O=MEGA 21 – Finally Bringing the Industry together

After a year of Event cancellations, ODMA and Optometry Victoria are looking forward to bringing O=MEGA21 to Melbourne in September. Understandably, there may be some apprehension around attending an event after the lockdowns 2020.

However, this event is being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and a Victorian Government approved COVID safe venue.

Yet despite the disruption caused by COVID the industry’s confidence in its own event O=MEGA21 presented by ODMA and Optometry Victoria/South Australia, was confirmed when within 48 hours of launching the floorplan the fair has virtually sold out.  To find out about the limited opportunities left for exhibitors and sponsors please contact amanda@omega21.com.au 

The Optical Industry have missed so many events over the last 18 months, and by September, the industry will be ready to be on display again. The majority of the industry understand that the COVID risk is diminishing, and the Government is continually monitoring and controlling any outbreaks.

This year we welcome back exhibitors such as De Rigo, Safilo, Optiqueline, Rodenstock, ZEISS, Hoya, Optos, Optimed, BOC, Device Technologies, Van Staveren Eyewear, Good Optical, Aarons Eyewear, and Designs For Vision, to name a few, we also are glad to have new entrants to the market such as Marcolin join us. 

The conference launched on April 1st with early bird pricing and OVSA are delivering a strong program to meet all the new guidelines and maximise your time. The masterclass and Knowledge centre education programs will follow. Please note veteran TAFE optical dispensing teacher Steve Daras will headline those sessions. 

O=MEGA21 will be a face to face conference and exhibition with no virtual component – so start making plans now to block out the time to attend. 

Australians are safe to travel interstate, to New Zealand, go to venues and lead everyday lives. That combined with the vaccine rollout, Australia is a very safe place to be. With everyday lives returning, this also enables Events to return. We are excited to see events happening for all industries in every state happen as industries reawaken, and in September, it is the Optical Industry’s turn too.

All of these factors have made us confident in bringing O=MEGA21 and the industry together.

ODMA CEO Finola Carey met with MCEC, who have devised a VenueSafe Plan designed to reassure people that MCEC is ready to operate a safe environment with scalable control measures to ensure certainty in this changing environment. All employees, visitors, customers and contractors can have the utmost confidence that MCEC has developed an intelligence-led VenueSafe Plan, in consultation with industry experts, that employs risk mitigation principles to ensure the health and safety of all.

Throw into the mix a culture of monitoring, responding to danger signals before they result in harm.

• Check proof of registration at venue entry

 • Support visitors where required throughout the venue

MCEC supports and encourages the use of the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe mobile app. The app helps health authority contact tracers identify people who may have been exposed to

Additional Information

Business Events Grants for exhibitors and delegates to OMEGA21  
Please take note of the following Business Event Grant Info:
 The good news is that the Business Events Grant program applications are extended to 30 June 2021.  
On 11 March 2021 the Australian Government announced an extension to the Business Events Grant program. The current program closed yesterday 30 March 2021 but will re-open mid-April 2021 when the website will be updated.
Current details here but this will be updated mid-April https://business.gov.au/grants-and-programs/business-events-grants
For Exhibitors & Delegates If you have not already applied wait till mid-April and apply if your expenditure is over $10K  For Delegates/Visitors
– If your expenditure is less than $10K you are not eligible so make sure you combine all the practice members attending in one application
– Minimum spend will be $10K for a grant of up to 50% of this
– The Grant will be paid on execution of the Grant Agreement.
– Grants will be audited so you need receipts to prove expenditure although in the application process quotes and invoices seem to suffice.
Remember when they have allocated the full $50m there will be no more grants so first in first served  This is NOT legal advice – it is provided to assist you make a grant application.
Book the half-price flights offered by Government to O=MEGA21 (AVALON)
The flight sale will kick off on April 1 and end on July 31, 2021.

Travel dates for the half-price fares are between May and September 2021.

800,000 tickets in total will be sold at half price – which breaks down to around 46,000 half-price tickets available per week for the 13 destinations.

Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar are all on board to sell tickets at half price. Other smaller operators may opt in on the serviced routes chosen by the government, such as REX, but they must have been running the route for at least two years.

To be eligible for the discount, customers must book through the airline’s website. So for Qantas, visit here. For Virgin Australia, visit here. And for Jetstar, visit here.
No. Half-price fares only apply to those travelling interstate and those flying directly to the nominated destinations (Sydney and Melbourne residents, for example, won’t get half-price fares to Kangaroo Island, as there are no direct flights from the cities).

Welcome Amanda!

