ACO Awards 2022

6 June 2022

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

ACO Member Award for Outstanding Service – Colin Bates


Colin Bates graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1976. He went on to join and eventually own the Malvern Optical Clinic, commencing his 40-year long career as an optometrist. In 2014 Colin joined the Kett Optometry Museum at the ACO as an honorary archivist. He was a key part of the team that oversaw the establishment of the Aitken Gallery which opened in 2019. He continues to make significant contribution towards preserving and showcasing the history of optometry, especially with his knowledge of optometric instrumentation and contact lenses.

Thank you, Colin, for your exceptional contribution to the ACO and the profession.

2022 NVRI Fellowship – Professor Nathan Efron AC


This Fellowship is awarded to researchers who have made significant contributions to the practice and profession of vision science and research, and Professor Efron is a exceptional example of this. Professor Efron has been a leading researcher in vision science with a focus on the functioning of the cornea and the development of safe and physiologically compatible contact lenses, investigation of non-invasive ophthalmic markers of diabetic neuropathy.

Nathan Efron is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane and Editor of Clinical and Experimental Optometry. He lectures extensively worldwide, particularly in the field of the ocular response to contact lens wear and has published over 1,100 papers and has written/edited 7 books. Professor Efron was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, Australia’s highest civilian honour, for his contributions to optometry and vision science.

In 1990, he was appointed as the foundation Chair of Clinical Optometry at the University of Manchester, England. During his tenure he established a contact lens research and consultancy unit, served as the Head of Department, and eventually the Dean of Research.

Over the years, the NVRI has enjoyed a long association with Professor Efron not only as a passionate supporter but as the Chair of the NVRI Board of Administration and President of the ACO Council. His distinguished service to the NVRI and the larger optometry and research community is highly commendable and the NVRI is delighted to award Professor Efron the NVRI Fellowship.

Dr Zhichao Wu. Photo by Anna Carlisle

ACO Fellowship – Dr Zhichao Wu


Dr Zhichao Wu is a Principal Investigator and Head of Clinical Biomarkers Research at Centre for Eye Research Australia and a Senior Research Fellow at the The University of Melbourne. Zhichao is a clinician-scientist who has been internationally recognised for clinical research in the assessment of the early stages of age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma using retinal imaging and visual function tests. In addition to his contributions to vision research he is also actively involved in teaching both at university and professional development levels.

The ACO Fellowship is awarded to Members who have made a significant contribution to the practice and profession of optometry and to the community. If you are an ACO Member, you should consider applying for the ACO Fellowship and joining a distinguished list of optometry professionals. To apply, click here.

Nicola Family Travel Grant – Jordan Siberras


Jordan undertook his Bachelor of Biomedical Science at the University of Queensland and graduated in 2019 after completing an Honours project researching the changes to the visual system caused by autism. Since joining the NVRI in 2020 he has been focusing his research on the visual cortex.

Thank you to John Nicola for your long-time support of the NVRI and well-done Jordan! We can’t wait to see what’s next!

Jordan Sibberas

ACO Outstanding Graduate Award for ACO Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics – Rachel Smeal


We are delighted to recognise the achievements of our Ocular Therapeutics alumni and would like to extend our commendation to this great achievement.

ACO Outstanding University Graduate Awards


These students have demonstrated academic excellence and a high level of professional commitment. Congratulations to Ayman Saleh Moussa from UNSW Sydney, Kristin Parker from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Eilish Devlin from Flinders University, Jessica Atme from the University of Melbourne and Madeline Baker from Deakin University.

We look forward to what the future holds for these promising alumni!

Ayman Saleh Moussa
Kristin Parker
Eilish Devlin
Jessica Atme
Madeline Baker
Share this article