News and Media

Stay up to date with the ACO

Second-year graduate program optometrists present showcase

The ACO hosted a Graduate Showcase on Tuesday 12th March which welcomed second-year early-career optometrists present their stand-out case from their first year of practice.

The presentations offered valuable insights into the diverse spectrum of eye health issues confronting optometrists today, providing a unique perspective from new graduate optometrists.

A heartfelt thank you to the optometry students, ACO members and our ACO colleagues who joined us for this event.

13 March 2024

MiVision: Acting on a Passion for Paediatric Eye Care

“From a child refugee to a paediatric optometry resident, Dr Diba Rezazadeh is constantly challenging herself to step out of her comfort zone, to provide professional, supportive care to her young eye care patients.”

2 February 2024

NVRI secure 3-year funding agreement with Victorian Lions Foundation

The new funding agreement follows a shift in our work towards translational, clinical research which aims to improve access and equity in eye care.

11 December 2023
Members of the Royal Flying Doctor Mobile Eye Care service from the ACO and RFDS VIC, gather to celebrate 10 years of partnership.

ACO and Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria (RFDS) celebrate 10 years of mobile eye care

The partnership between the renowned medical service and the public health eye care organisation delivers comprehensive optometry services to remote and rural communities throughout Victoria, which would otherwise face significant barriers to care.

Over the decade-long partnership, the mobile service is estimated to have saved patients 5,032 hours of travel time. In a recent survey, 100% of patients reported that the service made it easier for them to access care and 90% reported they received care at no cost or at a more affordable cost.

5 December 2023

ACO extends bulk billing of eye examinations to all children under the age of 18

The Australian College of Optometry (ACO) is proud to announce it has extended bulk billing to all eye examinations for children under the age of 18, with immediate effect. The public health eyecare provider hopes that the extension will remove any financial barrier to paediatric eyecare.

27 November 2023

MiVision: The Pull of Therapeutic Endorsement

As the ACO prepares for the next intake of its online Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics next April, the ACO’s new Director of Research and Education, Tim Fricke, said seeking endorsement “isn’t just about scheduled medicines”.

19 November 2023

MiVision: The Strength of Partnership 10 Years of Mobile Eye Care in Victoria

Australia is a vast country. Outside the cities and towns, we have tiny communities made up of tens or hundreds of people, who find it difficult to access the services that we take for granted in the city.

1 November 2023

25 years of embedded ACO optometry services at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service

ACO and VAHS staff were joined by colleagues and supporters from the Eye and Ear Hospital, Fred Hollows Foundation, the Indigenous Eye Health Unit (University of Melbourne) and Optometry Australia to celebrate the significant milestone. We were delighted to be joined by May Ho, Optometry and Primary Health Advisor at Fred Hollows and the first ACO optometrist assigned to the VAHS clinic in 1998.

12 October 2023

MiVision: Boosting Continued Learning with Clinical Placements

Despite the increasing volume of online CPD and short courses available to optometrists across the board, the Australian College of Optometry (ACO) has reported “more requests than ever about the availability of practical learning”.

9 October 2023

MiVision: ACO celebrates 25 years of optometry services at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)

As true with many things, great public health work is achieved in no small part through collaboration and partnership with organisations that care deeply about the communities they support. One such partnership is the Australian College of Optometry (ACO) clinic embedded in the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) in Fitzroy, which is celebrating 25 years of operation.

4 October 2023
An Open Letter to The Australian Public

An Open Letter to the Australian Public

As health professionals, we witness firsthand the disparity in health outcomes between non-Indigenous Australians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Voice is an opportunity for us to make a practical difference, to ensure the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians does not continue to widen.

25 September 2023
Dementia-friendly information booklet

Dr Marianne Coleman introduces dementia-friendly eyecare resources

Dr Marianne Coleman, Clinical Vision Research Fellow with the ACO’s National Vision Research Institute and the University of Melbourne’s Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, has collaborated with Dementia Australia Research Foundation to examine how we can improve the experience of receiving eyecare for people with dementia and family caregivers supporting them.

18 September 2023

Full house at ACO’s Dry eye and Orthokeratology Clinical Workshops

On Sunday 16th July, the ACO held its full day of anterior eye Clinical Workshops, where optometrists had the option to attend both the Dry eye or Orthokeratology sessions or their single topic of interest.

