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Prominent George & Matilda figure among changes to OA national board

George & Matilda Eyecare’s (GME) Dr Margaret Lam is one of two newly appointed national directors to the Optometry Australia (OA) board.

Lam, GME’s head of professional services, joins the board after being nominated by Optometry New South Wales Australian Capital Territory division, replacing Mr Steve Zantos. Both remain as members of their state council.

Ms Tori Halsey has also been appointed for the first time via Optometry Tasmania and takes over from Ms Karen Garner-Hamilton. Halsey is also a member of the Tasmania board.

The appointments follow OA’s recent annual general meeting, in which Mr Darrell Baker was re-elected as president and Mr Murray Smith became deputy president, replacing Ms Kylie Harris. Harris, who is an independent director, remains on the national board.

Commenting on her appointment, Lam said she was “honoured and really humbled”. Having served in the Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia for more than 11 years as a state then national president, she believes she is well equipped for the OA directorship.

“I have also worked across a broad spectrum of independent and corporate practices and feel that I can utilise this breadth of experience as a strength to represent Optometry Australia’s member base,” she said.

Lam has also worked in academic roles, including as an adjunct senior lecturer in the School of Optometry and Vision Science at University of New South Wales, and assisting with placements with Melbourne University, Deakin University, and the University of Auckland.

In her current role at GME, she has represented and helped 80 independent practice owners and more than 100 optometrists align with a wider optometry network.

“This overall experience means I have assisted optometrists in various stages of their profession, from when they are a new graduate, to skills development and support through their working career, to strategic changes in their optometry businesses and even succession planning,” Lam said.

“Overall, this makes me uniquely placed as having experience to serve Optometry Australia’s member through every stage of their working life.”

The national board comprises of the following members: president Mr Darrell Baker, deputy president Mr Murray Smith, treasurer Mr Gavin O’Callaghan and directors Mr David Bradley, Ms Tori Halsey, Ms Kylie Harris, Mr John Palassis, Dr Margaret Lam.