We asked committee member Sue Kweon to give us an overview of ECONA – the Early Career Optometrists arm of NSW/ACT. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: What is the purpose of the ECONA committee?
A: ECONA was established in 2019 to meet the needs of 500+ early career optometrists – or ECOs (= less than 10 years of professional experience including final year students), who are members of Optometry NSW/ACT.
In a shifting landscape, ECOs now have a vastly different set of challenges to face, including:
- More competition for positions in sought-after locations
- Greater difficulty setting up your own practice and compete successfully
- Greater scrutiny from regulatory bodies (such as Medicare) into billing practices
Q: What does the ECONA committee do?
A: We engage with members in a range of ways; by organising CPD and social events to empower more ECOs to expand their scope of practice and/or enter new career pathways.
The optometrists who make up our main ECONA committee (and subcommittees for Corporate Engagement and Optometric Scope) come from a range of backgrounds, including corporate, independent, academia and final-year undergraduate students.
Q: How can I get involved with ECONA?
A: As long as you’re a member of Optometry NSW/ACT, we welcome you to apply for a position on the ECONA main or subcommittees as they become available. These positions will be clearly advertised via Optometry NSW/ACT communications as they come up.
Even if you’re not on the committee, you can still be involved in ECONA activities and conversations. We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch via our Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: What sort of services does ECONA / Optometry NSW/ACT offer Early Career Optometrists?
- Contract advice (highly recommended for new grads)
- Advice on employment and work-place rights
- Professional development
- Audit support
- Business support
- Clinical support (particularly if you don’t have a mentor)
Q: What kind of activities is ECONA planning?
A: You can learn about our ECONA events on our events page.