Amanda profile pic

ODMA is very pleased to announce the appointment of Amanda to the position of General Manager for O=MEGA21, the major industry event that is a joint venture between ODMA and Optometry Victoria South Australia (OV/SA).

2021 marks the return of Face to Face Events in Australasia with O=MEGA21

Amanda says “I plan to ensure the event is well run and continues to focus on the needs of all stakeholders. I am focused on ensuring the event is a major benefit to the industry. I am all about working to make our participants lives as easy as possible as they organise their involvement and working to deliver the best value and outcomes possible whether that be for exhibitors, sponsors, visitors or delegates.”


Amanda has built and grown many successful conferences and events in her prior roles for a broad range of organisations. In recent years Amanda has run a trade association and held business development roles for not for profit and charitable organisations.

Amanda achieved a Bachelor of Business and has a Post Graduate qualification in Tourism and Event Management as well as various qualifications in Project Management, Time Management, Event Management and Coaching.

Amanda was ranked 15th on the BRW self-made female entrepreneur list when she ran her own event management business and was a Telstra Small Business Award NSW finalist. She also won multiple industry Meetings Management Awards and served on the MIAA NSW Board as well as wrote and delivered event management courses for Colleges and Universities.

She is a mother of two daughters, lives on the Northern Beaches and loves coastal walks.

Amanda describes herself as a results-driven individual who has always been ‘super organised’, is committed to continual learning and who loves project managing events given it requires such a range of skills. Amanda told us she feels that “getting to see all the planning come together onsite and witnessing the power of shared experiences at an event is so rewarding.”

In addition to Amanda’s extensive event experience, she has previously worked as a business coach and has a real passion for helping businesses grow. Amanda knows from experience the benefits of collaboration within an industry and the power of face-to-face events and is now ready to see how she can be of service to the ophthalmic industry.

Please feel free to contact Amanda at anytime:

02 9450 0765 or  amanda@omega21.com.au

From the ODMA CEO’s Desk, by Finola Carey

Welcome to the new decade – it starts in 2021! Lets put the last one behind us firmly and look to a bright future. Before we do that it is time to congratulate the industry for the way the crisis was handled and where better to celebrate than at our own industry event O=MEGA21 to be held in Melbourne from 2-4 September. Time to start planning now!

In December last year, I reached a milestone I could never have predicted – 25 years at the helm of ODMA. I thought it would be interesting to reflect on some of the key events of my tenure. In 1995 I commenced work for both ODMA and The Better Vision Institute. The BVI had membership from both industry and practitioners both paying a levy on sales to help fund campaigns to promote eye care and the benefits of eyewear. 

1997Screenshot 2021-02-14 132614
The BVI was subsequently reinvented as the Eyecare Information Service. This was the frst attempt anywhere in optics to bring cross representation to collaborate on projects for the good of the industry. Some of the key opinion leaders who served on that board were (Professor) Gerard Sutton (Ophthalmologist), (Professor) Brian Layland (Optometrist), Tony Lord (Optometrist), the late Lindsay McGregor (Optical Dispenser), the late David Dixon (Wholesaler), Alan Smith (OPSM), Diane Quaife (Wholesaler) and the late David Wilson (TAFE teacher and dispenser). The culmination of the EIS plans was the introduction of an annual national Eye Care Week which launched in August 1997 with much-combined media activity. We created a one-minute sight saver test which essentially directed all customers to get an eye test with their optometrist.


Screenshot 2021-02-14 132655The late Brien Holden approached ODMA about the founding of Vision2020 whose aim was to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020. From then on ODMA put its support behind this uniting organisation and ODMA is still a member.

In 2012 we proposed a bold new vision for ODMAFAIR and beyond with the significant decision to move the event to Brisbane. The ODMA fairs were national events reaching a national audience. Moving from Sydney signalled a dramatic change, recognising national coverage for the fair. As well as that 2013 represented the last year before the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre was to be demolished, and not available again until 2016.


Screenshot 2021-02-14 132558In August, ODMA purchased Eye Talk Consultants. Eye Talk was established by Margaret McCann and Tony Hanks in 1980 to provide “a reliable source of comprehensive product information” to eye care practitioners. The sale of Eye Talk to ODMA included the Reference Guide, the Digital Download, and the
Progressive Lens Guide. ODMA has since gone on to develop two very successful supplements, an Annual Equipment Magazine and a consumer-facing LOOKBOOK.



