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HomeminewsVale Professor Brian Layland 1930 – 21 October 2022

Vale Professor Brian Layland 1930 – 21 October 2022

Professor Brian Layland, OAM OLM Fellow UNSW (HON. Causa) has passed away after a long illness.

Professor Layland was a dedicated optometrist, a past National Councillor for the NSW Optometry Association and a past President of the National Optometry Association. He was instrumental in initiating ProVision Eyecare and was a Chair and Director of the Brien Holden Vision Institute Board. A champion of Aboriginal health, both through his efforts to deliver sustainable eye care services to Aboriginal communities across NSW and Northern Territory, Prof Layland’s support was integral to the establishment of the Aboriginal Health College at Little Bay in Sydney.

He lived for optometry – we will never see his like again

Speaking at the ProVision conference in Melbourne today, Ian Bluntish, Chair of ProVision, said anyone who knew Prof Layland recognised that it was difficult to supress his energy – he remained involved in opto-politics into his ninth decade of life.

Andrew McKinnon, CEO of Optometry NSW/ACT said, “Brian was one of what I’ve come to know as the three titans of the profession – Brian, George Bell and Brien Holden. He was instrumental in getting diagnostic drugs in 1963, then rebates for optometry consultations via Medibank in the mid 70s, and approval for prescribing therapeutics in 2000.

“There was hardly a major advancement for the profession, from the 1950s to 2000s, that Brian wasn’t a big part of. He lived for optometry – we will never see his like again.”

Mr Bluntish described Professor Layland as an incredible visionary who had the initial ideas, the vision and the drive to establish ProVision as an organisation that would provide cooperative action and support to ensure the sustainability of small, independent optometry practices. Set up to assist the Association, the company’s charter was to provide activities relating to group buying, marketing and business training.

Although it “took a while” to come to fruition, Mr Bluntish said ProVision continues to meet the initial charter set down by Prof Layland and implemented by Joe Chakman.

Brian Layland was born in 1930, in the then working class Sydney suburb of Balmain. You can read more about his extraordinary life and contribution to eye care in an article published by mivision in 2011 to celebrate his 80th year.

Professor Layland’s funeral will be held at 1pm on Monday 7 November at the Forest Memorial Park, (Leppington, Lawn Cemetery), Camden Valley Way, Leppington. If you are planning to attend, please advise OSNW/ACT so that Prof Layland’s family can be advised. Email [email protected] or telephone (AUS) 0422 843 843.