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By Helen Carter


Fifteen optometrists from the University of Melbourne graduating classes of 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1966 recalled happy memories when they attended their 50-year reunion.

One of the graduates, Professor Brien Holden, CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute, organised a dinner at The Baths Restaurant in Middle Brighton, Melbourne.

The students had all been taught by Professor Emeritus Barry Cole, Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, University of Melbourne.

Students pictured in 1961.

(L-R front) Ross Harris, OAA national president 1981-1984 who practised in Yarram and Croydon; Professor Brien Holden OAM, Scientia Professor of Optometry at the University of NSW and founder of the Brien Holden Vision Institute; Anne Russell (nee Turnbull) who practised optometry in Shepparton; Frank Keogh who practised optometry in Broadmeadows; and Dr Rod Watkins AM who got a PhD in optics and founded an ophthalmic instrument manufacturing business.

(L-R rear) Professor Brian Brown, who became Professor of Optometry at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and is renowned for his research leadership; John Cartwright who practised optometry in Bendigo; OCANZ founder Peter Dwyer OAM; Graham Hill OAM, former Australian College of Optometry president 1991-2003, chairman of the Optometrists Registration Board and a member of state and national executive councils; Professor Leon Garner OMNZ, foundation Professor of Optometry at the University of Auckland; Bob Loutit who practised optometry in Hastings; John Pettit, former ACO councillor, treasurer and honorary life member who practised optometry in Geelong; Frank Denahy who practises in Geelong; Dr Alan Johnston AM, who became University of Melbourne Associate Professor and a pioneering expert in low vision; and Ross Both who practised optometry in Horsham.

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Acknowledgement of Country

In the spirit of reconciliation Optometry Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.