Referring to the ACO
Optometrists examine eyes for vision defects and eye disorders in order to prescribe corrective lenses and other appropriate treatments. The Australian College of Optometry (ACO) operates within Victoria and has a team of optometrists with expert knowledge in all facets of eye health, covering specialties such as paediatrics and contact lenses through to low vision and eye disease.
We welcome referrals from professional colleagues (such as GPs, teachers, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists and Social Workers) should you believe your patient or client would benefit from an eye examination. We also accept referrals from privately practicing optometrists who would like a second opinion or imaging/measurements from our state-of-the-art equipment to benefit their patient diagnosis and management.
If you would like to refer someone to our service please use the attached referral form. Referral form
The ACO provides three options of healthcare:
1. Metropolitan Clinics
The ACO provides subsidised eyecare to financially and otherwise disadvantaged Victorians. Our main clinic is based in Carlton with five smaller clinics located in Community Health Centres in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. We also run a regular clinic at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) in Fitzroy. Support can be provided for people from non-English speaking backgrounds. For additional information please refer to Eye Care Services in Melbourne. Download a referral pad here.
2. Low Vision Clinic
The ACO is pleased to announce the opening of our new Low Vision Clinic at Carlton, delivered in partnership with Vision Australia. All new patients are seen by both an optometrist and occupational therapist, ensuring a thorough assessment is made. The ACO Low Vision Clinic is open to all Victorians, and subsidised glasses and aids available to those with a Pensioner Concession Card or Health Card Card. Referrals are welcome from optometrists, ophthalmologists, GP's and others. Referral pads and brochures are available by contacting the ACO or a referral pad can be downloaded here.
3. Children's Clinic
The ACO Children's Clinic provides general and specialist paediatric optometry services. All Victorian children under 18 years can attend the Carlton Clinic. To attend a metropolitan clinic the child must be listed on a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card. The ACO Children's Clinic accepts referrals from GP's, optometritsts, teachers, Maternal and Child Health Nurses and other professionals. For additional information please refer to Children's Services. Download a children's clinc referral pad here.
4. Outreach Clinics
A dedicated team of optometrists conduct external site visits throughout metropolitan Melbourne. These visits ensure that patients who cannot ordinarily or easily attend our traditional clinic settings can also receive optometry treatment. Sites we attend include homeless shelters, supported residential services and residential aged care services. For additional information please refer to Outreach Services.
The Victorian Eyecare Service (VES) provides optometry care and visual aids at low cost for persons who live in rural Victoria and hold a Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card. VES Rural is operated by a large network of optometrists and ophthalmologists, while working closely with the ACO who oversees the government program. For additional information please refer to Eye Care Services in Rural Victoria.