GOC appoints optometrists to new Council Associate roles

The General Optical Council (GOC) has appointed two fully-qualified registrant optometrists - Rukaiya Anwar and Harry Singh Bhakar - as Council Associates.

A brand-new role, Council Associates will take part in the GOC’s Council meetings and associated activity, and will also attend its Audit, Risk and Finance Committee. Whilst they will not be voting members, they will be encouraged to contribute to discussions.

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

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. 

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.

Dr Anne Wright, CBE, GOC Chair of Council, said: “I am delighted we have appointed Rukaiya Anwar and Harry Singh Bhakar to our new Council Associate positions, and I look forward to their participation in our Council meetings. I also hope the scheme will be a beneficial development and learning opportunity for Rukaiya and Harry, as they move forward in their careers as optometrists.

For the GOC, this scheme will enhance the work that Council does to protect patients and the public, by gaining broader perspectives around our council table to represent the diverse needs of our registrants, staff and other stakeholder groups.

The GOC received a strong response to our recruitment campaign for Council Associates, and we appreciate the positive interest shown in this new role from our registrants.”

Rukaiya Anwar and Harry Singh Bhakar commenced their roles on 10 January 2022.

Visit our Council Associates webpage.