BOptom, 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 is passionate about corporate governance. She is a member of Governance Institute of Australia (GIA) and Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), and has completed her Certificate in Governance for Not-For-Profits. She was the recipient of Victorian Government’s Women in Leadership scholarship and has completed AICD’s Company Directors Course.
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.
Chair, Finance & Risk Committee
BCom, MTax, MAICD
Theodora Elia-Adams holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Taxation from the University of Melbourne and is a Chartered Accountant and an Associate Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is a board member, former EY partner, business advisor and tax specialist.
Theodora has key skills in governance and quality assurance, finance and budget management, and risk identification and management. She has worked in the medtech, bioscience, construction, health, retail, banking, and wealth management industries.
With 25 years of experience as a trusted business advisor and tax professional working with a broad and diverse range of enterprises from pre-revenue start-ups to some of world’s largest and best known brands, Theodora has valuable insight and experience into what makes businesses successful and the common pitfalls and traps that catch many businesses out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BOptom, PGradDipAdvClinOptom, PGradCertOcTher, FACO
Roman is an experienced optometrist, educator and public health clinician. He has been involved with the ACO since 2007- as full time staff for 12 years and more recently as a sessional optometrist, fulfilling a number of clinical and leadership roles, including Lead Optometrist Primary Care and Head of Primary and Specialist Services. Roman has also contributed to the ACO’s education offerings, through lectures to undergraduate students as well as involvement its certificate courses.
More recently, Roman has worked in senior policy and advocacy roles at Vision 2020 Australia and the Stroke Foundation (current). Roman feels a strong connection with the ACO’s core ethos, mission statement and values; and of the unique position of the ACO in providing leadership in Australian optometry, community, allied health service delivery, education and research.
Outside of the ACO, Roman is currently undertaking a Master of Public Health course and is a Standards Representative on select committees for the Consumers’ Federation of Australia.
B.App.Sci, CRFS, FANZSRS, FAPSR, FThorSoc, Phd
Professor Bruce Thompson AM is an active clinical scientist, with over 30 years of experience working in hospitals, universities, the community sector and business. He is the current Head of Melbourne School of Health Science at the University of Melbourne. Bruce is a key opinion leader in respiratory medicine nationally and internationally and sits on numerous national and international scientific and clinical committees, and boards for the profession, non-government and not for profit organisations, and industry. He has extensive international reputation across medicine (respiratory and cardiovascular) and biomedical engineering. He is past President of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand and was the first non-medical president in the history of the society. His published works include a book on lung function, as well as numerous book chapters and 165 peer-reviewed journal articles and official documents. As an established clinical researcher in lung function, asthma, allergies and respiratory health, Bruce has been awarded competitive grants of over $35.9M including NHMRC and ARC schemes.
B.Optom, MSc, PhD, MBA, GD-ANAMGT, CertOcTher
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.