The event provided a rare opportunity to gain hands-on experience in practical skills within a small, skills-based group workshop environment guided by experts in dry eye and orthokeratology.

19 July 2023

ACO appoints Kylie Harris as Director of Operations

The ACO is delighted to announce the appointment of Kylie Harris to the position of Director of Operations.

Kylie’s appointment completes the recruitment of the reimagined ACO Executive Team, following the confirmation of Tim Fricke as the ACO’s new Director of Research and Education in June. Tim and Kylie will join existing staff members Renaldo Tomasiello (CFO) and Chelsey Seamer (General Manager of People and Culture) on the Executive Team, while Pete Haydon continues as CEO.

5 July 2023

ACO joins Australians of diverse interests coming together to support the Voice to Parliament

In a highly unusual alliance, Australia’s not-for-profits have joined forces with the banks, sporting code peaks, IT and insurance companies, trade unions, educational institutions, and some of the country’s biggest corporations to support a Voice to Parliament and a “yes” vote in the Referendum.

3 July 2023

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.

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.

23 June 2023

Vale Ross Harris

The ACO is saddened to announce the passing of Ross Harris on 7 June 2023. Ross played an instrumental role in the ACO serving in various capacities over 35 years, including Clinical Instructor; Chair of the Human and Animal Research Ethics Committee for over a decade; and member of the National Vision Research Institute (NVRI) Finance Committee.

16 June 2023

Staff spotlight: Dr Marianne Coleman visits Sydney & the Gold Coast

Clinical Vision Research Fellow Marianne Coleman had a busy May meeting collaborators old and new to discuss research opportunities.


13 June 2023

ACO announce woman-led Council

Associate Professor Lauren Ayton and Theodora Elia-Adams confirmed as ACO Vice President and Treasurer respectively, joining ACO President Sophie Koh to head the organisation’s Council


2 June 2023

University of Melbourne, Australian College of Optometry – Joint statement

The University of Melbourne (UoM), and the Australian College of Optometry (ACO) have arranged for the relocation of the bulk of the ACO’s neuroscience program from July 1 2023.


5 May 2023

Collaborative glaucoma clinic celebrates 200th clinic

The Glaucoma Collaborative Care clinic, delivered by The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (Eye and Ear) and the Australian College of Optometry (ACO), is celebrating its 200th clinic this Glaucoma Week.

Running fortnightly from the ACO’s Carlton clinic, the glaucoma clinic’s innovative approach evidences how a team-based approach involving ophthalmologists, optometrists and orthoptists is integral to supporting positive eye care outcomes for patients.

15 March 2023

Staff spotlight: Dr Marianne Coleman visits Japan

Marianne Coleman, the NVRI’s Clinical Vision Research Fellow, travelled to snowy Hokkaido in the north of Japan in February. Hokkaido University’s Graduate School of Health Sciences hosted Marianne, Dr Kwang Cham from the University of Melbourne’s Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, and Dr Sandra Iuliano, a nutritionist based at Western Health and the University of Melbourne’s Medical School.

3  March 2023

Celebrating the International Day of Women and Girls in Science with Dr Emma Brunton (NVRI)

This International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we’re celebrating those that are leading action and innovation around the world, including our very own researchers at the NVRI.

Dr Emma Brunton is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the NVRI and was recently awarded a CASS Medicine/Science Grant to continue her research on neural interfaces. The work will be conducted at the NVRI in collaboration with colleagues at The University of Melbourne, Monash University and Swinburne University of Technology. We caught up with Emma to learn more about her work and research aspirations.

10  February 2023

ACO publish new Strategic Plan 2023-2026

The ACO has published its new strategic plan for 2023-2026 which details a sharp focus on patient care, organisational sustainability and workplace culture. Built upon extensive and valuable consultation with the Board Directors, the Executive Management Team, staff and external stakeholders, the three-year plan sets a course for significant positive change to ensure future success.

16 January 2023

International Day of People with Disability 2022

Today marks International Day of People with Disability, a day that aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities.

3 December 2022

The NVRI celebrates 50 years of vision research

The NVRI welcomed past and present researchers, collaborators and supporters to its base at the Australian College of Optometry in Carlton on Tuesday 22nd November, to celebrate its 50th anniversary!

