Our Optometrist Team
Heidi Hunter – Optometrist & Managing Director
Heidi is a true Novocastrian, having grown up in Lake Macquarie before moving to Sydney for university in 1996 and graduating from UNSW in 2000. Before joining the practice she spent time consulting with a local ophthalmologist, a laser refractive surgery clinic, and many optometric practices in the Newcastle region.
As well as looking after patients, she lectures about eyes and vision to university students, school teachers, GPs, nurses, and pharmacists. She is a clinical supervisor of optometry students for Flinders University, Deakin University, and the University of NSW, and a past writer for Mivision and optometric speaker on ABC radio.
Amidst raising two active teenage boys, Heidi is on the national board of the not-for-profit Cornea & Contact Lens Society of Australia and a NSW/ACT board member of Optometry Australia. She is dedicated to educating colleagues on RGP (rigid gas permeable) custom contact lens fitting, such as for keratoconus and corneal grafts, and has lectured at conferences throughout Australia on various clinical topics.
Heidi’s professional interests include myopia control, and anything and everything to do with contact lenses. Heidi also enjoys the challenge of solving problems people are having with their existing glasses, including multifocals (progressives).
Click here to make an appointment to see Heidi for a thorough eye and vision check.
Wes Butler – Optometrist
Wes is a highly qualified optometrist with exceptional patient care, clinical knowledge and an all round nice guy. Originally from Adelaide, Wes first worked with Custom Eyecare in 2018.
Wes is an ophthalmic medicines prescriber, meaning he has advanced skills in diagnosing and managing various eye diseases. If you have any visual symptoms like blurred vision, you have macular degeneration, glaucoma or a family history of eye disease, or are concerned about your child’s worsening eyesight, then Wes is our senior optometrist you should meet. Wes is also our resident dry eye guru at Custom Eyecare for those suffering with dry, sore eyes.
Wes’ professional interests include paediatric (children’s) and behavioural optometry, including treatment of lazy eye (amblyopia) and accommodative esotropia (‘cross-eyes’), as well as how vision problems can relate to learning difficulties but of course sees patients of all ages at Custom EyeCare.
When you see Wes you are guaranteed a good chat and a thorough eye and vision check. Click here to make an appointment with Wes.
* Both Wes and Heidi are ophthalmic medicines prescribers, meaning they both have advanced skills in diagnosing and managing various eye diseases and conditions.
Karen – Qualified Optical Dispenser
Karen has over 20 years experience as a qualified senior optical dispenser. Before joining Custom Eyecare, Karen managed an optometry practice in Toukley. Karen’s knowledge in practice management and keen eye for style and colour has helped with purchasing our frame ranges. Selecting a wide range of styles to complement our customer’s tastes.
Her wealth of knowledge and experience means you’ll receive personalised advice about frames and lenses from someone who knows what she’s talking about, and she loves fashion frames.
Karen loves living on the Central Coast, but has enjoyed getting to know the Newcastle area and the Darby street café scene.
Jess – Qualified optical dispenser
Before we met her, Jess had already gained over four years experience in optics, and since starting at Custom EyeCare she has completed her Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing qualification. We are so proud of all her study efforts and hard work in achieving the formal training to compliment her already existing practical experience. She’s an expert at helping people choose a frame that’s a perfect match for their face! Jess enjoys a challenge, and is always willing to find solutions with difficult frame repairs.
Jess is always smiling and brings loads of laughter and fun to the workplace. Her quick wit and sense of humor will bring joy to anyone who meets her.
Emily – Ophthalmic Technician
You will find Emily in all areas of our practice: from our front desk greeting you on arrival, helping you make an appointment, answering all your questions, general administration tasks, to ordering contact lenses, and teaching the art of safe contact lens insertion and removal.
Emily also helps prepare patients to see the optometrist – taking measurements, scans, visual field testing and clinical images. Emily is also currently studying Psychology at university and the is a true ‘people person’ who gets on with everyone. She is also an aficionado of the Newcastle coffee scene!
Xavier- Marketing and Social Media
Xavier has worked in various roles in optics and optometry practices in the USA, as he comes to us from North Carolina. He has lived in Australia for over 3 years and works for us part time as our social media and marketing technician and back of house operations.
In his spare time Xavier runs his own business as a Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master Teacher, Therapeutic Coach and Author. If you are curious to learn more, you can visit his website at: https://teamuniverse.com.au
Kelly- Front of House
Kelly started at Custom Eyecare in 2018. In 2020, she took a year off to travel around Australia with her husband, 3 children and her dog in a caravan. Kelly especially loved the Kimberleys and its raw rugged beauty and absolutely loved the Western Australia Coast. She is a busy Mum and a wonderful people person.
You will find Kelly on our front reception desk as your first point of call. She conducts herself in a professional manner, her positive attitude comes through loud and clear. Kelly takes time to listen to our customers and is very efficient in answering their questions.
Darren – Front of House
Darren is known to many Novocastrians from his work in various well-known Newcastle retail positions over the years – if you bought music on records in the 1980s, or CDs in the 1990s, chances are Darren might have helped you find what you wanted!
At Custom Eyecare, Darren works the phones & “front of house”, which is a perfect match for his outgoing & social personality! Darren will happily greet you on arrival, or make an appointment. He helps with all our general administration tasks and if there is anything that needs to be arranged or fixed, we go straight to Darren as he is always happy to help. He is always up for a chat and makes everyone smile.
Tori – Ophthalmic Tech
Tori is our newest Optometric Technician and helps with our patient consultations. Coming from a background in childcare and reception, along with studying Neuroscience and Psychology, Tori brings a range of skills when assisting our optometrists with consultations.
When you come to see us, Tori will measure your vision, current glasses, eye pressure and eyeball length, as well as take your retinal photos, corneal topography and OCT scans. Tori loves swimming at the Newcastle baths, pattern making & sewing, being a Guide Dog Puppy Raiser and just having a good laugh.
Your optometrists at Custom Eyecare are all fully qualified members of the Optometrists Association Australia (OAA), and stay up to date with the latest eyecare research by regularly attending conferences & seminars in order to not just meet but exceed the minimum continuing professional education (CPE) requirements of the Association and the Optometry Board of Australia (OBA).
Your qualified optical dispensers at Custom Eyecare are members of the Australian Dispensing Opticians Association (ADOA), which only accepts members who have the Certificate IV Optical Dispensing qualification and who are licensed with the Optical Dispensers Licensing Board. Members of ADOA are not only competent and experienced but also abide by a code of ethics. This means you can trust their advice when choosing your frames and lenses.
If you’re interested in finding out more about employment or a career in optometry or optical dispensing, please click here.