Head's Report

2020 has certainly not been what we expected! I’d like to sincerely thank our students and staff for the level of initiative shown to create a different but highly meaningful teaching experience in the current circumstances.

Since mid-March, all our lectures and tutorial classes have been conducted online. With the exception of the initial national shut-down, students have been attending for critical face-to-face clinical simulation classes and clinical training. We have all learnt a lot about infection control and occupational health and safety procedures. We have also had wonderful support from our optometry and ophthalmology colleagues outside the university sector who have offered their time to provide Zoom tutorials in areas of clinical expertise. A huge thank you for sharing your expertise with our student community. This includes many of our international partners, who have shared their current experiences of “eyecare during COVID”. I encourage you to read our “Teaching Matters” section for further details of our pivoted teaching program and 2020 student experience.

To add to the mix in 2020, in May-June we relocated buildings, and now have the clinic and preclinical facilities up and running at 200 Berkeley St, Carlton. Our offices are still full of cardboard boxes as we continue to work from home with the exception of critical teaching and research activities. I encourage you to visit as soon as pandemic conditions permit.

After 7 years as Head of Department, I will be stepping out of the role on March 1st 2021. The next Head of Department will be Associate Professor Andrew Metha, who is currently in the role of Deputy Head. I would like to take the opportunity to personally thank everyone for your support during my term as Head of Department and look forward to continuing to work with you all in the future.

The new preclinical simulation facility at 200 Berkeley St, Carlton.

The new preclinical simulation facility at 200 Berkeley St, Carlton.