Catalogue Number: 3527
Collection of material relating to the founding of the National Vision Research Institute of Australia (NVRI) and its early years
Category: Memorabilia and ephemera
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1968 - 1976
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Melbourne
Publisher/Manufacturer: Victorian College of Optometry
Description Of Item: (1) Booklet announcing an appeal for $100,000 to establish laboratories for vision research within the Victorian College of Optometry, circa 1968, 229 x 173 mm, stiff white card printed in black and white, 8 pages, 4 photographs, with the names of the members of the Appeal Committee on the last page, (2) Report of the Chairman of the National Optometric Clinical Sciences Research Fund, David M Cockburn,for the year 1972, A4 size single-fold leaflet, sage green paper, 4 pages, (3) The first annual report of the National Vision Research Institute of Australia, for the year 1973, A4 size single-fold leaflet, beige paper, 4 pages, (4) Invitation from the Chairman of the NVRI Board of administration, David M. Cockburn, to Mr and Mrs I. L. Bailey to the official opening of the NVRI research laboratories on May 24 1975 by the honourable R. J. Hamer ED LLM Premier of Victoria, green card, 113 x 167 mm, single fold, with the invitation on the front and order of proceedings on the inside, and, (5) Two other annual reports of the NVRI for the years 1976 and 1979.
Historical Significance: Barry Cole, then the Director of the Victorian College of Optometry, proposed an appeal for funds to build research laboratories for clinical research, an idea approved by the College Council and launched on February 14 1969. Item 1 is a promotional booklet for the appeal.The initiative came from the fact that Australian optometry has only recently embarked on serious research, in the University of NSW in the 1950s and at the Victorian College of Optometry (VCO) in the 1960s. The VCO had become an affiliated college of the University of Melbourne in 1961. Optometry was now taught in the University of NSW and the University of Melbourne and these universities expected a high level of research activity of its component disciplines but the human and financial resources in optometry in both universities were small. In addition, limited floor space in the VCO constrained its research expansion. Another motive for this initiative was the creation of Colleges of Technology by Commonwealth government fiat to be the providers of vocational education. The point of differentiation was that universities would teach the more complex professional disciplines and conduct research - the Colleges of Technology were to teach the simpler technical vocations and not expected to do research. There was a real risk that optometry teaching would be shifted to Colleges of Technology. Research was seen as a key differentiating factor.Item 2, the 1972 report of the appeal fund, shows the appeal had exceeded its target, that land had been purchased for the Institute's laboratories, the building had been designed and a building contract had been let. Item 3 the first annual report of the NVRI for the year 1973 reports the appeal had now raised $170.000, the NVRI had been established and research grants had been obtained for the first research project. Item 3 records that the NVRI laboratories were officially opened on May 24 1975.A full set of NVRI annual reports to 2007 is held at Cat No. 957.
How Acquired: Donated by Ian Bailey, honorary life member of the College
Date Acquired: Mar 2018
Location: Archive office. Pamphlet and ephemera filing cabinet. Drawer 8