Our People

The ACO has a large staff of professional and extremely competent personnel, made up of optometrists from graduate to senior levels, as well as non-optometrists in support and management roles.  

Listed below are details of our management team:

Maureen OKeefe 2014

Chief Executive Officer - Maureen O'Keefe

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.
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Clare Escott

Executive General Manager, Finance & Corporate Services - Clare Escott

Clare is the Executive General Manager of Finance & Corporate Services and Company Secretary at the Australian College of Optometry. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (Chemistry) and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Clare has had wide experience of audit and accounting, financial management, consultancy, governance, project delivery and management of corporate support services. She has held a range of senior management positions across the professional practice, government and not-for-profit sectors.
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Michael Ibbotson

Director of the National Vision Research Institute - Professor Michael Ibbotson

Professor Michael Ibbotson was recruited as the new Director of the National Vision Research Institute in 2010 and started in the position in July 2011.  Professor Ibbotson carried out his PhD in the field of visual neuroscience at Queen Mary, University of London.  He took up a post-doctoral fellowship in the Centre for Visual Sciences at the Australian National University, Canberra, working with Professor Srinivasan in 1989.  In the last year of that post he won an ARC research fellowship, during which he worked with Professor Richard Mark.  He was awarded tenure at ANU in 2001 and simultaneously became Chair of Faculty at the Research School of Biological Sciences.  He became Head of the Visual Sciences Department in 2006, and Associate Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science in 2007.  In that same year he was tasked with the development of the Eccles Institute of Neuroscience at ANU.  In 2011 he became Professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne and also holds an honorary position at Monash University and a visting fellowship from the Australian National University.  Professor Ibbotson has worked extensively at Emory University, Atlanta and New York University as part of research exchange programs since 2003.  He has strong research collaborations with the University of Washington, the University of Queensland and with Monash University.  He is one of the twelve Chief Investigators that won the special fund in 2009 to develop an Australian-built bionic eye.
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Sharon Bentley

Director Clinical Services - Sharon Bentley

Associate Professor Sharon Bentley obtained her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Optometry at the University of Melbourne, Australia and a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, USA. Sharon was appointed as Director of Clinical Services in 2014.  Sharon has experience as an Optometrist clinician, researcher and educator. She was the recipient of international postdoctoral awards that supported her research on the effect of glaucoma on falls and driving performance. Her current interests include the impact of low vision on functional performance and quality of life, vision and driving, the development of patient reported outcomes for use in clinical trials, the evaluation of eye care services and public health optometry, and optometry education. In 2010 Assoc. Prof. Bentley was awarded a Churchill Fellowship. She holds an Honorary appointment at the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, University of Melbourne, is Chair of the Optometry Australia Low Vision Working Group and the Vision 2020 Independence and Participation Committee, and Associate Editor (low vision and public health) for Clinical and Experimental Optometry
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Neville Turner

General Manager, Business Systems & Development – Neville Turner

Neville Turner graduated as an optometrist from the University of Melbourne in 1990 and begun work at the (then) Victorian College of Optometry as a Staff Optometrist. Over the years he has worked in many different areas of the organisation including managing a metropolitan clinic, involvement with low vision service provision, lecturing and clinical teaching.  Whilst working at the ACO Neville has completed further post graduate studies including a Certificate for the Rehabilitation of the Partially Sighted, a Post Graduate Diploma of Advanced Clinical Optometry and a Graduate Certificate of Ocular Therapeutics.  Over the past 15 years Neville has undertaken various management roles in the ACO esponsibilities for IT, reception, business, dispensary services and clinic operations. 
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 Jolanda DeJong

General Manager Professional Development - Jolanda DeJong

Jolanda DeJong joined the ACO in October 2012.  Jolanda holds a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Commerce. She worked in The Netherlands as a teacher before she came to Australia 17 years ago.  Jolanda has held a number of senior management positions in the areas of  service delivery and education industries. Most recently Jolanda was the Tasmanian State Manager and Manager of the Specific Interests Faculty for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. She was responsible for the delivery of a wide range of member services, including CPD, exams, collegial events and advocacy. Her experience in managing projects, leading change and delivering on service outcomes provides an excellent set of skills to the role of GM Professional Development.
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Lead Optometrists
Head of Clinic Operations & Support Services – Jennifer Caulfield 

Head of Primary & Specialist Eye Care Services - Roman Serebrianik

Head of Community & Outreach Services – Piers Carozzi

Head of Teaching & Quality - Jane Trevaskis

Communications & Marketing Manager - Elda Rebechi

Human Resources Manager - Sue Jeffreys