Screenshot 2021-02-14 132638ODMA and Optometry Victoria announced the most significant change to the optometric conferences and events landscape in Australia. The two market leaders in optics education and events joined forces to launch O=MEGA19. Replacing SRC and ODMA19, O=MEGA combined the most credentialed and largest annual optometry conference in the Southern Hemisphere with the largest eye care and eyewear show in Australia with huge success.

Enough said….

During my tenure, I have worked with 10 different Chairpersons and managed to stay friends with them all. I have made many friends in optical practices, as well as wholesalers and I, look forward to seeing you all again at O=MEGA21,


Screenshot 2021-02-14 132520

O=MEGA21 goes ahead, World Congress of Optometry shifts to 2023

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The World Council of Optometry (WCO) has announced that the 4th World Congress of Optometry (WCO4) will now be held from September 8-10, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia.
Originally scheduled to be held alongside O=MEGA21 in September 2021, COVID-19 impacts have necessitated the postponement – now WCO4 will be held in conjunction with O=MEGA23. O=MEGA21, the largest eyecare and eyewear trade show and conference in the Southern Hemisphere, will proceed as scheduled for an Australian and regional audience from September 2-4 2021 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Mr. Paul Folkesson, President of the World Council of Optometry, confirmed that the partnership with Optometry Victoria South Australia (OV/SA) and the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association of Australia (ODMA) would continue. ‘The global pandemic has meant that we need to delay WCO4, but we do so knowing that this is in the best interests of our stakeholders around the world’, Mr Folkesson said. ‘Because of the strength of our relationship with ODMA and OV/SA we remain certain that Melbourne is the best place to hold WCO4, and as such there will be no need to retender for the Congress. The original Melbourne bid was excellent and all parties have been working together very well in planning for 2021. That momentum will carry us forward to 2023, and we are all very excited to be bringing the WCO Down Under,’ he said.

OV/SA President Elise Pocknee-Clem said ‘There were a number of factors that made the decision to delay the WCO4 component of the 2021 program a simple one for the three Boards’, she said. ‘Many private optometrists from overseas have experienced shutdowns, as we have in Australia, and the economic impact of closures may have a flow on effect limiting practitioners’ ability to travel abroad for CPD next year. Also, significant periods of lockdown and inconsistent ‘opening up’ protocols
could impact the capacity of attendees to commit to international travel in the short term. This, and the impact on the university and not-for-profit sectors, and the difficulty in predicting the timing for the ‘end’ of the pandemic meant that we needed to act decisively’.

The Chairman of ODMA, Robert Sparkes, said ‘Optometrists and the ophthalmic optics community are telling me that they are extremely eager to resume face to face buying and learning opportunities’, he said. ‘As the market leader, and given that O=MEGA21 is a year away, we wanted to provide certainty that we want to go ahead and that we’ll do so with the welfare of our attendees in mind.

We’re already working with the venue to ensure a really wonderful second iteration of O=MEGA. It has always been our intention to develop the O=MEGA product into a truly regional event for Australia and our near neighbours. Now we have one more opportunity to do that in September 2021 before we open up for the whole world to come and enjoy Australia in 2023.’

O=MEGA21 is presented by ODMA and OV/SA from 2 to 4 September 2021 at Melbourne
Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Media enquiries:
Pete Haydon, CEO – OV/SA +61 (0) 428 650 254
Finola Carey, CEO – ODMA +61 (0) 416 007 919
Garryn Marlen, Associate Managing Director – WCO +1 314 983 4106


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With the uncertainty around the developing COVID-19 situation, we have made the difficult decision to cancel OSHOW2020 which was due to take place at the Hordern Pavilion, Sydney on 16-17 May 2020.

We are saddened that the event will not proceed due to the COVID-19 crisis, and apologise for any inconvenience and difficulty this may cause. However, the health and wellbeing of our members, exhibitors, customers and the broader community has to be our major concern and is the reason for cancelling the event.

We reviewed all the alternatives including rescheduling but with no end date to the Government’s ban on gatherings of 500+, it is too difficult to make a further commitment that may have far-reaching financial implications.

Naturally, the cancellation has come at a cost with the venue, contractors and organisers already partially paid and other amounts due.    We will continue to work with our suppliers to minimise the exposure.  We will be refunding exhibitors from today.

We hope that a vaccine will be found quickly and in the meantime will put all our resources into recovery and making OMEGA21 a success for everyone.


Finola Carey

Chief Executive Officer


Australia wins bid for World Congress of Optometry in 2021

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The World Council of Optometry (WCO) is set to announce that the 4th World Council Congress of Optometry will be held in Melbourne, Australia in 2021.

The winning competitive global tender was put together by Optometry Victoria South Australia (OV/SA) and the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association of Australia (ODMA).

