Last weekend I travelled down to Hobart with three of my wonderful staff (Carly, Lynne and Marnie) for the Provision National Conference.  Over 400 optometrists from all around Australia were at this meeting and they were treated to a magnificent lecture program featuring a number of brilliant and entertaining speakers.  The optical industry was also well represented with a fantastic trade show on the Saturday night.

The highlight of the conference was an inspirational address from Professor Fiona Wood, who is the director of the Royal Perth Hospital burns unit and the Western Australian Burns service.  Professor Wood was in charge of the team treating a large proportion of survivors from the 2002 Bali bombings and she was named Australian of the Year in 2005.  Professor Wood is also well known for her patented invention of spray-on skin for burns victims.  Her talk – which covered her outstanding career from humble beginnings – was truly incredible and one could not help but be inspired by this amazing lady.

There was also a great presentation from Dan Gregory who – to use his own words – is “the fat guy from the Gruen Transfer”.  Dan spoke about the need for innovation given that the public now have much higher expectations for providers in both the health care and service industries.  Dan worked in the advertising industry for over 20 years before he branched out into his own consulting business and in his talk he gave some marvelous examples of how he used innovative thinking to solve a client’s problem or help market their product.  One such illustration was a commercial for the apple industry, where doctors are shown imploring people not to have apples because they fear it will affect their income due to all the health benefits associated with eating an apple.  Great stuff.

Overall it was a tremendous weekend and Provision are to be congratulated for putting on such a wonderful conference.