ACO appoint Tim Fricke as Director of Research and Education

After a comprehensive recruitment process which included an impressive field of international candidates, the ACO is excited to announce the appointment of Tim Fricke to the position of Director of Research and Education.


The selection panel believes Tim’s unique mix of skills and experience are an exceptional match for this pivotal position. Tim will work to drive success within the reimagined research, education, teaching and training functions of the ACO and NVRI.


Many ACO staff will know Tim from his previous time at the ACO, where he held the positions of Head of Paediatric Services(1998-2007), Manager of Professional Development & Membership (2006-2007)and Director of Specialty & Community Services (2010-2012). Since his time at the ACO, Tim has held executive, research, teaching and policy positions including with the Brien Holden Vision Institute and the Brien Holden Foundation.


After starting his career in optometry, Tim has transitioned to hold teaching, research, management and leadership roles across private, public, community health and hospital settings. Throughout his career, Tim has demonstrated a dedication to cross-cultural collaborations which will be greatly valued in his new role at the ACO.


Tim’s research in vision development, epidemiology, quality of life and access to eyecare, and his assistance in the development of local systems and skills for providing primary and specialised eye care in Australia, Tanzania, Vietnam, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, among others, is an ideal fit for the ACO’s refocused research direction. Equally, his experience in undergraduate and post-graduate teaching, alongside his significant work in continuing professional development (CPD) in Australia and internationally reflects the education mission of the ACO.


As Director of Research and Education, Tim will be instrumental in charting a course for our research as we prioritise clinical, public health and translational research in support of our new Strategic Plan. In addition, he will work to enhance our teaching relationships with university optometry departments around the region and help us to evolve our education offering to ensure our continued relevance in a crowded CPD market.


Tim will be starting his position in a part-time capacity in August while he completes his doctorate, transitioning to full time in the coming months. An August start date ensures Tim’s active involvement in business planning for the 2024 budget cycle.


We look forward to welcoming Tim in the coming weeks and we are excited to share more ACO updates with you as we complete the hiring of our new executive team with the announcement of our new Director of Operations in July.



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