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Future dispensers benefit thanks to donation from ‘industry legend’

The Australasian College of Optical Dispensing (ACOD) has received a significant donation of frames with a retail value exceeding $250,000.

Australian frame and sunglass designer Mr Jono Hennessy Sceats has donated more than 1,400 acetate and metal spectacle frames for the college to use in training optical dispensers throughout Australia and New Zealand.

ACOD co-directors and senior trainers Mr James Gibbins and Mr Chedy Kalach estimate it is potentially the most valuable donation of ophthalmic frames for training purposes of any optical college in Australia.

They described Hennessy Sceats as an “Australian optical industry legend”.

“Jono and his wife Louise have been ardent supporters of optical dispensers and their training for decades,” they said.

“Jono lectures ACOD students in frame fashion and design and was a guest of honour at the student graduation event for 2018.”

Gibbins and Kalach said the frames collection will be used in the ACOD teaching and assessment kits immediately and will provide students with high-quality frames on which to practice and home their dispensing skills.

It follows another donation to ACOD earlier this year from Australian supplier Eyes Right Optical. It donated 1,500 frames that previously would have had a wholesale value of $100,000, helping ensure the training provider can run workshops that simulate real world optical practice experience.

The donations are timely, as the Federal Government in January confirmed more than 300 optical dispensing placements under a new trainee wage subsidy program. This number is said to have increased significantly in recent months.

In order to meet the sudden surge in demand for places, and to cope with the increase in both size and number of workshops, ACOD has purchased new training equipment and employed four new teachers.

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