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HomeminewsVale Margaret Banks

Vale Margaret Banks

Margaret Banks

Ground-breaking Victorian optometrist Margaret Banks OAM FACO has died at the age of 97.

One of the first female optometrists in Victoria, and the first female behavioural optometrist in Australia, Ms Banks passed away on 11 February this year.

She was the recipient of an Order of Australia medal in 2005, for service to children with vision impairments through contributions in the specialised field of behavioural optometry.

Ms Banks was a Fellow of the Australian College of Optometrists (FACO) and was awarded life membership of the Australian College of Behavioural Optometrists (ACBO) in 2019 in recognition of her distinguished and meritorious service.

Ms Banks practised in Canterbury, in Melbourne’s east, for 40 years and was an early devotee to behavioural optometry as practised in the United States.

She was the recipient of an Order of Australia medal in 2005, for service to children with vision impairments through contributions in the specialised field of behavioural optometry.

“This was two decades before the establishment of ACBO,” her ACBO colleague Paul Croucher wrote in an obituary.

“From the late 1970s to the early 1990s she opened her home for a monthly study group where optometrists could meet and discuss issues related to children’s vision care and concepts of behavioural optometry.

“She was as gracious as she was hospitable at these meetings. As a young optometrist I found these evenings very inspirational, and I could see that I could contribute more than just refractions and referral of pathology in my working day,” Mr Croucher wrote.

Ms Banks produced the Banks red-green rings, which have been a cornerstone piece of equipment in vision therapy for more than 50 years.

“She leaves a large family, who loved her dearly and a better and grateful optometric community,” Mr Croucher wrote.