Newham Waterworth (who secured the first Act of Parliament in Australia to provide for registration of optometrists in 1913)

Catalogue Number: 1847
Newham Waterworth (who secured the first Act of Parliament in Australia to provide for registration of optometrists in 1913)
Category: Photographs
Sub-Category: Photograph People and events
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: c 1920
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Description Of Item: Two black and white digital photographs 1417 x 1856 657 KB and 1410 x 1772 888 KB of Tasmanian optometrist Newham Waterworth
Historical Significance: Newham Waterworth (1867 - 1949) was born in England and emigrated with his family to Hobart in Tasmania at the age of 19. He had little education and worked in several occupations before journeying to Brisbane in 1985. There he taught himself hypnosis and magnetic healing and earned quite a name in treating nervous disorders. He spent a year in Sydney, about 1904, where he studied optometry under Harry Cole, a Sydney optometrist. He returned to Hobart and established a successful optometry practice. He was active in the affairs of his church, his profession and in politics. He was a lay preacher in the Baptist church and active as Secretary and President of the Tasmania Optical Society. He was National President of the Optometric Association from 1922 to 1924. He joined the Liberal Democratic league when it was formed in 1908 and was its secretary and spokesman. Through this he became well known to the editorial leaders of the Tasmanian press and people. He stood as a Labour Party candidate in 1912 but was not elected. He drafted a Bill for the registration of optometrists based on USA precedents (at the time 27 US States had registration for optometrists) and the Bills for registration in New South Wales and Queensland presented to the parliaments in those States in 1906, 1909 and 1911 but not passed. His draft Bill was presented to the Tasmanian Parliament in 1913 by Joseph Lyons, who was later to be Prime Minister of Australia. The Bill was opposed by the medical profession but Waterhouse had the press on his side and the Bill became law. This was the first Act of Parliament to legally recognise and regulate the practice of optometry in Australia and became the model for all the State Registration Acts that followed from Queensland (1917) to Victoria (1935). profile of Newham Waterworth by Charles Wright in Aust J Optom 1980; 63: 145-148, which is also on this web site under the tab 'People who made history'
Location: Archive computer iPhoto

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