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Deakin University’s inaugural optometry graduates and staff celebrate with the traditional throwing of mortar boards   Photo: Donna Squire, Deakin University


By Helen Carter


The first 63 optometry students to graduate from Deakin University celebrated their achievements at the inaugural Master of Optometry graduation ceremony on 6 October.

The ceremony was held at Costa Hall, Deakin University Waterfront Campus.

Deakin’s Foundation Director of Optometry and former Chair in Optometry, Professor Harrison Weisinger, gave the occasional address. Professor Weisinger resigned from the position in July and now has an honorary professorial appointment within the School of Medicine.

Graduating optometry student Ashley Chan delivered a response on behalf of the student body, which included graduates from all faculties.

Ms Chan said that throughout their time at university, the students were surrounded by mentors in all shapes and sizes, lecturers, tutors and students who were endlessly kind, generous and intelligent.

‘These mentors challenged us, encouraged us and reassured us, all the while knowing how much there was to learn,’ she said.

‘For me, a huge thank you is also owed to my family and friends for their unreserved and unwavering support throughout this journey. I’m sure I can speak for my fellow graduates by saying that without our family and friends, the road would have been much bumpier.

‘We can now look back at the unique footprints that we have made for ourselves at university, and look forward to the limitless potential that the future holds. I’m sure that as we step out into the world, we do so equipped with the best tools possible and the best people to walk alongside us.’

Ms Chan completed her student clinical placement with Optometry Australia president Kate Gifford and now works at the Australian College of Optometry.

The Deakin course is Australia’s first accelerated optometry course, offering the combined Bachelor of Vision Science and Master of Optometry in three and a half years.

Read Ashley Chan’s address at the graduation ceremony.

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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.