Executive Committee Member
BOptom (UniMelb), GradCertOcTher, LmusTCL, CertGovNFP
Sophie started her optometry career in the Northern Territory. She has broad experience working in public health and corporate settings across metropolitan, rural and outback Australia. She has extensive experience working in ophthalmology teams and training nurses in East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Sophie studied her undergraduate degree at the University of Melbourne and Graduate Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics at ACO. She is currently the National Professional Services Advisor at Optometry Australia. She is passionate about empowering students and colleagues to improve their knowledge so they can play a wider role in improving the health and wellbeing of our underprivileged communities locally and overseas. Sophie has special interests in corporate governance, is a member of Governance Institute of Australia, and has completed her Certificate in Governance for Non-for-Profits.
Executive Committee Member
BAppSc(Optom), PGCert OcTher, GradCert Clinic Redesign (UTAS)
Tim completed his undergraduate degree at QUT in Brisbane, and moved to Tasmania on graduation. Tim has a strong history of working with local GP’s, ophthalmologists, aged care providers and hospital based rehabilitation services. 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 in 2017. He 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, was part of the inaugural allied health advisory committee to the Tasmanian Primary Health Network and the Optometry Australia Rural Optometry Group. Tim has a passion for rural and remote eye care, and has recently completed 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.
Honorary Treasurer, Chair, Finance & Risk Committee, Executive Committee Member
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. She 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.
Executive Committee Member
PhD, BOptom, FACO, FAAO, GCOT
Associate Professor Lauren Ayton is an optometrist and medical researcher at the University of Melbourne. She leads the Vision Optimisation Unit, leading both natural history and interventional trials (including gene therapy) for inherited retinal diseases. Her research interests include retinal disease, low vision and vision restoration. Lauren is passionate about research translation and improving patient care. She is also the Director of SPARK Melbourne (a research accelerator program that originated at Stanford University) and is involved in several industry clinical trials and start-up companies. She has previously worked in industry in the USA, as part of a Harvard-affiliated startup company, Bionic Eye Technologies. Lauren has held positions on a number of committees, including Optometry Australia, Vision 2020 and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Dip Optom (SA), CertOcTher, SpecCertMNOD, GAICD
Darrell Baker is the owner and director of Bullseye Optometry and Sensory Clinics in Perth, Western Australia. He has a special interest in the management of neuro-ophthalmic disorders. Darrell graduated in Johannesburg in 1986 and worked in Zimbabwe, South Africa and the United Kingdom before migrating to Australia in 1999 where he worked as a partner in an independent practice for 12 years. Darrell has extensive experience in corporate governance. He is the immediate Past President Optometry Australia, former Vice President and Board director Optometry Australia, and is Past President Optometry Western Australia. Darrell is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Chair, NVRI Board of Administration
Linda Denehy is Professor of Physiotherapy and past Head of the Melbourne School of Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne and a registered Physiotherapist. She also has a joint appointment as Professor of Health Services Research: Allied Health at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Melbourne. Professor Denehy has extensive teaching and learning experience at both under and post graduate levels and introduced the new Doctor of Physiotherapy course at the University of Melbourne in 2011. Professor Denehy is a past President of the Council of Physiotherapy Deans of Australia and New Zealand and Deputy Chair of Victorian Health Deans. She has supervised over 40 graduate research students to completion and currently supervises four PhD and five Post-Doctoral students. Her research interests are in pre and rehabilitation in acute care including in intensive care, oncology and perioperative management where she is passionate about improving patient centred outcomes. Professor Denehy has been invited to deliver 50 presentations both nationally and internationally. She has over 200 publications, including 35 invited papers and has been successful in grant funding of AUD $16million including as a chief investigator on six National grants and a Wellcome Trust UK grant on rehabilitation topics.
LLB GDLP LLM (International Law) BA(Media) GAICD
Sayuri Grady is currently Special Counsel consultant lawyer with Lawyerbank, having previously been General Counsel and Head of Legal at the Australian Public Service Commission. She has 15 years Executive and Senior Executive experience as a lawyer for various Australian Government Departments, including in Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Indigenous Affairs portfolio advising on Indigenous policy and working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations. Sayuri has a diverse portfolio of Board and Committee experience, including the Australian Research Council, Australian Government Legal Service, the ACT Legal Aid Review Committee and is an External Adjudicator for ACT Corrections. She is a Past President of the ACT Division of the Association of Corporate Counsel Australia and was Chair of the Australian Government Legal Network’s Professional Development Committee. Sayuri is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Rodney is an experienced optometrist who has worked in private practice, corporate practice and public health. He worked part time for over 20 years with North Metropolitan Health Services in Western Australia whilst running a private optometry practice. He has had a variety of experience in management and governance roles, including nine years on the WA division of the Council of Optometry. Rodney has an active interest in continuing education for optometrists. He has also served the community through local government (Councillor, City of Subiaco, 13 years) and a number of planning and land use committees in Perth. As part of his transition to retirement Rodney undertook some locum optometry work mostly in rural and remote locations providing him with a greater understanding of the challenges of working in those regions. Rodney is now fully retired from Clinical Optometry.
B.Optom, MSc, PhD
Dr Michelle Waugh completed undergraduate optometry and research degrees in glaucoma and Age related Macula Degeneration at the University of Melbourne. She has worked with remote communities in UK and Sri Lanka providing eye care as well as in Australian corporate and public health settings. She is passionate about continuing education and helped to build the ACO education portfolio during her time with the ACO as a manager and Head of Education. She has board experience at community NFP and was part of a Medicare advisory committee for Optometry Australia. She is currently completing an MBA and Graduate Diploma in Data Analytics Management with Melbourne Business School. She is currently a research fellow in the health services research unit at the Centre for Eye Research Australia.