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Lockdowns spark return of Southern Regional Congress

Optometry Virtually Connected

Optometry Victoria South Australia (OV/SA) has unveiled the speaker line up for the re-launched Southern Regional Congress (SRC), which is taking place next month virtually in lieu of the cancelled O=MEGA21 event.

Previously held annually between 2000 and 2018, SRC was the leading optometry clinical conference in Australia that brought together eyecare professionals for education and professional development, while showcasing the latest equipment.

A/Prof Daryl Guest.

Three years later, and amid widespread COVID-19 lockdowns, it is returning in an online format, with OV/SA able to retain most lectures scheduled for the original O=MEGA21 conference.

The program – taking place 2-4 September – has up to 23.5 hours of clinical CPD content (with assessment), including up to 14.5 therapeutic hours (with assessment) and up to 8.5 hours of interactive content (with assessment).

The program can be found here, with notable speakers including retired optometrist and University of Melbourne (UniMelb) program coordinator Associate Professor Daryl Guest (Orals: The Next Frontier), Melbourne optometrist and contact lens expert Mr Richard Lindsay (From soft to scleral lenses – contact lens management of keratoconus), and optometrist and senior research fellow Mr Tim Fricke (Paediatrics: assessment protocols and treatment plans).

Dr Anton Van Heerden.

Dr Anton Van Heerden, who heads the Surgical Ophthalmology Services Department at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, will also feature (Cataract Surgery: Public and Private: Options, Outcomes and Opportunities), as well as UniMelb’s Professor Allison McKendrick (Updates on glaucoma). Deakin’s Dr Alex Gentle and the UniMelb’s Dr Holly Chinnery will host separate presentations on therapeutics.

For original O=MEGA21 delegates wanting to attend SRC Online, OV/SA has transferred registrations across, however it has refunded a portion of the O=MEGA21 registration fee, noting online conferences should not cost as much as face-to-face events.

Sophie Koh.

OV/SA CEO Mr Pete Haydon has also been keen to stress the event will present as a professional TV broadcast.

South Australian optometrist Ms Cassandra Haines, who is also an associate lecturer at Flinders University and policy and advocacy advisor for Optometry Australia (OA), and OA’s national professional services advisor Ms Sophie Koh will host SRC Online.

Pete Haydon.

“We’re working closely with production company Scene Change, who did a fabulous job with us at the hybrid Blue Sky conference earlier this year,” Haydon said.

“SRC Online won’t look like a static webcam stream – it’ll look much more like a TV broadcast. It’ll be interactive, colourful, educational and fun. I encourage everyone who can come to register.”

O=MEGA23 will next take place in 2023 in conjunction with the 4th World Congress of Optometry.

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