Our Staff

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Leah Meulendijks - Optometrist

Leah is the owner and Optometrist at Yarra Junction Optical as of 2014. As Neil has reduced his hours, Leah takes over his workload and responsibilities, testing 2 and half days per week.


Leah brings a wealth of knowledge from her time working in Central Victoria. She has vast experience co-managing with the local Ophthalmologists many ocular diseases such as Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy to name a few.


Working in a community that requires a car in order to access the nearest eye specialist who is an hour away and being hours away from Melbourne meant that Leah has had to manage many cases which would have otherwise been referred away by most Metro Optometrists.


Many patient's in Regional Victoria are unable to make the journey to see their closest Ophthalmologist and rely heavily on their local Optometrist to provide them with the best care and management available to them.


This environment  while at times can be a lot to take on, brings out the best and most experienced Optometrists.


Leah also spent two and half years being mentored by a Behavioural Optometrist in Bendigo and while she hasn't taken on the role of Behavioural Optometry, has extensive knowledge in the field and can recommend the best referrals if necessary to any child having trouble at school.


Leah was born in Cohuna which is in Northern Victoria and was raised in a small town called Pyramid Hill, only 30 minutes from where she was born. Aside from her time spent studying Optometry at the University of Melbourne, Leah has always lived in the country where she prefers to be. She has a great love of horses and a passion for Optometry which makes the Yarra Valley the ideal home for her.


El Tolan - Optometrist

As many long standing patient of Yarra Junction Optical would know El has been testing here for over 10 years. El travels to us from Melbourne's Eastern Suburbs. She works as a locum Optometrist at many locations in Melbourne and surrounds we have the pleasure of having her test with us one day per fortnight usually Tuesday or Wednesday.


El has many years of experience as an Optometrist and is usually adored by her patients winning them over with her warm and friendly nature. She is able to answer all your questions and provide you with the best optical solution to your visual needs.




Neil Romei - Optometrist

Many people who have been coming to Yarra Junction Optical over the years would have been tested by or met Neil. He has been the main Optometrist at Yarra Junction Optical for over 20 years.


Neil has two other practices in the country which he visits two days per week. As a result of his previously busy work schedule Neil has decided to wind down his hours, handing the reins of Yarra Junction Optical over to Leah.


Neil was born and raised in the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne and moved to Lilydale over 20 years ago. It is from here that he established Yarra Junction Optical with 10 years of experience as an Optometrist already under his belt. Neil enjoys cycling and spending time with his wife Ruth and three adult children.



Lauren Cowan - Optometrist

Lauren has worked at Yarra Junction Optical on and off for the past few years. She has taken on a more permanent role working 1 day per fortnight and filling in extra days where needed.


Lauren is experienced in Children's Vision assessments as well as General Optometry. Her friendly and knowledgable attitude wins across all her patients while her great depth of knowledge will seeher provide you with the best optical solutions to your visual needs.


Lauren lives locally in Launching Place and enjoys spending time with her two young children and her husband.



Rachel Chipere - Optometrist

Rachel is our newest Optometrist at Yarra Junction Optical, starting late August 2017.




Danielle Davis - Optical Dispenser

Dani has been part of the Yarra Junction Optical team for 18 months now. Dani brings with her many years of experience in Optical Dispensing and great expertise in repairs, frame and lens selections and also advice.


On the days Dani is at the practice she will perform most of the dispensing which means she will guide you through all your options and help you choose the most suitable frames and lenses available.


Dani also lives locally in Wesburn and works at Yarra Junction Optical two days per week, usually Tuesdays and Fridays. Dani is also happy to help in any way she can, so if you have a question about glasses you are looking to purchase or having trouble with your current glasses then just drop in and someone will be ready to help.



Lesley Mowat - Optical Assistant

Lesley has been the smiling face of Yarra Junction Optical reception for over 10 years now. Lesley has great experience and expertise in frame adjustments and small repairs, frame selection and advice on what frames and/or lenses are the best options for you.


Often times after seeing the Optometrist you will be placed in Lesley's capable hands to help you choose your frames and lenses.


Lesley lives in Woori Yallock and can be seen at Yarra Junction Optical four days per week. If you have any questions feel free to drop in and chat with Lesley, she is happy to help any way she can.



Kerry McFadzean - Optical Assistant