Today (Tuesday 27/05/2019) the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) officially celebrates 50 years as a college.
The College in Australia was formed in order to bring together the numerous and varied ophthalmology qualifications that were available at the time into a single, high quality, training program and examinations system. With this is mind, the College’s predecessor organisation, the Ophthalmological Society of Australia, was disbanded and reformed, being officially incorporated on the 27 May 1969 as the Australian College of Ophthalmologists.
The College was granted the title of Royal College, becoming the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists (RACO), in 1977.
While negotiations had been going on for a number of years, it was not until 1997 that the Ophthalmological Society of New Zealand amalgamated with RAZCO to form a trans-Tasman college for ophthalmologists. For the next few years, the College was known as the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmology incorporating the Ophthalmological Society of New Zealand.
Finally, in 2000, the College moved to fully properly recognise New Zealand in its and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) came into being.
RANZCO CEO Dr David Andrews states that “While RANZCO is one of the smaller specialty colleges in Australia and New Zealand, over 50 years we have had an enormous impact in the region. Ophthalmologists undoubtably change people’s lives for the better and RANZCO is proud of our history in training, education and across all areas of eye care. We look forward exciting developments in the future.”
While there have been a number of significant dates in the formation of the College, the 27 May 1969 is particularly notable. Today we celebrate 50 years of being a College. Later in the year, on 8 October, we will celebrate 50 years since the first official meeting of the College. Through 1969 and the 50 following years there have been a large number of notable moments for the College – when New Zealand joined being a particularly important one – and we will aim to celebrate the anniversaries of these dates in the future, as well as look ahead to what the next 50 years of the College and of ophthalmology will bring. Please continue to look out for interesting events and information celebrating our 50th year, including an e-publication history of the College.