Select Page


The first College for ophthalmology in Australia was formed in 1969, taking over the Ophthalmological Society of Australia (OSA), which was disbanded in anticipation of the formation of the College. The new examining and qualifications body, the Australian College of Ophthalmologists (ACO), brought together the disparate ophthalmological qualifications then available into an Australia-wide uniform training program and examinations system. This was the start of what is now the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO).

In the early 1990s, discussions began around the amalgamation of the Ophthalmological Society of New Zealand (OSNZ) with the Australian college, then called the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists (RACO), having received Royal patent in 1977.

While there were arguments made for and against OSNZ amalgamating with RACO, the vast majority of OSNZ members were in favour of the move and the Council of the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists accepted the full amalgamation. At an extraordinary General Meeting held during the 1996 Sydney Congress, the combining of RACO activities with those of OSNZ was approved. Following endorsement by the Council, the College was formally renamed the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmology incorporating the Ophthalmological Society of New Zealand. Functioning of the new entity took effect in 1997 and major changes to the staffing structure took place.

The College continued the process of adjusting to the changes and preparing for the new millennium. Assent was given in 2000 for the College to have the formal name change to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO).

Since 2000, RANZCO has continued to develop, making improvements to its structure and governance, ongoing updates to the training program and the continuing professional development structures and an increased role for the College in shaping the future of ophthalmology and health policy in Australia and New Zealand.

Last updated: February 23, 2022

Get in Touch

Do you have any queries or comments about our website, our products or any  of our services?
RANZCO acknowledges our First Australians, the Traditional Custodians of the land
on which we live and work, and pays respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
Gadigal people of the Eora Nation are the traditional custodians of the land
where the RANZCO head office is located.
In recognition that we are a bi-national College, we also
acknowledge the Rangatiratanga of Māori as Tangata Whenua
and Treaty of Waitangi partners in Aotearoa New Zealand.