Arthur Hillyar Ley

Catalogue Number: 3591
Arthur Hillyar Ley
Category: Photographs
Sub-Category: Photograph People and events
Photographer: Unknown
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Unknown
Publisher/Manufacturer: Unknown
Description Of Item: Black and white photograph of Arthur Hillyar Ley in presentation folder. Folder 223 mm. x 272 mm. Image 146 mm. x 198 mm.
Historical Significance: Arthur Hillyar Ley (1924 - 2000) was one of the most important people in the history of optometry in Australia. He served as National President of the Australian Optometrical Association between 1973 and 1975, during which time optometric benefits became included in the Australian health scheme, (then known as Medibank, now Medicare) and the Repatriation Department (Now known as Veteran Affairs) program. The introduction of these benefits made eye care affordable and accessible to the whole of the Australian population and reinvigorated a profession that was languishing.Damien Smith, who was national executive director of the Australian Optometrical Association during Arthur Ley's term of office and intimately involved in the achievement of Government recognition of optometry, writes 'Few of today's optometrists have any perception of the ferocity of optometry's war in the 1970s against ophthalmology for the minds of the Australian government. For four years there was almost daily action, on state and federal fronts, against the AMA and RACO, with the government both a prize and a player. If organised medicine had won, the clinical profession of optometry would have been obliterated. It was exciting, intrigue-ridden, adrenalin pumping stuff for high stakes, perfectly suited to a former warrior.' (Clinical and Experimental Optometry 83.1 January-February 2000) Ley was born in Wales and lived in Palestine until he was six years old. At 13 he received a scholarship to the Royal Naval College and subsequently served in the Royal Navy for 21 years. He was made a Member for the Victorian Order 4th Class for his service during World War II. On discharge from the navy, Ley completed an optometry course at Northampton College (now City University) and practised in Weymouth and Plymouth before emigrating to Australia. He settled in Devonport, Tasmania, joining the practice of another notable Australian leader of optometry. Eric Padman. He lived in Devonport until his death. Ley also served terms as state president (Tasmania) of the Australian Optometrical Association and as chairman of the Tasmanian Optometrists Registration Board.More can be read about Ley in an obituary written by Smith (details above) and a biographical article by Charles Wright in the Australian Journal of Optometry at https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1444-0938.1979.tb01892.x
How Acquired: Donated by Optometry Australia
Date Acquired: 30/05/2018
Condition: Good
Location: Archive office. South wall. Cube 4. Album 1

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