Past Presidents

2013-2015

Meri Vukicevic


2010-2013

Connie Koklanis


2008-2010

 
Julie Barbour

Zoran Georgievski

 
Zoran held the title of OA President from 2008-2010. He was the Australian representative to and member of the Council of International Orthoptic Association and deputy President of the IOA. Zoran worked tirelessly to achieve his vision in all of these roles.

In 2008, Zoran was appointed associate professor with a conjoint appointment at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH), where he was the manager of orthoptics and diagnostic eye services and at La Trobe University, where he was head of the clinical vision sciences department.

He was an academic leader in orthoptics and a strong advocate of the profession. He encouraged the development of the relationship between the La Trobe University and the RVEEH because he strongly believed that creating links between clinical care, education and research would promote excellence in the delivery of clinical services and ensure the development of a high quality network.

Zoran’s activities extended to his professional association as he lobbied federal and state government in various issues and consistently advocated for initiatives providing opportunities for the orthoptic profession.


2006-2008

Heather Pettigrew


2005-2006

Julie Barbour

Julie Barbour

Julie’s term as President of Orthoptics Australia (OA) commenced in November 2004. During her Presidency, Julie, along with the Federal OA Council, introduced the first of the Upskill Courses. These were introduced to provide a course level education to OA members through a series of modules. The first two modules were held at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne in May.

The OA Council at this time also helped to rewrite and update the Workforce Survey and continued the involvement with submissions to the State Governments regarding Optometry Acts around Australia along with other political issues that affect the profession of Orthoptics. These submissions helped pave the way for the successful achievement for Orthoptists to gain refracting rights in several states.

“Orthoptics is a small profession and we are often frustrated at the slow outcomes of issues politically that are important to our everyday work. As President it was always so positive to see the level of personal commitment by OA councillors and individual members of the profession. Many of the successful outcomes of the Association would not have been possible if not for the dedication of our members. I am honoured to have had the opportunity to be President of OA for a two year term.” – Julie Barbour


2002-2004

Val Tosswill

 
Val Tosswill has been a member of Orthoptics Australia (formerly OAA) since graduating with a Diploma of Applied Science (Orthoptics) and Diploma from the Orthoptic Board of Australia in Sydney in 1985. Val has been an active member of the association, including NSW Treasurer (1993 – 1996), Federal Sponsorship Manager (1996 – 2002), Federal Promotions and Development Officer (1996 – 2002), Federal HPCA and ARRHT representative (2003 – 2005), Federal President-Elect, President and Vice-President (2001 – 2006) and was NSW State Representative on Federal Council for over 10 years.

In 1999 Val was the first recipient of the Paediatric Orthoptic Award and has published works in the Australian Orthoptic Journal a number of times. From 1996-2002, Val was an active participant in the Strategic Planning of Federal OA and has involved OA in numerous public relations exercises. Submissions to the “Review of National Competition Forum” and the “National Eye Care Project” enabled OA to be a prominent entity in these two Australian projects. In 2001, Val approached Vision2020 and paved the way for OA to become a Partner of this national eye care icon. Between 2002 – 2005, Val was instrumental in updating OA’s Rules, Duty Statements and Procedure Manual for Councillors and the Council Body. From 2004 – 2005, she chaired the committee for updating the Professional Competency Standards for Australian Orthoptists and from 2003 – 2007 she co-represented OA by lobbying government bodies in an attempt to gain GST exemption for Australian orthoptists.

In 2007, OA bestowed Val with the honour of Orthoptics Australia Fellow.


2000-2002

Kerry Martin

1997-2000

Kerry Fitzmaurice


1995-1997

Jan Wulff


1993-1995

Barbara Walsh


1991-1993

Anne Fitzgerald


1989-1991

Leonie Collins

1987-1989

 
Margaret Doyle

Margaret Doyle

 
Margaret felt quite strongly about the need for Orthoptics as a profession to break away from the control of the Orthoptics Board of Australia during her time as President. Fortunately, the incoming President, Leonie Collins from Melbourne, agreed with Margaret’s philosophy and followed it up during her term of office.

Margaret constantly examined why the progress of the development of Orthoptics was slow and believed that Orthoptics should be a truly independent and professional organisation.

She also believed that during this time, Orthoptics relied heavily upon the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists who established the esteem and recognition from the community and that this somehow reflected on Orthoptists too. However, Orthoptists neglected to earn this in their own right. Margaret encouraged Orthoptists not to weaken the liaison but to recognize it in a different state.

“The standards of our association must be so high that membership is in itself synonymous with good, professional work and a high code of conduct – it should be the password for acceptance as skilled, health scientists.” – Margaret Doyle


1986-1987

Alison Terrell


1985-1986

Geraldine McConaghy


1983-1985

Neryla Jolly


1982-1983

Jill Stewart


1981-1982

Marion Rivers


1980-1981

 
Keren Edwards

Keren Edwards

 
Keren Edwards recalls her time as President of the Orthoptic Association: In 1980-81 I was living in Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast. As the 38th Scientific conference was to be held in Queensland that year, I also became conference convenor. My mind was constantly on the task ahead. Typewritten letters in carbon copy entrusted to Australia Post and the very odd phone call was my means of communicating with my southern Orthoptic members. The theme “Time for Review” encouraged some thoughtful examination of our profession in an atmosphere of great fun.

