H Barry Collin AM
Barry L Cole
as a part-time lecturer in ocular pathol- etry and his sub-major in physics qualifiedhim for his part-time demonstrator posi-tion in the Physics Department in the stairs to the tiny staff room in the Victo- ment to decide on a change to his career.
of coffee with me. He told me that he was thinking of leaving his job as optometrist in his father’s practice and was looking for a new job. His work as an optometrist was no longer giving him much satisfaction.
H Barry Collin AM
Professor Emeritus
premises in the city to its own building in full-time lecturer in the college two years practice of optometry was not as interest- ing in the 1950s as it is today—Schiötz had agreed in the previous year to offer a tonometry had just arrived, slit lamps were cially as his father was reluctant to admit be taught in conjunction with the college.
cycloplegia was prohibited by law and con- Negotiations for affiliation with the uni- tact lenses were in their infancy. Detection versity were underway to establish a close rather than diagnosis and evaluation, and optometry course at the Victorian College was not so busy, Barry filled in his spare time preparing for his classes as a part- that walk up the stairs to have coffee with me.1 It advertised the position in 1961 but course were also subjects of the Bachelor of Science course in the university. Some he gave as a part-time lecturer in the Vic- diplomates of the college continued their the uncertainty of its finances.2 Instead, studies for another year to complete a BSc the decision was timid or not, it was the right decision, as subsequent events were after seven years in private practice, espe- Clinical and Experimental Optometry 84.1 January–February 2001 processes of graft rejection. This was im- portant to ophthalmologists. It was signifi- the Australian $50 note for some time.
and told that he should do some research.
Florey, Barry spent 1968 as a research fel- cided that we had to have a research pro- this. They need to be reminded that prior to 1960, there was very little research in versity. Part-timers John Nathan and Geoff optometry in Australia and no research of lished in journals such as Experimental Eye Lederer’s work at the University of NSW Research, Investigative Ophthalmology and vision and the new boy, Barry Collin, had Schultz’s work on optics at the University By this time the temporary assistant lec- ology and a most colourful personality in the university,4 asked Barry Collin to come Collin’s research achievements that broke pointed lecturer in the Victorian College to his office to discuss the possibility of a moted to senior lecturer. In 1973 the Uni- whether lymphatic vessels would prolifer- recognise his outstanding contributions to ate into the tissue of an injured cornea. If responsibility for teaching the optometry profession of optometry. In 1977, the Aus- Collin’s employment was transferred from because the cornea is not vascular. Profes- the college to the university and in that sor Wright had put his idea to some of his sity that recognised outstanding research Over the next few years, Barry Collin’s time for research because of his teaching load, and lymphatic vessels are elusive.
University of Adelaide in 1971. This prize range of questions to do with the histopa- Tenacity brings its rewards because I can is awarded for the most significant contri- thology of the anterior eye disease. It was recall being invited into his tiny office, which served also as his microscopy room, to view a brilliant visualisation of single cell walled lymphatics that he had induced vessel proliferation into the vascularised in Investigative Ophthalmology and one in cal journals, he was at pains to communi- Lancet. The second paper in Investigative cate also with his optometric colleagues.
Ophthalmology was thought sufficiently Barry Collin’s mentor, Professor Wright, journal and its predecessor, the Australian Journal of Optometry, and in the Journal of the American Academy of Optometry. These have covered a diversity of topics includ- reprinting in the Year Book of Ophthalmol- turn invited Barry to spend a year in Ox- ing clarifying the criteria for referral for ford. Readers will recall that it was Florey’s substances and antibiotics that lead to the Clinical and Experimental Optometry 84.1 January–February 2001 trial eye injuries and corneal disease. He him to the senior degree of Doctor of Sci- overdraft over three years and that the op- erating grant for 1962 would be £10,000($20,000), some three times the current state grant. However, despite the promise countries, from optometrists keen to draw council clearly decided it would be finan- but he is peripatetic. He holds a visiting cially much safer to make a short term jun- ior appointment and it agreed to offer Barry Collin a one-year appointment as assistantlecturer. A construction that can be placed on this record is that the council was not both of which he has visited regularly to too impressed with the quality of the appli- Josef Lederer who was the foundation pro- teach undergraduates and foster research.
