Optometry NSW/ACT News: 03 October



Super Sunday 2015 - Save the Date!


Farewell Andrew Whatham


We are very sad to advise that our colleague Dr Andrew Whatham passed away on the 25th September 2014. Andrew was most recently a Principal Staff Optometrist at Centre For Eye Health at the University of New South Wales.

Following graduation from North Sydney Boys High School, Andrew entered the Bachelor of Optometry program at UNSW and graduated with first class honours in 1994, receiving the award for Best Academic Record in the Bachelor of Optometry Course.

Following a year in private practice in Tasmania, he was accepted into the postgraduate program at Oxford University, UK. He graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 2000 following completion of his thesis entitled 'The effects of optical and pharmacological perturbation of focus on refractive development and ocular growth in the common marmoset'.

After a six month post-doctoral research position in the physiology laboratory at the University of Oxford, he moved to Switzerland where he was a research fellow in the University of Geneva Ophthalmology Department for six years, focusing on reading strategies in low vision subjects with a central scotoma.

He returned to Sydney in 2006 and worked in a number of clinical and research positions within the UNSW School of Optometry, Brien Holden Vision Institute and in private optometric practice. In 2009, he completed his Graduate Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics at UNSW and took up a position as a Principal Staff Optometrist at Centre For Eye Health.

Over the course of his career he produced 19 peer reviewed papers and has reviewed numerous articles for the journals of Optometry and Vision Science, Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science and Vision Research. He also presented nearly 20 abstracts at various national and international conferences.

Andrew was a kind, intelligent, humble and dedicated optometrist who shared an infectious enthusiasm for, and made significant contributions to, optometry and vision science. He will be greatly missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to Andrew’s family and friends.


Exercise Your Rights


Make the most of an opportunity to influence the future of your Association. The 2014 election of the Council of Optometry NSW/ACT is underway. You should now have received your ballot papers by now. There are two candidates for the Presidency and six nominations for the five available Councillor positions.

Votes must be received at the office of the Division by 5:00pm on Monday 10 November 2014.


CFEH Event - Genetic Eye Disease: Basic Science to Clinical Practice


Topic: Genetic Eye Disease: Basic Science to Clinical Practice
Date: Sunday 19th October, 2014
Time: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Cost: $75 for referring/regional optometrists and $100 for non-referring
CPD Points: 16.5/11 (T)

Genetically inherited eye diseases are often visually devastating from a young age and their diagnosis can have wide-ranging psychological implications for our patients and their families. This full day CPD event comprehensively considers inherited diseases of the retina, macula, choroid and optic nerves. The topics covered will range from basic genetics, genetic counselling and differential diagnoses through to clinical examination and low vision rehabilitation, drawing from current and future research.

Attendees will:

  • Improve their knowledge of basic genetics as relates to inherited eye diseases
  • Have a better understanding of the wide ranging presentations of inherited disorders of the retina, macula, choroid and optic nerves
  • Improve their skills in differential diagnosis
  • Consider the sensitivities involved in the diagnosis and counselling of patients with genetic eye diseases
  • Be updated on current and future research
  • Increase their knowledge regarding the range of low vision rehabilitation strategies for people with inherited eye diseases

For more information or to register, click here. If you have any queries, contact Jody on (02) 8115 0719 or via email by clicking here.


Professional Indemnity Insurance


Members who are employers of other optometrists are reminded that the Association’s professional indemnity insurance policy does not cover the employer for actions of optometrist employees, including locums and independent contractors, who are not members of the Association.

Employees, including locums and independent contractors should not rely on their employers PII cover alone as PII claims can be complex and it is not uncommon for multiple parties to be sued in negligence claims. An aggrieved patient might take concurrent action against the optometrist delivering the service or the practice or the owner of the practice or all three. The safest approach is to maintain your membership of Optometry NSW/ACT.


Registrations Will Soon Fall Due


Renewals for your registration to practice will start to come out soon. Make a diary note – if you haven’t received anything from AHPRA regarding renewal of registration by late October, contact them. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are registered.


Roads & Maritime Services


Although the Medmont M700 perimeter is accepted by NSW Transport Roads & Maritime Services for measuring the fields of driver licence applicants and driver licence renewals, some printouts from the perimeter will be rejected. The Department requires that Medmont M700 Binocular Driving Test Visual Field Charts take this form.