The first optical dispensers in New Zealand to graduate from a new course run by OptiBlocks and the Australasian College of Optical Dispensing (ACOD) have been acknowledged at an awards event on 26 October. The event was held during the annual conference for the Association of Dispensing Opticians New Zealand (ADONZ) at Waipuna, Auckland. This was the first class of students to graduate in NZ from the course established by ACOD and OptiBlocks, which is the education arm of the ADONZ. Of 28 students from around the country, 25 attended to receive their certificate, along with over 150 colleagues, friends, family and conference delegates.
The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the inaugural winner of the David Wilson Memorial Award. Dr. Wilson, from Sydney Australia, was a prominent fixture in NZ optics for many years, and when he died two years ago the ADONZ chose to celebrate his legacy with this award. Dr. Wilson’s wife Jan was invited to present the award to the first recipient, Samantha Ballantyne of Hamilton. Other awards were presented to: Samantha Ballantyne (first in course), Christian Hipp (second in course), Jenna Barneveld (third in course) and Jasmine Brodie Fell who received the special achievement award.
Following the event, graduates and guests enjoyed drinks and canapes overlooking the picturesque waters of the Panmure Basin.