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Fireworks a fitting finale to inaugural ACOD graduation

02/07/2018By Matthew Woodley
The Australasian College of Optical Dispensing held its first graduation ceremony recently, celebrating its students with a cruise around Sydney Harbour.

The first cohort of graduating students from The Australasian College of Optical Dispensing (ACOD) was formally recognised last month, in a ceremony that featured special guests, the bright lights of Vivid Sydney and a serendipitous fireworks display.

More than 70 people attended the ceremony, including 24 out of the total 48 Australian students from the initial intake who had achieved their Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing. Australian frame design icon Mr Jonathon Hennessy Sceats and Specsavers’ dispensing advancement manager Ms Katie Philp were also present, with Sceats delivering the keynote address.


"Jono is the go to name in Australia for frame designing, and has been for so long."
James Gibbins, ACOD director

Mr Steven Hurtz received the top marks in the course, followed by Ms Catherine Marks and Ms Amanda Harris.

Speaking after the event, ACOD director Mr James Gibbins said it was important to recognise the effort and dedication the students had displayed in order to complete the course, and that he expected next year’s cohort to be double the size.

“We love student graduations – it’s significant for them. We know that some of our students may have never been to a graduation event before or they may have been to a university of college graduation that was a bit low key. But this one was only for optical dispensers, totally focused on them and it was pretty special,” he said.

“The lights from the harbour cruise were spectacular, but what we didn’t quite realise was that the fireworks were booked to go off at the same time as our cruise disembarked. So as we got off the boat and were saying goodbye, straight overhead there was a really spectacular and loud fireworks display, which was nice.”

According to Gibbins, another highlight was Sceats’ keynote address, which was both an entertaining snapshot of his career and a reminder to students of their value to the industry.

“The regard for dispensing has been eroded a little bit for a number of reasons, but he reminded everybody to never undervalue their contribution and to remember that they are incredibly important to the success of the spectacle industry around Australia,” Gibbins said.

“Jono is the go to name in Australia for frame designing, and has been for so long. Everyone in our industry would agree that ‘icon’ and ‘legend’ are appropriate when describing him and the role he has had and still has in our industry, with regard to frame design and fashion, both within Australia and overseas.”

While the evening only recognised Australian graduates, ACOD will be hosting an event for its New Zealand-based graduates in October during the Association of Dispensing Opticians New Zealand Conference.

It’s expected more than 30 students will be eligible to attend the ceremony, which will be the first of its kind for optical dispensing in New Zealand for more than two decades.

ACOD EVENT GALLERY


First in Course prize winner Steven Hurtz receiving his award
First in Course prize winner Steven Hurtz receiving his award
Second in Course prize winner Catherine Marks receiving her award
Second in Course prize winner Catherine Marks receiving her award

ACOD director Chedy Kalach with Alex Holden, Beth Birch and Vincent Nguyen
ACOD director Chedy Kalach with Alex Holden, Beth Birch and Vincent Nguyen
ACOD graduates in attendance
ACOD graduates in attendance

Students Lynsay Ingram, Helen Bell and Sanira Silva with partners
Students Lynsay Ingram, Helen Bell and Sanira Silva with partners
Students Shannon McGonigal, Melissa Orrett and Catherine Marks
Students Shannon McGonigal, Melissa Orrett and Catherine Marks



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