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By A/Prof Mitchell Anjou, Deputy Director, Indigenous Eye Health, The University of Melbourne

In December 2020, Shannon Davies (nee Peckham) accepted an appointment on the board of the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ), making her the first Aboriginal optometrist to be appointed to the board.

Shannon (pictured above) is a Wiradjuri woman from central NSW and is also thought to be the first Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander woman registered as an optometrist in Australia.

Shannon grew up in Mareeba, near Cairns in Queensland, and completed her optometry degree at the University of Melbourne in 2004. She obtained post graduate therapeutic practice endorsement through QUT in 2014 and her work experience includes OPSM/Luxottica and participation in OneSight clinics. She is currently raising a family and in private practice in Ayr in Queensland.

In addition to her board appointment, Shannon has also served on the OCANZ Indigenous Strategy Taskforce since 2018, and previously was on the Optometry Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Eye Health Advisory Group.

Prof Alex Gentle, Chair of OCANZ, said the board was excited to welcome Shannon when she was elected in December last year.

‘Shannon provides insight as a practitioner expert in delivering eye care in rural and remote settings and her Aboriginal cultural knowledge is highly valued and considered of great importance to the board and the work of OCANZ’, he said.

There are very few Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander optometrists identified through AHPRA and OBA registration (12 in the 2019-2020 report, or less than 0.2% of registered optometrists) and Optometry Australia acknowledges and appreciates the contributions of Shannon and her colleagues to the profession.

This NAIDOC Week 2021, being held from Sunday 4-Sunday 11 July, Optometry Australia is celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Celebrate this NAIDOC week

Optometry Australia is encouraging members to take action by:

Optometry Australia will continue to seek opportunities to progress reconciliation within our own organisation and across the profession. If you would like any more information or to contribute to these efforts, please contact

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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.