European Eyewear has donated thousands of high quality ophthalmic frames and Hoya Lens Australia has donated thousands of high quality finished, uncut ophthalmic lenses to the Australasian College of Optical Dispensing (ACOD) for training purposes. ACOD co-founder James Gibbins said the donations will be used by students throughout Australia and New Zealand as they learn the art of edging and fitting lenses, and adjusting and fitting frames. Any unused frames and lenses will be donated for aid work.
“I have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from industry since establishing the College in 2017,” said Mr. Gibbins. Companies like European Eyewear and Hoya Lens Australia donate these valuable products with no strings attached.” He said Hoya’s lenses were donated recently, and then within a day of their arrival, almost equal numbers of frames arrived unannounced at his doorstep, among them Marco Polo, Humphrey, and Eschenbach ranges.
“These are all fantastic quality European manufactured, contemporary frames, in a rainbow of colours and made from metals and acetates. Most of them are standard shapes, which is perfect for training purposes, especially when working with novice dispensers. The more unusual shapes are also great for the more challenging tasks we set our students. “The lenses are in a variety of powers, thicknesses, and materials, some are stronger, while others are weaker, which is excellent for the student experience, especially when it comes to gaining skills in edging and fitting.”
Mr. Gibbins said the donations meant the students would be able to work with new frames and lenses throughout the course. “They would otherwise have been working with frames and lenses that had been heavily worked on by previous students and therefore weakened.”
Many supply companies donate excess frames and lenses to aid work while others simply crush them.
“Donations to aid work are of course wonderful. We would like to see more frames and lenses, otherwise committed to waste, made available for training purposes,” said Mr. Gibbins. “The opportunity to provide quality hands on training for dispensers contributes significantly to patient visual outcomes, which reduces the need for re-makes, and increases returns for optometry practices.”
ACOD will have more than 70 students course complete from its Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing HLT47815 course in Australia, and 30 in New Zealand by the end of 2018. A further 50 students in Australia, and over 45 students in New Zealand, have commenced studies. Mr. Gibbins said the recent breakthrough decision by the NSW State Government to approve ACOD for NSW based traineeships and subsidies would provide another boost to the College, students, and employers. “This will allow us to employ more teachers and therefore teach more students,” he said.
Mr. Gibbins said that along with Hoya Lens Australia and European Eyewear, other companies including Eyes Right Optical, had contributed resources for ACOD training purposes.