Working as an optometrist in Australia

Posted on May 04, 2017
Author: Sam Reed

From working as a locum to running my

own business with Specsavers

Back in 2012, I was a busy body optometrist, working at University of Bradford, as well as regular locum work at a few Specsavers stores. Once I was Partner approved, it was a lot of self reflection...what now? What sort of store do I want? Can I carry on as I'm doing?

Then, simply by coincidence I met Jerry Dunn at an Optrafair event, back when OCANZ exams were quite unheard of. Jerry gave me a very honest and true reflection of what life was like in Australia and New Zealand. The requirements needed and what sort of people would be suited to ANZ. And I kind of fitted the bill! This was followed up by a visit to the London roadshow, where I met Dame Mary and Doug, who both shared their experiences in Australia, and which state would suit my lifestyle/goals best. The support and connection with Jerry in the UK was incredible!

So, a small revision group started up on Sundays in Manchester University, practicing for the OCANZ exams. Only 4 of us there in those days! This was followed with a Facebook support group and the OCANZ training course. With the help of Jerry and Kevin Liu, the practice sessions/Facebook group and training sessions were very productive. Before I knew it, I was ready to take a try at the exams. I couldn't wait to attack these exams. The whole support network was so strong, unbelievably valuable and reassuring.

Qualifying as an optometrist in Australia 

So I went to do my exams in Melbourne, passed them and fell in love with the city! With no delay I was shown around by Raj and his team and finalised my own store in Melbourne. So swiftly and professionally.

Coming from a large, very close-knit family, it was very nerve racking and exciting at the same time. I was going to put myself up to a challenge, which I really didn't need to but deep inside I knew I would not be able to rest without taking the step.

Before I knew it, I was in Melbourne, in my own store, all my belongings shipped over and settled. Since this day, the dream has just continued! Fantastic business, amazing support office support, and an untouchable work/life balance. 

Now, settled with my family in Melbourne, with an amazing friends network, I do sometimes look back and think 'how on earth did I just do that?' The kids love the active lifestyle and good weather (and amazing food, actually maybe that's more me!). With all the technology available today, i still keep connected with my family/friends and still get the time to visit them regularly if they are not over visiting me.

The cost of living in Australia

The cost of living when considering your income, makes most dreams affordable. Australia is a country that has something for everyone. From tropical Queensland with its world famous beaches to iconic city life in Sydney, or even rural country living. You name it, and it can most probably be found in Australia.

Now helping Raj running the OCANZ support sessions prior to the exams in Melbourne, I get to relive that exciting/nerve racking feeling every time through all the people coming through now and preparing for the exams. Quite an addictive feeling.

Along with my fantastic team in store, amazing work life balance and friends, it has been an extraordinary journey for me so far, and it just feels like it has just begun. I really could not ask for anymore. I really hope it works out for you, as it has for me.

Are you looking to make that move and achieve your dreams just like Naim? Do you just want a friendly chat to discuss the opportunities we have available whether be Partnership or Employed?

If so, we are hosting another Australian/New Zealand Roadshow:

  • DUBLIN – Friday 16th June / Saturday 17th June
  • LONDON – Monday 19th June
  • MANCHESTER – Wednesday 21st June

This is a great opportunity to find out more about the opportunities down under, please register your interest by simply e-mailing jerry.dunn@specsavers.com or phone 07799 581281. 

For more stories of people who have made the move Down Under click here