The Optometry Board of Australia (OBA) has appointed New South Wales optometrist Mrs Judith Hannan as its new chair and has welcomed new optometrist board members for Tasmania and South Australia.
Hannan, who assumed the role on 2 December, takes over from Adelaide optometrist Mr Ian Bluntish who was appointed as an inaugural member for South Australia in 2015 before assuming the chairmanship from 2015. Hannan has been the NSW OBA member for the past three years.
With Bluntish’s departure, Miss Renee Slunjski – a therapeutically-endorsed optometrist practising for the eight-practice independent optometry group National Vision Optometrists – becomes the South Australia member for the first time. In addition, she has a Graduate Certificate in Management, and is working towards completing her Masters in Business Administration.
Tasmanian independent optometrist Mr Martin Robinson, who operates Martin’s Eyecare near Hobart, has also recently commenced his first term. He has an interest in contact lenses and dry eye, and has been the Tasmanian state president of the Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia (CCLSA) since 2017, and national vice president of the CCLSA since 2018.
The third new member of the board is Mr Benjamin Graham who will serve his first three-year term as one of three community members.
He has worked for several peak bodies and professional associations in healthcare, agriculture and migration since 2007. Much of his experience has focused on communication, marketing, membership, media and business development work.
Graham has also served as an interim CEO, general manager and executive director during his time working in the associations sector, and has been a director on several not-for-profit boards. Currently, he is working for the Australian Government in communication and administrative roles.
The OBA opened the applications period opened on 16 January 2021 before closing them on 21 February 2021. This took place over 14 National Boards regulating health professions under the National Scheme.
Across all health and medical disciplines, 443 applications were received – 253 applications for practitioner member vacancies and 190 applications for community member vacancies.
All appointments are made by the Ministerial Council for up to three years, under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.
The OBA board now comprises:
Mrs Judith Hannan – Appointed as chair (first term) and reappointed as practitioner member from New South Wales for a period of three years (second term) from 2 December 2021.
Initially a primary care optometrist who owned and ran her private practice for many years until transferring her practices to her partner optometrist, Hannan has since been a locum in the southwest area of Sydney in private practice, industrial consulting and corporate practices.
She is also on Wollondilly Council and is a member of many committees. She is a member of the Optometry Council of NSW and the Australian Hand Therapy Association, Accreditation Committee, and has qualifications in business and mediation. Previously, she has been the president of a group of Councils in the Macarthur region. She has been awarded for her medical advocacy work for the introduction of a cancer therapy drug to PBS.
A/Prof Ann Webber – Reappointed as practitioner member from Queensland for a period of six months (third term) from 15 December 2021.
Dr Carla Abbott – Reappointed as practitioner member from Victoria for a period of three years (second term) from 2 December 2021.
Mr Stuart Aamodt – Reappointed as practitioner member from Western Australia for a period of three years (second term) from 9 December 2021.
Mr Anthony Evans – Reappointed as a community member for a period of three years (third term) from 3 December 2021
A/Prof Rosemary Knight – Reappointed as a community member for a period of three years (third term) from 2 December 2021.
Miss Renee Slunjski – Appointed as practitioner member from South Australia for a period of three years (first term) from 8 December 2021.
Mr Martin Robinson – Appointed as practitioner member from Tasmania for a period of three years (first term) from 2 December 2021.
Mr Benjamin Graham – Appointed as a community member for a period of three years (first term) from 13 December 2021.
More information can be found here.