Catalogue Number: 2318
William George Kett (1887-1962) FSMC, DSc hon causa, leader in the optometric profession in Australia in the first half of the 19th C and long-term Editor of Australian Journal of Optometry from 1920 to 1962.
Sub-Category: Photograph People and events
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1922
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Description Of Item: Digital monochrome photograph 2845 x 3305 pixels, 250 pixels per inch
Historical Significance: William Kett was a key figure in the history of optometric education in the State of New South Wales and a national professional leader. He studied medicine at the University of Melbourne but did not complete the course because of the premature death of his father. He then studied optometry under the private tutorship of Henry van Heems later moving from Melbourne to Sydney to take up a position in an optometry practice. He travelled to London to further his studies in optometry and obtained his Fellowship the Company of Spectacle Makers in 1914 having studied under the preeminent Lionel Laurance. On his return to Sydney he immediately became active in the affairs of his profession. He became Director of Education for the Institute of Optometrists of NSW and established a part-time 2-year optometry course about 1916. He played roles in the formation of the National Optometry Association in 1918 and in securing Registration of optometrists in NSW in 1930. He promoted the idea of a national optometry journal and was its Editor for an extraordinary 42 years, from 1920 to 1962. He was appointed a foundation Councillor of the University of NSW (1949-1962) and was instrumental in making sure the optometry course at the Sydney Technical College moved to the new university in 1949. He was admitted honoraris causa to the degree of Doctor of Science by the University in 1957. The photograph was taken at the Fifth National Optometrical Congress in Hobart in 1922 when Kett was 35 years of age and is a detail from the photograph of all delegates. His profile was published in Clin Exp Optom 2000; 81: 283-287.
How Acquired: Donated by Optometrists Association Australia
Date Acquired: Oct 2013
Location: Archive computer iPhoto