AOP announces new Councillors

The AOP Council will welcome new members representing different modes of practice and career stages

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The AOP has named the new Councillors who will represent members across different modes of practice and career stages on its Council in elected and appointed positions.

The announcement follows an election process which ran throughout March and April.

AOP chief executive, Adam Sampson, commented: “I’m pleased to welcome our new and returning Council members, who bring a breadth of knowledge and experience to their positions in representing our members and the profession.”

“Our Councillors play a crucial role in shaping our policy work and informing our member services. I look forward to working with them to drive change in the sector and advance the future of optics,” he added.

The new Councillors will begin their term of office on 5 June 2024 at the AOP’s annual AGM.

Emma Spofforth, AOP chairman of the Board and Council, thanked all candidates who put themselves forward, commenting: “It is encouraging to see such active engagement from our members, and we welcome their input in tackling the key issues impacting the profession.”

She continued: “I commend our current and departing Councillors for their dedication and commitment to fully representing all members’ interests – their insight continues to be instrumental in shaping our policy making and building the AOP’s influence.”

Newly-elected and appointed Council members are:

  • Sarah White, representative for dispensing opticians
  • Nicholas Hagan, East of England
  • Reena Rani Anand, East Midlands
  • Jagdeep Kaur Gill, London
  • Summaya Ali, newly-qualified and early career optometrist
  • Simon Raw, North East England
  • Sarah Lowry, North West England
  • Catherine McGulkin, Northern Ireland
  • Habeeb Rahman, pre-registration optometrist
  • Frances Jamieson, Scotland
  • Johnathan Waugh, Scotland
  • Karen Gennard, South West England
  • Rachel Hiscox, South East England
  • Ki Yan Lam, undergraduate student
  • Martin Sweeney, Wales
  • Sukhi Drake, West Midlands
  • Nizz Sabir, Yorkshire and the Humber.

Simon Raw, domiciliary optometrist and new AOP Councillor in the North East of England, told OT: “I’m really excited for my new role as AOP Councillor. I’m looking forward to meeting the other Councillors and learning from their experience. I can’t wait to start representing the optometrists of the North East and help shape the future of optometry.”

Sarah White, newly-appointed AOP Councillor representing dispensing opticians, shared: “I’m really pleased to have been put in the position. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and representing dispensing opticians – it is quite a unique position and lovely to be able to put thoughts forward.”

The practice director, dispensing optician and contact lens optician, said of her ambitions for the role: “I’m planning to immerse myself in everything to see what input and opinions I can put forward.”

Frances Jamieson, a new AOP Councillor for Scotland, said: "I hope that becoming an AOP councillor will help me connect with other optometrists from around the UK with the aim of improving the working life of my fellow professionals."

Ki Yan Lam, new undergraduate student Councillor, welcomed the opportunity to “amplify voices, advocate for their needs, and contribute to the optometry community.”

The AOP invited nominations from eligible members for its Council on 19 February, with elections held in the spring.

Members were invited to vote in constituencies that were contested by more than one candidate in the east of England, North East, South West, and West Midlands.

The AOP’s Appointment Committee made the final decision on the four designated positions: dispensing optician, pre-registration optometrist, newly-qualified and early career optometrist, and undergraduate student.