The WCO will run alongside the highly successful Australian clinical conference and trade show O=MEGA21 from 2 to 4 September 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.

Scott Mundle, the outgoing President of the World Council of Optometry, will confirm the partnership at a ceremony at the 3rd WCO in Orlando, Florida, on 26 October.

‘I’m delighted that the WCO is heading Down Under,’ said Mr Mundle. ‘We had a very strong international field of contenders wanting to host the 4th WCO, and the Melbourne bid was quite outstanding. I have no doubt that the Australians have the experience, infrastructure and professionalism to deliver an outstanding event.’

OV/SA President Elise Pocknee-Clem said: ‘It’s an honour to have been chosen to host the 4th WCO. Early September is a great time to visit, get high-quality continuing education, and see how optometry is practiced in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. It will be a tremendous opportunity for our members to come together, share ideas, and make international connections.

‘Melbourne is a wonderful place to bring family and friends. We encourage you to discover the hidden gems of the city, and to spend some time travelling in Australia – one of the most beautiful, safest, and friendliest countries on Earth.’

The Chairman of ODMA, Robert Sparkes, said: ‘O=MEGA21 is the largest and most credentialed clinical conference and trade show in the Southern Hemisphere for optometry and the ophthalmic optics community.

‘It has always been our plan to expand the reach of our new O=MEGA offering, and make it a truly regional event. We are excited about collaborating with the World Council of Optometry and hosting the WCO during O=MEGA’s second stellar conference.’

OV/SA is part of the professional association for optometrists in Australia. It is committed to delivering quality, practical, cutting-edge education for optometrists. ODMA is the leading industry body, and operates the largest eyecare and eyewear show in Australia.

In July 2019 OV/SA and ODMA joined forces to welcome more than 3500 visitors to its first-ever combined event, O=MEGA19.

The World Council of Optometry facilitates the development of optometry around the world and supports optometrists to promote eye health and vision care as a human right, through advocacy, education, policy development and humanitarian outreach.

O=MEGA21 / 4th World Congress of Optometry is presented by ODMA and Optometry Victoria South Australia from 2 to 4 September 2021 at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.


Media enquiries:

Pete Haydon, CEO – OV/SA +61 (0) 428 650 254

Finola Carey, CEO – ODMA +61 (0) 416 007 919

Susan Cooper, Interim Managing Director – WCO +1 314 983 4106


O=MEGA19 Post Show Report

fb omega - CopyThe Australian optical industry’s largest education, eyecare and eyewear event was well represented across all key segments. The trade show hosted a total of 130 exhibitors offering a range of products and services.
Popular features on the show floor were the Awards of Excellence presentation shortlisting the very best in fashion, innovation and technology, Live Window Dressing & Window Dressing Competition and the Bausch & Lomb Knowledge Centre.
New benchmarks were set by many exhibitors with regards to stand design and the event has a very optimistic future

We have compiled a post-show report with all the stats and facts just click  – omega19 post show report here to read it

ODMA and Optometry Victoria launch O=MEGA19

ODMA and Optometry Victoria have announced the most significant change to the optometric
conferences and events landscape in Australia for many years. The two market leaders in optics
education and events have joined forces to launch O=MEGA19, a biennial event which will be the
largest education, eye care and eyewear event ever seen in Australia.
Replacing SRC and ODMA19, O=MEGA combines the most credentialed and largest annual
optometry conference in the Southern Hemisphere with the largest eye care and eyewear show in
Speaking at the O=MEGA19 brand launch at OShow in Melbourne, ODMA Chairman Rob Sparkes
said “In the new global landscape of optics we cannot wait for change. We need to deliver change.
We hope the entire industry will embrace this united joint venture.”
Optometry Victoria President Murray Smith said “We think O=MEGA19 will be extraordinary.
O=MEGA19 brings the best of SRC and ODMAFAIR together. We think optometrists and others
involved in the optics industry will really love this opportunity to come together and learn, network,
and work with suppliers to help us all do our jobs better.”
O=MEGA19 will be held in the new expansion at MCEC which is fully integrated with the conference
space. It will have a new modern schedule including dedicated exhibition-only time to suit both
delegates and exhibitors alike. There will also be a 40 point CPD minimum, a new format including
lectures, sponsored sessions, team-based learning and small group workshops, a design junction
fashion eyewear area, and a cocktail party on the Saturday night.
Speaking about the legacy of SRC and ODMA Fair, Murray Smith said “Optometry Victoria is very
proud of SRC and the legacy it has built – many of our members love it. So do we. But the way
continuing education is being delivered is changing, and we need to be at the forefront of that
conversation. O=MEGA19 makes that happen. It’s really exciting and we thank ODMA for their work
with us on this project so far.”
Mr Sparkes concurred: “ODMA Fair and our other products have been the cornerstone of optics
events in Australia for as long as most people can remember. We’re proud of that legacy. In fact, it’s
only because of the strength of our events that we can be so forward-looking and ambitious with
O=MEGA19. It’s a truly exciting initiative and we can’t wait to bring it to market in 2019. ODMA looks
forward to working with Optometry Victoria to deliver an international world class event.”
Presented by ODMA and Optometry Victoria
An international event showcasing the best in education, eye care and eye wear
July 19-21 2019, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
For media enquiries: Pete Haydon 0428 650 254; Finola Carey 0416 007 919

