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The audience shows its enjoyment at SA Blue Sky

The 2014 SA Blue Sky Congress wrapped on a sky-high note, with delegates praising the innovative program bringing optometrists and optical dispensers together for the first time.

‘The comments from dispensers and optometrists alike have been excellent, with both groups praising the opportunity to learn from each other,’ Optometry South Australia CEO Libby Boschen said.

‘At the end of the conference, training managers and practice owners were already talking about ensuring both optometry and dispensing staff would be at the conference in 2015,’ she said.

Two hundred and sixty delegates attended this year, engaging in dedicated education streams for optometrists and optical dispensers, and visiting the trade exhibition at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

The 2014 optometry stream was headlined by internationally renowned practitioner and academic Professor Richard Madonna, who presented a series of clinical grand rounds and spoke about developments in his specialist area of glaucoma research. Dr Sally Cockburn—alias Dr Feelgood—provided a change of pace with her presentation on a healthy approach to life.

The dispensers program was developed in close co-operation with the Australian Dispensing Opticians Association, ensuring content met relevant continuing education criteria. Topics covered included the latest dispensing and contact lens technologies, and business management, including balancing business and health care in the practice and building customer trust.

The conference’s famed zany approach paid homage to the 1960s with the theme of Lucy in the (Blue) Sky with Diamonds, complete with JFK and Holly Golightly in attendance in the exhibition area.

‘A little bit of fun keeps the energy levels up and the brain cells ticking over,’ Ms Boschen said. ‘We know it works because our delegates, exhibitors and speakers tell us it’s an important part of why they want to be here each year.’

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