At the time I was employed as an Orthoptist at the Nambour Hospital and with a private practice group. The private practice group serviced Gympie, Maroochydore, Noosa ,Caloundra and Kingaroy. We travelled to Kingaroy in a 4 seater Cessna. Being young and fearless, the suspense of flying all the way in cloud and just popping out to land on a small country runway did not then appear dangerous. Apart from comprehensive Orthoptic assessments and ophthalmic technician duties, I had to extend into contact lens fitting, low vision management, assisting minor surgery and clerical duties. Our Ophthalmic service had to cover a very large area well outside a major city.

At that time there were fewer than 10 Orthoptists in Queensland. We had a branch with Jess Kirby as our President. She would have meetings at her private rooms on Wickham Terrace. Jess was always well organised and really knew how to chair a meeting. I remember with pride the loyalty and commitment of our small group. I would travel the two-hour journey down the old Bruce Highway, as did others from the opposite direction. In bad tropical weather my little car could almost become airborne. Purchasing a box of potatoes from a roadside stall would help weigh down my car to deliver me safely home.

I am still doing a session at Caloundra Hospital. The eye clinic moved from Nambour Hospital some years ago. I have my 35-year badge of service and enjoy even more today my chosen Orthoptic profession.

1979-1980

Mary Carter


1978-1979

 
Patricia Dunlop

Patricia Dunlop

 
Patricia Dunlop has been in the orthoptic world since graduating from the first orthoptic training school in Moorfields in 1949. She met her future Australian husband at Moorfields and later came to live in Australia after getting married in 1950. She lived and practiced orthoptics both privately and publicly in Newcastle.

She met Patricia Lance in 1952, which led her to join Orthoptics Australia. She was then elected President on two occasions.

After the initial NSW orthoptic course was set up, Patricia, along with Patricia Lance and other NSW orthoptists arranged for all students from Victoria and NSW to qualify equally.
Patricia has attended numerous conferences and received many prizes and awards for her work as an orthoptist. She and her husband Donald have been part of a team investigating binocular vision, stereopsis and dyslexia. They were one of the first to bring Botulinum toxin A to Australia and investigate its efficacy in squint.


1977-1978

Helen Hawkeswood


1976-1977

Vivienne Gordon


1975-1976

Megan Lewis


1974-1975

Patricia Lance

Patricia Lance

Patricia Lance’s achievements are many and her influence on orthoptics in Australia, significant. She was always interested in the orthoptic profession and encouraged enthusiasm and knowledge development in all eye related fields, particularly neurology.

Patricia became an orthoptist in 1941 and was a founding member of Orthoptics Australia (OA) in 1944. With the formation of the association, the profession met annually for a General and Scientific Meeting. Patricia saw the conference as an opportunity to talk about issues of mutual interest; see subjects from a different point of view; know others are experiencing the same problem; learn of other experiments and results. In 1953, Patricia was key in the establishment of the Emmie Russell Prize to encourage young presenters.

Patricia was president of OA for a record six years, over four terms, and represented Australia during the formation of IOA. Patricia was an orthoptist tutor in 1948 in NSW; Head of School – NSW Paramedical Studies (later CCHS) in 1973 and received an MBE in 1979, before retiring in 1987. Making an important contribution to Orthoptic research, Patricia Lance has a legacy of 21 published articles in the Australian Orthoptic Journal (AOJ).


1973-1974

Jill Taylor


1972-1973

Patricia Lance

 
(see above for details)


1971-1972

Jill Taylor


1970-1971

Neryla Heard

1969-1970

Jess Kirby


1968-1969

Diana Craig


1967-1968

Patricia Dunlop


1966-1967

Helen Hawkeswood


1965-1966

Beverly Balfour


1964-1965

Lucy Retalic


1963-1964

Leonie Collins


1961-1962

Jess Kirby


1960-1961

Helen Hawkeswood

1959-1960

 
Patricia Lance

Patricia Lance

 
Patricia Lance’s achievements are many and her influence on orthoptics in Australia, significant. She was always interested in the orthoptic profession and encouraged enthusiasm and knowledge development in all eye related fields, particularly neurology.

Patricia became an orthoptist in 1941 and was a founding member of Orthoptics Australia (OA) in 1944. With the formation of the association, the profession met annually for a General and Scientific Meeting. Patricia saw the conference as an opportunity to talk about issues of mutual interest; see subjects from a different point of view; know others are experiencing the same problem; learn of other experiments and results. In 1953, Patricia was key in the establishment of the Emmie Russell Prize to encourage young presenters.

Patricia was president of OA for a record six years, over four terms, and represented Australia during the formation of IOA. Patricia was an orthoptist tutor in 1948 in NSW; Head of School – NSW Paramedical Studies (later CCHS) in 1973 and received an MBE in 1979, before retiring in 1987. Making an important contribution to Orthoptic research, Patricia Lance has a legacy of 21 published articles in the Australian Orthoptic Journal (AOJ).


1958-1959

Mary Peoples


1957-1958

Lucille Retalic


1956-1957

Mary Carter


1955-1956

Jess Kirby


1954-1955

Diana Mann


1952-1954

Patricia Lance

 
(see above for details)


1951-1952

R Gluckman


1950-1951

Emmie Russell

1949-1950

E D’Ombrain


1948-1949

Diana Mann


1947-1948

Lucy Willoughby


1945-1947

Emmie Russell