Optometry Victoria (OV) and Optometry South Australia (OSA) members will vote on their proposed merger to become one representative optometry body at their AGMs in October. Should the majority of members accept the proposal, the newly amalgamated organisation will become the co-partner of the Optical Distributors & Manufacturers Association of Australia (ODMA’s) recently announced new joint event, O=MEGA19, which is replacing OV’s Southern Regional Congress(SRC) and the biennial ODMA fair.
Given the timing of the members’ vote, OSA’s annual BlueSky conference will be held in November as usual, but will then move to being biennial should the members accept the merger plans. Thus O=MEGA will be held every two years (2019, 2021 etc.) in Melbourne and Blue Sky every two years in Adelaide from 2020.
In the ‘off’ year in the two states, a comprehensive plan of one day CPD events is also being developed, said Pete Haydon, CEO of Optometry Victoria. This CPD potential will also extend to O=MEGA19 for New Zealand-based optometrists, he added.
“We’ve welcomed hundreds of New Zealand optoms to SRC over the years, and offered accredited CPD for them… I anticipate we’ll continue this arrangement and am looking forward to making O=MEGA19 a truly regional event.”
O=MEGA and the proposed merger of OV and OSA also have the backing of Australia’s national optometry body, Optometry Australia. “Optometry Victoria and Optometry South Australia are putting members first and working to provide enhanced services, while ensuring great value for members,” OA national president Andrew Hogan told the association’s online magazine of the same name. While OA’s national CEO Lyn Brodie told NZ Optics, “Optometry Australia is delighted that Optometry Victoria and ODMA have joined forces to launch the new education, eye care and eye wear event, O=MEGA. It is terrific to see sector leaders challenging existing ways of doing business and finding new and interesting ways to support optometrists in meeting their clinical, patient and practice management obligations.”
O=MEGA19 will be held at the newly-expanded Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from July 19-21 2019 and will include dedicated exhibition-only time to suit both delegates and exhibitors.