Governing Council

The ACO is governed by a Council, which acts as its Board of Management.
ACO Councillors are elected by ACO Members on an annual basis, with half the members being elected each year.
The current Council comprises:       

Prof_Konrad_Pesudovs_-_Council_Member

Professor Konrad Pesudovs BScOptom PhD PGDipAdvClinOptom MCOptom FACO FAAO FCCLSA FARVO FAICD

President

Professor Pesudovs was elected to Council in 2010 and was appointed to the position of President in June 2016. His career has been spent in Outcomes Research in Ophthalmology and in Optometric Education. He completed Optometry at The University of Melbourne, a PhD in Ophthalmology at Flinders University and held appointments in the US and UK before returning to Australia to the NHMRC funded Centre for Clinical Eye Research at Flinders University. In 2009 he became the Foundation Chair of Optometry and Vision Science at Flinders University where he designed and operationalised the optometry program until resigning at the end of 2017. He now works as a research and education consultant. He is a Graduate and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. His past governance experience includes roles as a Councillor of the Flinders University Council (2017), Councillor of the SA Division of the Optometrists Association of Australia from 1992-1996. Professor Pesudovs was also on the committee of the SA Chapter of the Contact Lens Society of Australia from 1993-2000, President between 1994-1996. Professor Pesudovs is a member of the editorial boards of two professional journals having previously sat on another six.

Sarah Byrne

Ms Sarah Byrne BA LLB GAICD

Chair Human Research Ethics Committee

Sarah Byrne is a practising lawyer of over 25 years' experience in public law, health law, corporate governance, and related policy development. Positions she has held include General Counsel for the Australian Medical Association and two Commonwealth Government Departments, ACT Public Advocate, Deputy CEO of the ACT Justice & Community Safety Department, and Executive Director with responsibility (inter alia) for Research Integrity and Corporate Governance for the National Health & Medical Research Council. She has served on the boards of several non-profit arts organisations and three NHMRC Partnership Centres, chairs the Commonwealth Department of Health's Human Research Ethics Committee, and is the lawyer member of the Defence and DVA HREC. She is a Principal Advisor for Proximity Legal, and a Consultant for AHRECS Pty Ltd. She has particular interest and expertise in information law, health and medical research law and ethics, and governance in the public and non-profit sectors.

M Anjou Bio

Mitchell Anjou AM MScOptom BScOptom FACO

 

Mitchell Anjou was re-elected to Council in 2019, and has been a member of the Australian College of Optometry since 1982 and a Fellow since 1985. He worked at the ACO for over 22 years as a clinician, educator and manager up to 2010. Since then he has been employed at The University of Melbourne as an Academic Specialist and Senior Research Fellow and is currently Deputy Director of Indigenous Eye Health in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health.
Mitchell trained as an optometrist and completed a research Master’s degree at The University of Melbourne and in 1988 took up a staff optometrist position at the ACO. He was appointed Clinic Director in 1991 and was also a senior fellow and coordinator of the clinical school for the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences in The University of Melbourne.
Mitchell served for over 10 years on the Optometrist Registration Board of Victoria, including five as Deputy Chair, and was subsequently a member of the Registration and Notifications Committee of the Optometry Board of Australia for six years. He was a Director of the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand for seven years and is founding member of the Public Health Optometry Group (PHOG). His other professional involvements include Optometry Australia and Vision 2020 Australia Aboriginal eye health committees and he chairs Optometric Clinical Policy Committee for Optometry Victoria and OCANZ Indigenous Strategy Taskforce.
Mitchell is co-author of The Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision, the policy framework nationally adopted to achieve equitable vision and eye care outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. He publishes, presents, advises and advocates in support of this work. Mitchell was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for contributions to optometry and public health in 2013 and ACO Member Award for Outstanding Service in 2017.

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Mr Rodney A. Hodge. B.Sc.Optom.

 

Rodney has worked in private practice, corporate practice and public health. He has had 23 years working part time for North Metropolitan Health Services – WA, whilst running his own private practice. He has had a variety of experience in management and governance roles across many areas of life in Australia, including 9 years on the Council of Optometry Australia WA Div. when it was Optometrists Association of Australia WA Division and six years on the National Council of the same organization, in the Optometry sphere of his life. Rodney has always had an active interest in continuing professional development for optometrists. Some of the other areas of public life within which Rodney has been involved are local government (Councilor, City of Subiaco, 13 years) and land use planning through Perth Regional Planning Committee (Board Member), Subiaco Redevelopment Authority (Board Member) and Western Suburbs District Planning Committee (Deputy Chairman and Chairman).

