I understand the challenges that many graduate optometrists are facing. I look forward to be part of ECONA and connecting with the optometrists in rural and regional areas. I hope to grow together and support one another.

Rural and Regional Engagement

Candice Pearson

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I am excited to be part of ECONA on the Rural and Regional Subcommittee as I find working in a regional area myself, connection and engagement with colleagues and linking into face to face CPD can be challenging. Therefore I would love to be able to help encourage online/zoom meetings to build a support network between regional members as an opportunity to share any challenges, as well as triumphs, that working in a regional area brings.

Rural and Regional Engagement

Catherine Huynh

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I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to contribute to ECONA, a team actively advocating for optometry beyond the consultation room. As a regional and early career optometrist myself, I hope to support optometrists in our ever evolving role, including in areas where there may be a maldistribution of health care practitioners and resources.

Student Engagement

Michael Tran

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Student engagement with suppliers and prospective corporate and independent employers is one of the crucial stepping stones to developing our careers as optometrists. I am critically passionate about helping early career optometrists and students better communicate with these groups. Navigating the career space can be difficult and scary! And so I hope to bring my experience to assist both students and early career optometrists in helping to articulate their professional goals, needs and unique skill sets to our wider optical and ophthalmological community.

Student Engagement

Arveen Venzon

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As a current optometry student, I am excited to be given the opportunity to be a part of ECONA and contribute to its initiatives to our always evolving profession. Students are often faced with uncertainty and are left with unanswered questions. With this in mind, it is my hope to provide reassurance and act as a conduit between students, early career optometrists and Optometry Australia NSW/ACT.

Student Engagement

Claudia Jiang

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I am excited to work alongside inspiring optometrists and students to encourage innovation and advancement in our field. Just as ECONA has done for me, I hope to provide endless support along our journey together in becoming fulfilled and accomplished optometrists.

Student Engagement

Soumil Sharma

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I am excited for the opportunity to sit on the ECONA subcommittee. The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough for everyone, including optometry students. Lockdowns have caused uncertainty in graduation timeframes and employment opportunities. In this position I endeavour to better connect current optometry students to optometrists, to help make the transition from being a student to an optometrist just that little bit easier.

Student Engagement

Yu Ri Kim

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I am excited to be granted this position to represent the voices of my fellow student optometrists. As an optometrist-in-training, I share with my colleagues our mutual hopes, dreams and uncertainties about our future in this ever-changing field of optometry. It is my aim to promote the positive practicing culture and the greater opportunities for student engagement to ease our transition into competent mature clinicians.

Scope of Optometry

Natasha Tein

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I am very excited to have the opportunity to be involved in the advocacy for the improvement and advancement of the optometric profession. As an ever-evolving industry, there is vast potential for progression and transformation of the way clinical optometry is delivered. I hope to represent and support your ideas for innovation and expansion of our clinical scope, with the ultimate goal of enhancing patient outcomes and improving quality of patient care.

Scope of Optometry

Elizabeth Chen

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I look forward to supporting and empowering early career optometrists so that they can confidently navigate an evolving professional landscape. My hope is that we can advance together as a profession to progress forward and continue to provide excellent patient care.

Scope of Optometry

Sephora Miao

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I am honoured to be part of the ECONA Scope of Optometry subcommittee. Optometry is an evolving profession and I hope to connect with fellow ECOs, share ideas, and learn from diverse perspectives. Through my involvement, I hope to contribute to the future of our profession.

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