Catalogue Number: 1311
Files of unsuccessful applications for registration for the practice of optometry under the Opticians Registration Act 1935
Sub-Category: Optometry Registration Board papers
Government body: Opticians Registration Board of Victoria
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1936 1937
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Melbourne
Description Of Item: Seventeen original manila folders, one for each rejected applicant, containing an application for registration and related correspondence and documents. The folders have the name of the applicant on the folder tab and some handwritten annotations on the front leaf of the folders. There are folders for John Patrick GORMAN, Claude Vernon RICHTER, John Robertson SMITH, Samuel BLACKNEY, Harry Victor BAILEY,Joseph BRANN, Iver W N DYRING, Wm Geo ELLARD,Daniel LAIRD, Fraser LORRAINE, Louie MARCHANT, John Frank MURRELL, Fred SINCLAIR, Augustin George SKINNER, Leon TABATZNICK, Samuel John WARD, and George Ernest WHITE.
Historical Significance: The Opticians Registration Act was passed in December 1935 providing for the first time for the registration of optometrists and the prohibition of the practice of optometry by persons who are not registered. The first task of the Opticians Registration Board was to consider applications for registration and register those deemed suitably qualified. The Fellowship of the Victorian Optical Association (FVOA) and the Fellowships of the British Optical Association (FBOA) and of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers Corporation (FSMC) were recognised as qualifications for registration. Section 8 of the Act provided that those who had been engaged continuously in the bona fide practice of optometry in Australia or New Zealand for three years as a principal or five years as an employee before the act were also entitled to registration. The files provide insights into how optometry was practised in 1935 and the occupations with which it was combined (eg jeweller, chiropractor, radio repairs). They show the thoroughness of the Board and the care it took to evaluate applications: 487 persons applied for registration in 1936 of whom only 25% had formal qualifications. 286 had been registered by the end of 1936 and a further 52 were registered in the following year. See Cole BL 'Bertram Nathan Key figure in the history of optometric education' Clin Exp Optom 2009 alo on this web site under the tab 'People who made history'.
How Acquired: Donated by Optometrists Registration Board of Victoria
Date Acquired: 1985
Location: Archive office. Pamphlet and ephemera filing cabinet. Drawer 2