Optometry Australia is celebrating its centenary this year.
A national body for optometrists was established in 1918 under the name The Australian Optometrical Association, bringing together six state organisations.
The six state associations were New South Wales, which established a state optometry association in 1904, Victoria in 1911, Queensland 1908, South Australia 1913, Western Australia 1916 and Tasmania 1905.
According to A History of Australian Optometry by Barry Cole, (including some excerpts from History of Australian Optometry by Charles Wright, the first national conference of state associations was held in Melbourne on 3-6 December 1918.
Present at the conference were Messrs W Wenborn and WG Kett representing NSW (Australasian Optical Association); WJ Aird, HC Fisher, WHM Browne, W Nott and WP Wood (Victoria Optical Association); AP Greenfield (Queensland Institute of Ophthalmic Opticians); IH Qurban and EC Murrell (South Australia).
The first national president of the AOA was Mr HC Fisher (he was also president of the Victoria Optical Association).