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O-SHOW Take Up Extraordinary

Taking place from 21-22 May in Melbourne, O-SHOW will deliver the latest optical industry technology showcase in the Southern part of Australia. The take up of stand bookings at O-SHOW has been extraordinary to date, with 85% allocated in the first 3 days after launching.

Finola Carey Chief Executive of ODMA was delighted and yet not surprised with the response. ‘’We are simply fulfilling the wishes of the members who have been wanting an event of this type for some time. Certainly the fact that O-SHOW is owned by ODMA and created for the benefit of the industry, has been warmly received’’ she said.

Exhibiting companies are excited about the fashion focussed event at a boutique venue in the fashion capital of Australia. The spotlight will be on new equipment and releases of new frames and sunglasses. Confirmed exhibitors include Mimo , ilab, Frames Ectetera, Van Staveren Eyewear Designs for Vision, Tiger Vision, Optimed, Hoya, Essilor, BOC Instruments, Heidelberg Engineering, ZEISS and Device Technologies to name a few.

Key features of the Show include a Business Education Program as well as hands on demonstrations
where exhibitors will encourage visitors to compare and contrast the equipment on display.

The Business Education Program will centre on improving your business. Session topics include ‘How to market your business better’, ‘How to improve your online presence’ and ‘Developing and maintaining customer loyalty’.

A Cocktail Party will also be held within the Exhibition on the Saturday night, which will not only be great fun but also a wonderful networking opportunity.


DATES:  21-22 May 2016
VENUE:  Peninsula, Central Pier Docklands, Melbourne
WEB:       o-show.com.au

Interested in visiting?
Register to visit at www.o-show.com.au

For further information contact the Organiser:

International Exhibition and Conference Group Pty Ltd
Tel 03 9596 9205

New and Exciting Boutique Event for Melbourne

A new industry show for the optical industry has been announced called ‘O- Show’.
To be held in the fashion capital of Australia, O-Show provides a great opportunity to have the latest industry technology showcase in the Southern part of Australia. O-Show is owned by the Australian optical industry. It has been developed for the industry, by the industry. ODMA has been planning an event of this type in the alternate year to the ODMA Show for some years.
The latest offerings for the industry will be presented in a funky environment providing a relaxed opportunity to network and enjoy the ambience. Taking place Saturday 21 May – Sunday 22 May 2016, the industry event is well timed for samples to be presented at MIDO to be showcased in Melbourne.
“O-Show timing fits perfectly well to be run in the alternate year to the ODMA Show and will be a great
resource for the industry” said Finola Carey, Chief Executive Officer of ODMA. “ It is a non CPD event with the emphasis on hands on demonstrations, and the opportunity to compare and contrast new products and equipment” said Carey.
Marie Kinsella, CEO of International Exhibition & Conference Group Pty Ltd welcomes the opportunity to deliver this successful event. With a background in major industry events including leading fashion events such as Fashion Exposed, this new business to business event will feature some trend leading features and experiences.
O- Show will support new scholarships for the industry as well as providing funding support for Optometry Giving Sight.
21 -22 May 2016 is well timed in Melbourne for AFL football. Regarded as the cultural centre of Australia, there are some terrific theatre productions happening in Melbourne at the same time.
Mark your diary, 21 May – 22 May 2016 and register to visit at www.o-show.com.au. Book your flights and accommodation today.
For exhibitor or visitor enquiries contact the professional exhibition organiser, International Exhibition & Conference Group Pty Ltd on tel +613 95961742.
21 – 22 May 2016
Shed 14, South Wharf
Docklands Melbourne
For media enquiries contact ODMA
Tel 02 8249 4380
International Exhibition and Conference Group Pty Ltd Tel 03 95969205