Serving as president of the BCLA is a huge honour. Personally, the chance to represent my peers is a real privilege while, professionally, it provides the perfect opportunity to bring ophthalmology and optometry ever closer.

This week I delivered my inaugural presidential address, a platform to showcase my ideas for the months and years ahead and to give a bit more background about my role and explore how the relationship between ophthalmology and optometry can not only grow but prosper.

I look forward to promoting greater unity between the two professions with my presidency.

The theme of my talk was teamwork, specifically teamwork with people from both professions featuring in that team. I used examples from research, corneal surgery and humanitarian work to illustrate the importance of teamwork and to highlight what can be achieved.

There is enormous potential for ophthalmology and optometry to work together to help produce better eye health outcomes for patients and it was pleasing to see and hear the enthusiasm of all those present at the Royal College of Nursing on Tuesday night.

By working together we can achieve so much. To have that collective ‘buy-in’ is imperative to the progress we try to make.

I am a huge believer in teamwork without boundaries. A simple Facebook post led to 120 volunteers joining me in Cambodia to work with the Khmer Sight Foundation – a charity that has made a life-changing difference to thousands of people.

Over the next year I will be looking at how we, as a profession, can give back to communities and create a significant, lifelong legacy.

Professor Sunil Shah, president, BCLA