0.3% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
57.6% female; 42.4% male
35 notifications lodged with Ahpra about
1 immediate action taken
2 mandatory notifications received
10 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year
10 cases being monitored at 30 June:
4 criminal offence complaints made
No matters decided by a tribunal
No matters decided by a panel
No appeals lodged
The Optometry Board of Australia continued to
deal with issues related to COVID-19. However,
with the lifting of state border restrictions, we met
face to face in March for the first time in two years.
The Board considered how regulatory approaches
could be modified to accommodate exceptional
circumstances, and optometrists were added to the
pandemic sub-register to support Australia’s surge
We encouraged practitioners to continue to
complete continuing professional development
(CPD), while recognising the difficulty in meeting
those requirements due to COVID-19. The Board
issued an assurance that it would not take action if
practitioners could not meet the CPD registration
standard due to the pandemic and also continued
its financial hardship policy. The Board approved
additional English-language tests to meet the
English-language skills registration standard,
in recognition of the changing international
environment for international applicants.
In February, the Board approved the Optometry
Council of Australia and New Zealand’s (OCANZ)
revised standards for the accreditation of Boardapproved
entry-level programs for optometry. These
standards will come into effect in 2023 and include
greater emphasis on the integration of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander cultural safety into optometry
The Board released the cross-profession
Supervised practice framework.
The Board added a new medicine to the approved
list of topical medicines contained in Appendix B
of the Guidelines for use of scheduled medicines.
The Board released a revised Code of conduct
in partnership with several other Boards.
The Board released resources to help optometrists
and their patients understand and apply the revised
Code of conduct.
The Board once again convened its annual meeting
of the Optometry Regulatory Reference Group in
October, and increased its focus on engaging with
consumer organisations and with Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Members of the Board provided virtual lectures on
professional obligations to final-year optometry
students graduating from a number of Boardapproved
courses in 2021.
The Board said farewell to three Board members: Mr
Ian Bluntish, previous Chair and practitioner member
from South Australia; Associate Professor Daryl Guest,
practitioner member from Tasmania; and Ms Adrienne
Farago, community member.
In December the Health Ministers appointed
three new members to the Board: Mr Benjamin
Graham, community member; Miss Renee Slunjski,
practitioner member from South Australia; and Mr
Martin Robinson, practitioner member from Tasmania.
I started my first term as Chair of the Board and
became the first woman to chair the Optometry
Board of Australia.
Mrs Judith Hannan (Irvine)