Catalogue Number: 1846
Collection of e-mails, papers and letters relating to the contested election of councillors for the Australian College of Optometry in 2010
Sub-Category: Letter, notes, memos
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 2010
Time Period: 21st C
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Melbourne
Description Of Item: Collection of about 100 e-mails and letters relating to the contested election of councillors for the Australian College of Optometry in 2010.
Historical Significance: There was a contested election for the Council of the Australian College of Optometry in 2010. This was an usual event: rarely in the 70 year history of the College have there been contested elections; usually vacancies on Council have been filled by the Council approaching a member of the College asking them to nominate for election when a sitting councillor chose not to continue. There was a hotly contested election in 1943 when the founding chairman of the College, Ernest Jabara, sought re-election after he had resigned in 1942, having lost what amounted to a vote of no confidence in him by the Council. See Cole BL Profile Betram Nathan Clin Exp Optom 2009; 92:511-518 for an account of this event (on this web site under the tab 'People who made history') and also Cat Nos 534. 552, 892. 972. There had been two other occasions when more members nominated than the number of vacancies on Council but these were not issue driven. The election in 2010 was occasioned by increasing concern among staff and some members of the College about the management of the College, its directions, staff morale and its financial posiiton. There had been a number of resignations of senior staff, the Director of the NVRI, Paul Martin, the Director of the CVRA , Dr Carol Lakkis, and the Director of the Clinic, Mr Mitchell Anjou. A group of staff sought a meeting with the Council to discuss their concerns but Council was reluctant to meet and some 8 months elapsed before a meeting took place. Some of the papers deal with this matter. The financial results of the 2009 year showed a large deficit which raised concern and some members had questions about the audited accounts. Some of the papers in this collection deal with this issue. The terms of office of four councillors were to expire at the AGM in May 2010, viz Ian Douglas, Erica Fletcher, Graham Hill and Helen Robbins. Ian Douglas and Graham Hill choose not to stand for re-election. A group of four members decided to offer themselves for election as a team promising to address the issues of concern. They were Carla Abbott, Andrew Harris (Pictured), Konrad Pesudvos and sitting councillor Erica Fletcher. They campaigned vigorously, individually and as a team, as this collection of papers shows. They were elected by a large majority. Subsequent to the election, the CEO of the College Ms Joanne Booth, who had been appointed in 2008, decided to resign. Andrew Harris was elected President of the College at the first Council meeting after the AGM.
How Acquired: Donated by Barry L Cole, honorary life member of the College
Date Acquired: July 2011
Location: Archive office. Pamphlet and ephemera filing cabinet. Drawer 4