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Wednesday / May 18.
HomeminewsACOD Graduates Biggest Cohort

ACOD Graduates Biggest Cohort

The Australasian College of Optical Dispensers (ACOD) has celebrated the graduation of its biggest group of students year on year.

James Gibbins ACOD director and teacher said the students worked extremely hard to get through the course, with many achieving results in the high 80s and low 90s.

Among the top achievers were Gian Frez (first in course) and Luka Kovac (second in course). Formerly an electrical engineer, who then moved into marketing, Mr Frez works as an optical dispenser at The Eye Piece in Sydney.

Having worn glasses since he was six-years-old he told mivision, “I decided to pursue a career in optical dispensing as it not only aligns with my interests in eyewear, but the role is also the perfect combination of fashion, science, sales and customer service – everything that I love and/or where my strengths lie.”

Mr Frez was very new to the optics industry when he enrolled with ACOD. “I wanted to supplement my on-the-job experience with formal training. Additionally, I wanted to stand out to my employers by demonstrating my passion, ambition and commitment to self-improvement.”

He said studying, while managing a busy store and team, and navigating the challenges of COVID proved challenging, however the opportunity to learn and refine his practical skills, and meet peers from diverse backgrounds made it worthwhile.

Luka Kovac, who works as an optical dispenser with Oscar Wylee, said he was attracted to dispensing because of the “unique mix of retail, technical and healthcare related skills” required.

Additionally he said, “The challenge to get to know your patients and their needs in a more intimate way drew me towards dispensing over any other role… you get that ‘wow’ moment and you know you’ve been able to make someone’s day even better.”

Mr Kovac said he undertook the course to build his personal knowledge and satisfy her curiosity.

“While on-the-job learning is good, structured learning is great to help illustrate the reasons behind some of the things we do in the industry.”

Despite the challenges of COVID lockdowns he said, “ACOD made it easy to stay engaged with the materials through their online forum and video workshops.

“The people running the course were absolutely amazing. They really provided all the material needed to help you grow professionally, while the workshops were a great way to get practical experience but also meet with other dispensers who have had different experiences that you can learn from.”

WORKING THROUGH CHALLENGES

Mr Gibbins said working through COVID presented challenges for all students, including delayed or reduced face-to-face workshops, many of which were replaced with interactive webinars.

“Many students, who are more suited to face-to- face learning, struggled with the webinars, which meant a greater reliance on the workplace for support and supervision.

“While some students reported that their workplaces provided an outstanding level of supervision and support, others reported that the support received was actually quite poor, which was disappointing.

“All in all, our students deserve credit for overcoming these challenges and achieving their qualification,” said Mr Gibbins.

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