Information for Optometry Students and Schools
The Australian College of Optometry (ACO) has an established and highly regarded history of contributing to the clinical training of undergraduate optometrystudents in Victoria, hosting University of Melbourne clinical placements for nearly 50 years.
In 2010, our undergraduate clinical teaching program has expanded to include optometry students from the University of New South Wales. Our program is expected to grow further from 2011 to take on students from additional Australian schools. This creates a unique clinical environment allowing students from all schools to learn together.
The educational experience that the College offers undergraduate optometry students is unique in Australia. The ACO Clinic provides low cost optometry care for people who are disadvantaged and of limited means through a network of clinics and services in metropolitan Melbourne. Offsite and outreach services are also provided to enhance access and delivery of care to people with particular needs, including those who are homeless or live in residential aged care and supported residential services.
The Clinic provides specialist optometry care for patients referred by optometrists, medical practitioners and other health care providers. Our facilities include equipment and technology not readily available in the community, and staff have specialist expertise and experience in many areas of optometry, clinical assessment and management. The Clinic operates general (primary care), paediatric, contact lens, ocular disease, disability, visual functions and low vision clinics, the latter being a multi-disciplinary service run in conjunction with the Vision Australia and Guide Dogs Australia.
Students are currently involved in most areas of our activity. Programs have been tailored to meet the needs of each school and the Clinic can provide students with a broad clinical experience with a public health focus.
There are also limited opportunities for students from Australian schools to complete their externship program with the ACO.