Catalogue Number: 1845
'Pansy'. A life of Roy Douglas Wright.
Sub-Category: Hewett collection
Author: McPHEE Peter
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1999
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Melbourne
Publisher/Manufacturer: Melbourne University Press
Description Of Item: Dust wrapper with illustrated sketch of Professor RD Wright by Louis Kahan, white cloth cover, 265 pages, illustrated with many black and white photographs.
Historical Significance: Professor Sir Douglas Wright AK, MBBS, DSc, FRACP (1907-1990) was Professor of Physiology at the University of Melbourne (1931-1971) and a powerful figure in the University and broader society as this biography attests. He was a supporter of optometry in the 1940s when the then newly established Opticians Registration Board of Victoria was attempting to establish a four-year optometry course at university level. The Opticians Registration Act required the Board to confer with the University of Melbourne and the Board hoped that the University would provide the course, or least assist in providing it. The Chancellor of the University at the time, Sir James Barrett, was an ophthalmologist and ensured that the University opposed the Board's proposals. When Sir James was deposed in 1939 following the appointment of the first Vice-Chancellor, (Sir) John Medley, several Melbourne University professors were able to provide support for the proposed 4-year optometry course, among them Professor Wright and Professor Arthur Amies. See Cole BL Clin Exp Optom 2009; 92:511-518 for an account of these events. As it happens there was another association: Professor Wright's long-time mistress and later his wife Miss Meriel Wilmot, was the secretary of the Australian College of Optometry from 1957 to 1961, at the time when the optometry course of the Australian College of Optometry was accepted as a degree course of the University of Melbourne. A short biography of Professor Wright can be found at http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/collections/archives/collections/chancellors/wright.html.
How Acquired: Purchased by Kett Museum ($2)
Date Acquired: July 2011
Location: Nathan Library. Hewett collection