Catalogue Number: 923
Collection of brochures promoting optometry and the optometry course
Sub-Category: Brochure/pamphlet/leaflet (optometry)
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1940 - 1977
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Melbourne
Description Of Item: Collection of 10 brochures: (1) 'The Australian College of Optometry'. 8 pp stapled, no cover, by EH Jabara and WJ Gray 3 versions October and December 1940 and one undated. (2) 'Optometry the Ideal Profession' brown card wrapper, 8 pp. Opticians Registration Board c 1945. Includes cutting of an advertisement in the Argus Jan 24 45. (3) 'The training of an optometrist' single fold, 4 pp, no cover. Aust College of Optometry c 1950. (4) 'Choosing a career' Printed wrapper, 15 pp, stapled. Department of Labour & National Service 1959. (5) 'Your outlook. Optometrist' Single fold, printed leaflet, Aust College of Optometry c 1950. (6) 'What is an optometrist?' 20 page, no cover. Victorian Optical Association c 1950s. (6) 'Optometry' Printer paper wrapper (Pictured), 20 pp. Australian Optometrical Association designed and written by Barry Cole. Early 1960s. (7) 'Optometry in Australia' Printed stiff card wrapper, 15 pp Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, Edition No 1 November 1977.
Historical Significance: Recruitment of students was a serious problem when the Australian College of Optometry was founded in 1940 and the course became 4 years full time at university level. Optometry was not well known and not held in high social regard. It was denigrated by the medical profession and the new course required completion of secondary school, matriculation and study at the BSc level, whereas previously training was by apprenticeship and evening classes based on intermediate certificate (year 10). University level training was undertaken by only a small proportion of young people in the 1930s and 1940s. Moreover there was a war from 1939 to 1945 so many young people had their professional training delayed by war service. Four students graduated in 1944 but none in 1945 and 1946 and only a total of 12 in the years 1947 to 1949. After the War there was an influx of returned servicemen retraining for civilian life but numbers fell away again in the mid 1950s. Considerable effort was put into student recruitment from 1940 to the end of the 1960s. These brochures give a good idea of the perceptions optometrists had of their profession at the time and their aspirations for it.
How Acquired: Record of VCO
Location: Archive office. Pamphlet and ephemera filing cabinet. Drawer 2