Many of the researchers who played significant roles in developing the NVRI were welcomed home on Tuesday evening, meeting with current researchers and exchanging stories of their time with the research institute, including the people and projects that made a difference to them along the way.

25 November 2022

Victorian Eyecare Service (VES) flood assistance

The Victorian Eyecare Service (VES) will subside any VES or Victorian Aboriginal Spectacles Subsidy Scheme (VASSS) patients who have lost or damaged glasses due to the recent floods. VES patients should present to an ACO clinic or other VES participating optometry practice to organise their replacement glasses or contact lenses.

26 October 2022

ACO celebrates International Pronouns Day

At the ACO, our Rainbow Working Group works to ensure we provide a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ communities, whether they are using our services or work as part of our team. For this year’s International Pronouns Day, the Rainbow Working Group is supplying pronoun badges for staff to wear while working if they choose.

19 October 2022

Staff Spotlight: NVRI in Germany

Michael Ibbotson and Jason Jung have returned from a very successful trip to Berlin where Michael was an invited speaker at the Bernstein Conference satellite meeting, “Major transitions in cortical circuit evolution”.

6 October 2022

ACO working with AFL

The ACO is proud to announce that our Head of Satellite Clinics, Mae Chong is advising the Victorian Blind Football League as they develop classification systems and providing classification to vision impaired athletes.

23 September 2022

Staff Spotlight: Austin Tang & the Mobile Eye Care service

Since 2013, the ACO has worked with the Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria (RFDS) to deliver a much-needed mobile eye care service directly to rural communities across the state.

ACO optometrist, Austin Tang, spoke to Mivision Magazine about his recent trip to Birchip & Donald in north-east Victoria, and the impact of the Mobile Eye Care service.

30 August 2022

ACO launch Victoria’s first public health Dry Eye Disease clinic

In response to the increasing prevalence of Dry Eye Disease in our community, the ACO launched Victoria’s first public health clinic dedicated to the condition in 2022. The clinic aims to improve access and equity of eye care for people with dry eyes.

1 August 2022

Introducing ACO Council President Sophie Koh

Sophie Koh has been appointed as the ACO Council President, taking over the leadership role last month. We caught up Sophie to speak to her about the ACO and her new role.

27 July 2022

Wyndham Eye Care selected as award finalist

ACO’s Wyndham Eye Care has been shortlisted as a Not-for-Profit finalist in the Wyndham City Council Business Awards!

12 July 2022

Staff Spotlight: A Multi-faceted Career in Public Health

ACO optometrists Joe Waterman, Mina You and Lisa Wise were recently interviewed by MiVision to talk about the range of work optometrists can get involved with at the ACO, each of them touching upon different aspects of being an ACO clinician from their own experiences. CEO Pete Haydon and Director of Clinical Service Neville Turner also added to the piece talking about the importance of public health organisations such as the ACO.

1 July 2022

Staff Spotlight: Vivian Kong in Mivision

“The ACO’s mission to provide high-quality, affordable eye care is one I feel very strongly about..”

Vivian Kong, Site Manager of our Braybrook Clinic, spoke to Mivision about her passion for public health and being thrown in the deep end during the COVID pandemic.

1 July 2022

Awards 2022

Last week we announced the latest award recipients at the 2022 ACO & NVRI Annual General Meeting. Congratulations to this year’s award winners!

6 June 2022

Launch of 2021 Annual Report

We are delighted to share the 2021 Annual Report which was launched at the AGM. The report highlights all our accomplishments over last year. A big thank you to all those who were involved in the process. The annual report showcases the exceptional work of our staff through the year! It is now available on the ACO website under ‘Reports and Publications‘.

31 May 2022

Vale John Nathan OAM

We are sad to announce that John Nathan OAM passed away on 15 May 2022, just short of his 98th birthday.

16 May 2022

PRESS RELEASE: Collaborative eye care pilot could help save the sight of some of Australia’s most vulnerable

The Australian College of Optometry (ACO) has joined the Optometry Australia (OA) call for optometrists and ophthalmologists to come together for a pilot aimed at combatting alarming treatment drop out rates that threaten patients’ sight.

26 April 2022

Pete Haydon commences his role as ACO’s new CEO

We welcomed our new CEO Pete Haydon, who commenced his role with the ACO last month.

1 Dec 2021
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Lauren Freir, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
03 9349 7579 | 0434 679 022