Specsavers Australia & New Zealand has been strengthened by the addition of two new optometrists to its Support Office professional development teams.

Naomi Barber has been appointed to the role of Optometry Development Consultant, working with Optometry Development Manager Dr Benjamin Ashby, and Sophie Stephan has joined the team as Graduate Optometry Development Manager, working with Head of Professional Recruitment Raj Sundarjee.

Naomi first joined Specsavers in 2009, working as an optical dispenser. After graduating from the University of Melbourne in 2011 with a Bachelor of Optometry, endorsed in therapeutics, she spent several years practising in Specsavers stores across Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. She also became involved in the Specsavers Graduate Program, assisting with the Graduate Induction and acting as both a peer mentor and regional mentor.

In her new full-time Support Office role, Naomi will be working to support the professionalism and clinical excellence of Specsavers optometrists. Her main focuses include developing resources to support effective Medicare utilisation, optometry performance reporting, and the piloting and implementation of new professional tools and initiatives.

Naomi says, “I’m honoured to play a part in driving professional excellence at Specsavers and excited to support our optometrists as we move forward with new and innovative approaches to eye care.”

Sophie Stephan graduated from QUT in 2011 with first class honours in the Bachelor of Applied Science (Optometry). She joined the Specsavers Graduate Program the following year, working at Specsavers Warringah in New South Wales. Applying the knowledge she gained from the program, she became a Specsavers locum optometrist, then later, a full-time optometrist for Bupa Optical Brisbane, before joining the Specsavers Support Team in early 2017.

As Graduate Optometry Development Manager, Sophie will be driving the advancement of the Specsavers Graduate Program, working with the Graduate Optometry Development Team to develop and deliver core training programs to newly qualified optometrists and their primary mentors. In addition to engaging with university students and store partners, Sophie will be providing mentorship, coaching and clinical support to optometrists within the Graduate Program to ensure consistent, high-quality clinical service delivery.

“I am passionate about ongoing training and development for all optometrists, and I feel that the first few years of an optometrist’s working life are the most critical in shaping a fulfilling and rewarding career,” Sophie comments.

“I believe the Specsavers Graduate Program provides newly qualified optometrists with the best possible start to their professional future and I look forward to working with the Graduate Optometry Development Team to continually evolve the program to meet the needs of our graduates.”