Rodney is now semi-retired working casually in optometry locum positions, mostly in rural and remote locations to develop a better understanding the challenges of working in those regions.

 Sophie lo res

Ms Sophie Koh BOptom (UniMelb), GradCertOcTher, LmusTCL

Sophie is an experienced optometrist of 14 years and started her optometry career working in the Northern Territory. Sophie has had broad experience working in both public health and corporate settings across metropolitan, rural and outback Australia. She has also had extensive experience working in ophthalmology teams and training nurses in East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. In her 13 years as a sessional optometrist at ACO, she has supervised many final year students, as well as been an OCANZ examiner for overseas optometrists. Sophie studied her undergraduate optometry degree at University of Melbourne and was amongst the first cohort of graduates to achieve the ACO-Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics. She is now the National Professional Services Advisor at Optometry Australia. Sophie's other hats includes motherhood and being a professional musician. Sophie sits on several arts-related committees, including Music Victoria's Womens Advisory Panel and the inaugural Australian Women in Music Awards Advisory Council. She is passionate about eye care, especially in the areas of public health and indigenous eye health. She is passionate about empowering students and colleagues to improve their knowledge and skills so they can play a wider role in improving the health and wellbeing of our underprivileged communities and those overseas.

 LucasPaul

The Honorable Paul Lucas BEcon LLB MBA MURP CMILT FAICD

Paul Lucas was appointed to Council in July 2014, and reappointed in June 2015. After 10 years’ experience in private legal practice, he served over 15 years in Queensland Parliament including ministerial responsibilities in health service delivery and policy. He was responsible for a number of initiatives in broadening scope of practice for Optometrists and other Allied Health Professionals – an issue he continues to be passionate about.

Mr Lucas served in numerous Ministerial capacities including Deputy Premier, Minister for Health, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Attorney General and Minister for Local Government, and Minister for Innovation and Information Economy.

He holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and in Laws and Master’s Degrees in Business Administration and in Urban and Regional Planning.

He is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Law at Bond University and in Law & Business at Australian Catholic University. He lectures to undergraduate, postgraduate, and into international programs at The University of Queensland.

He is a Non-Executive Director of Powerlink (Queensland Electricity Tranmission Corporation Limited) and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health. He is a Consultant to National law firm Holding Redlich

He is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He holds postgraduate qualifications in Arbitration and Mediation.

lindadenehy

Professor Linda Denehy BAppSc(Physio), PhD

Professor Linda Denehy is Head of the Melbourne School of Health Sciences and Professor of Physiotherapy at The University of Melbourne, Australia. She also has a joint appointment as head of Allied Health Research at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Linda has extensive teaching and learning experience, at both under and post graduate level and has supervised over 30 research higher degree students to completion. Her research interests are in rehabilitation in critically ill patients, those with cancer, COPD and in perioperative medicine. She has over 150 research publications in peer reviewed journals, including 25 invited publications or book chapters and has been invited to 50 national and international meetings as a key note speaker. Linda has been successful in obtaining funding of over AUD $7million for research into physiotherapy and rehabilitation, including as a chief investigator on five nationally competitive grants in rehabilitation after critical illness, lung cancer and in COPD. Linda is a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine where she is currently on a guidelines panel examining rehabiltation in ICU. She reviews for national and international competitive granting bodies and for several international scientific journals including, Lung Cancer, Intensive Care Medicine, Critical Care Medicine and Thorax. https://findanexpert.unimelb.edu.au/display/person14939

