Vale John Nathan OAM

16 May 2022

We are sad to announce that John Nathan OAM passed away on 15 May 2022, just short of his 98th birthday. John played a significant role in shaping both the Australian College of Optometry (ACO) and the profession. He was the first Licentiate of Optometric Science (LoSC) diplomate of the ACO in 1944. John went on to become the ACO Clinic Director from 1947 to 1949 and was then appointed Director of Studies in 1950 – a position he held for 14 years.

His work as Director of Studies helped to lay the foundations for the well-respected LoSC course to become a degree course at the University of Melbourne, testimony to John’s high standards and clinical leadership. Recognising the importance of research to the profession, John played a significant role in the establishment of the first optometry research team in Australia in 1961 alongside Barry Cole and Geoffrey Henry.

He served on ACO Council for 30 years and was President from 1970 to 1978. During his time as President, the ACO established the National Vision Research Institute.

John was honoured with life membership of both the ACO and Optometry Australia and was bestowed an honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Melbourne in 1994. In 2013, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to optometric education.

Vale John Nathan, President of the Australian College of Optometry 1970-1978
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