Council Associates

Introduced in January 2022, Council Associates take part in our Council meetings and associated activity, and also attend our Audit, Risk and Finance Committee. Whilst they are not voting members, they are encouraged to contribute to discussions.

The Council Associate positions aim to increase the diversity of experiences and perspectives on our Council, while providing registrants with the first step towards a board, committee or panel role.

Our current Council Associates can be seen below:

Harry Singh Bhakar

Harry Singh Bhakar is a qualified optometrist from the Northeast of England. Harry’s current role is primary care in a multiple practice setting based in County Durham.

He graduated in 2020 from Anglia Ruskin University with a BOptom Honours in Optometry. Whilst there, he was awarded the Haag-Streit UK prize for undergraduate research into technology and low vision assessment.

Rukaiya Anwar

Rukaiya Anwar is a qualified optometrist based in the southwest of England. Graduating from Aston University in 2016 with a Master of Optometry, Rukaiya has gained experience in a variety of clinical environments across England. Currently, she splits her time between academia and specialist NHS practice with a special interest in legal aspects of optometry.

Deepali Modha

Deepali Modha is a qualified optometrist from Hertfordshire, currently working as a Clinical Performance Consultant for Specsavers Optical Group. Since graduating from Cardiff University with a BSc Optometry, she has worked within community practice and gained wide-ranging experience from a variety of roles within the sector, including pre-registration trainee supervision, mentoring colleagues, and examining students. She has previously sat on both the College of Optometrists and Association of Optometrists Councils. Deepali is passionate about the professional development of optometrists and the role of optometry in primary care services going forward.

Jamie Douglas

Jamie Douglas is a qualified dispensing optician based in Somerset. His career in the optical profession began as a trainee laboratory technician at a large multiple practice, from which he rose to team leader before deciding to pursue patient-facing care and beginning his training as an optical assistant. Since graduating in 2022 with a qualification in Ophthalmic Dispensing from Anglia Ruskin University, Jamie has practiced within the same multinational group where he began his career. He holds a particular interest in low vision and developing research fields within optics, such as myopia management.