The College and its History
The College was originally founded in 1939 to train optometrists. Optometry training is now undertaken in tertiary institutions, however, the College continues to work closely with the University of Melbourne, and other Universities, in optometric education. The Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences of the University of Melbourne is located within the Carlton premises of the College. The mission of the Australian College of Optometry is to promote the visual health and well-being of the communities we serve by leading the profession to build its knowledge base, attain and advance clinical skills and deliver the best possible optometric care. We achieve this mission by:
- Advocating professional ethics, standards and quality optometric practice
- Providing clinical and further education for optometrists and undergraduate students
- Delivery of cost effective eyecare for disadvantaged communities
- Offering specialist clinical and acute services for referred patients
- Conducting research in the basic and applied visual sciences
- Collaborating with industry, research, and other organisations with an interest in visual health and preservation of sight.
In 2008, the governing Council of the ACO endorsed a new strategic direction for 2009 to 2011 that enables the organisation to reposition itself to meet future challenges and guide the ACO’s operations as it develops and grows. As the first step in this process, the College changed its name from Victorian College of Optometry to Australian College of Optometry on 1 October 2009.