History of the Australasian Dispensing Opticians Association Inc
The Association of Spectacle Makers (Victoria) was formed on the 16th of December 1955. Another association called The Optical Dispensers and Spectacles Makers Guild of Australia represented those who were business owners in the field of optical dispensing in Victoria was formed.
In the early 1970’s the guild began running courses in optical dispensing initially at OPSM in Collins Street Melbourne, with members running the lectures. The venue was later moved to R.M.I.T. where the Guild would rent a classroom and still continue to staff the lectures from the membership. Physics lectures were however run by the head of the department of applied science, Frank Hemmings.
Then in 1996 the Guild approached R.M.I.T. with the proposal that they should take over the running of the course. With the formation of the national qualifications framework, the Diploma in Optical Dispensing became a nationally recognized Certificate IV course which it still is today.
In 1984 the two associations were galvanised to fight a major threat to their survival by the Optometrists Registration Board. The Board were proposing to change the optometric legislation to prevent dispensing opticians and optometrists from working next to each other and to heavily restrict advertising by optometrists.
That battle was won and dispensing opticians now freely employ and enter into equal partnerships with optometrists.
Soon after, the Optical Dispensers and Spectacle Makers Guild merged into the Association of Spectacle Makers (Victoria). Then in 1997 in order to standardize the name of all optical dispensing associations throughout Australia with the formation of a national body, the name was changed to the Australasian Dispensing Opticians Association (Victoria). With the collapse of the fledgling national body in 2003, the name then reverted to Australasian Dispensing Opticians Association Inc.
Over the years a number of approaches have been made to the Victorian Government with the aim of regulating optical dispensing. All attempts have been to no avail, so in 2009 a system of self regulation was put in place by the association in order to maintain a continuing high standard of service to the general public. The association runs continuing education, social events, competency examinations and administers practice accreditation. It also lobbies government and educational institutions for the promotion of the rights of dispensing opticians.