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Mr Tim Powell

Tim joined the council in 2018. Tim completed his undergraduate degree at QUT in Brisbane, and moved to Tasmania on graduation to take up a position on the North West Coast. He is therapeutically endorsed optometrist and has a strong history of working with local GP, Ophthalmologists, aged care providers and the rehabilitation ward at the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie.
Tim has worked across independent, corporate and franchise optometry practices, being a partner in a large independent practice before becoming partner in a multi-site franchise optometry business which he sold at the end of 2017.
Tim is involved in optometry profession advocacy, and has extensive experience on state and national based boards. He has held positions on state and national Optometry Australia boards (President and Deputy Chair respectively), was part of the inaugural allied health advisory committee to the Tasmanian Primary Health Network (formerly Medicare Local) and the Optometry Australia Rural Optometry Group.
Tim has a passion for rural and remote eye care, and is currently undertaking a Graduate Certificate Course in Clinical Redesign through UTAS, which looks at how we can improve the patient experience and outcomes in our health system.

denise gronow

Ms Denise Gronow CA

Chair Finance & Risk Committee

Denise Gronow was appointed as Honorary Treasurer and as Chair of the College's Finance & Risk Committee in February 2017. Denise has been an independent member of the ACO's Finance & Risk Committee since March 2014. Denise previously acted as an alternate director on ACO Council between August 2015 and January 2016. Denise is a qualified chartered accountant with significant experience working at a senior level in both the professional practice and banking sectors.

P Keller

Associate Professor Peter Keller, BAppSc(Optom), MBA, PhD, MHEth, PGCert OcTher


Associate Professor Peter Keller has been a Member of the College since 2001, was the VCO Continuing Education and Professional Support Manager from 2001 to 2003, served on the ACO Professional Development and Membership Committee from 2013 to 2014, and was appointed to Council in May 2019.
His vision for the College is based on an understanding that clinical research is a key driver of credibility as optometry takes up the challenges of a rapidly changing health care environment. He brings to Council significant experience across clinical practice in private and public healthcare settings, clinical research both industry and non-industry sponsored, research ethics and governance, and professional associations and membership services. His current research interests focus on the translation of evidence into practice including the systematic identification, appraisal and interpretation of clinical evidence.
Peter is an alumnus of the Queensland University of Technology - BAppSc(Optom) 1985, the University of Western Australia – MBA (1992) and PhD (2008), and the University of Melbourne – MHEth (2003) and PGCert OcTher (2004). He is a named researcher on over $7.5 M of competitive research grant funding, has published regularly in peer-reviewed journals and the professional literature, and presented at domestic and international conferences. He currently holds an appointment at the University of Melbourne as an Honorary Principal Fellow and is a casual clinical teaching instructor supervising OD3 students in the UM eyecare clinic in addition to his main role at the Therapeutic Goods Administration developing and implementing a regulatory oversight program for clinical trials.
Associate Professor Keller has also served on various committees across professional organisations and neuroscience special interest groups, including the Council of the WA Division of the Optometrists Association of Australia from 1988 to 1994, (ex-officio 1995-1997). He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.

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Ms Maureen O'Keefe MBA MAICD BSc Dip Ed

 

ACO Chief Executive Officer

Maureen O'Keefe was appointed as CEO of the Australian College of Optometry in March 2013, having spent the previous seven years as COO at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Maureen holds a Masters in Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science degree with Honours and a Diploma in Education. In addition, Maureen is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Williamson Community Leadership Program and an Executive Education Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Maureen has spent her career in higher education, research and health organisations and has more than fifteen years experience in senior executive roles. Maureen was previously a member of the Council of the Victorian Cancer Agency for 6 years, including two years as a member of the VCA Clinical Trials Working Group. Maureen is currently a Board member of both the BioMelbourne Network (since 2011) and Vision2020 Australia (since 2013). Maureen was appointed to the Victorian Department of Health's Clinical Trial Research Consultative Council from July 2014.

Clare Escott

Ms Clare Escott BSc (Hons) ACA MAICD

ACO EGM Finance & Corporate Services, Company Secretary

Clare Escott was appointed as General Manager Finance & Corporate Services and Company Secretary in December 2010. Clare is a qualified Chartered Accountant who has a wide range of experience, having worked in both private practice and the public sector over the last 20 years. Most recently Clare held the position of Director of Corporate Services for North Down Borough Council, a local authority in Northern Ireland. In this role, she headed up a team of over 50 staff and was responsible for leading the delivery of Finance, Human Resources, ICT, Procurement and Member Support activities across all Council Departments.

 

Other ACO Committees are:

Finance & Risk Committee
Human Research Ethics Committee
NVRI Board of Administration
VES Advisory Committee

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