cants for the advertised position and used fessor of optometry at that University.
finances as an excuse for appointing a per- son who was not an applicant but whom itsaw as having better potential than any of to give it a stronger base in the bio-medical John Nathan was the Director of Studies at the time. This was a part-time position and its schools, to the Australian Youth Choir John was in full-time private practice. He as a tour manager and patron, and as trus- held a first class honours BSc degree inphysiology as well as his optometric diploma, diagnostic drugs, which to that point had which was a good foundation for these early research efforts. His contributions to the literature and the development of academic its readers, he accepted Editorship of the CEO in 1993 and in that role is custodian the award of an honorary Doctorate of Sci-ence in the University of Melbourne. Geoff Henry was the first vice president of the to the school a steady progression of re- college council and, as the presidency was titular and the president did not usually at- REFERENCES
tend meetings, he was also chairman of the The Minutes of the meeting of the Council college council. Geoff also had a first class of the Victorian College of Optometry held BSc degree. Later he was to sell his opto- on July 16 1960 record that I asked if Coun- metric practice to take up an appointment cil might at this stage consider the possibil- fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists ity of appointing another full-time member School for Medical Research in the Austral- London, the only optometrist to be a Fel- of the teaching staff and two months later low of that august clinical and scientific on September 27 1960 the Director of Stud- an international academic reputation for his research. He was awarded a DSc for hisresearch on the visual cortex.
Kett, that council approve an advertisementearly in 1961 calling for applications for a At the meeting of council on June 28 1961, council resolved to defer appointment of a University. His research has not finished lecturer until the negotiations for affiliation University from 1980 to 1989. He advisedthe leaders of the optometry profession who of the college to the university were con-cluded. The thought was that the position were responsible for setting up the Victo- would be more attractive to applicants if it rian College of Optometry in 1939 and 1940 work done with his son, Shaun, on the fine and helped plan the first four-year optom- structure of the eyes of aquatic biota.
the minutes in 1961 also record council’s etry course. He was involved again when the Shaun is Associate Professor in the Depart- concern about the finances of the college and progress in negotiations with the State university. He was a colourful supporter of Government Director of Finance for a larger causes as his biography ‘Pansy Wright—A versity of Queensland. Barry has published biography of Roy Douglas Wright’ by Peter agreed that an appointment to the new post McPhee (1999) attests. He challenged stu- 1994, of which more than half have eluci- of lecturer could not be made without as- dents, colleagues and institutions, asserting at one time: ‘Whatever you do, whether you and found publication in journals such as Director of Finance. This is curious because do it well or do it badly, do it brilliantly. Avoid Histology and Histopathology. He also assem- council received a report from council chair- It is not clear why Professor Wright sum- bled his work into a thesis entitled ‘The pathology and morphology of the eye’ for about research. Barry Collin does not know.
ment intended to write off the college’s However, at the time negotiations leading Clinical and Experimental Optometry 84.1 January–February 2001 to affiliation between the college and theuniversity were in progress and the Direc-tor of Studies, John Nathan, and the coun-cil chairman, Geoff Henry, would haveattended meetings at which ProfessorWright would have been present becausehe was a senior professor in the university.
His future second wife, Meriel Wilmot, wasthe secretary of the College of Optometry,which may have given him further reasonto know what was happening in optometryand have an interest in it. John Nathan hadstudied for his BSc degree and had contem-plated postgraduate studies in the physiol-ogy department and had known ProfessorWright for 20 years. Most likely it was JohnNathan who mentioned that Barry Collinhad joined the staff of the college and thathe had a BSc degree in pathology and aninterest in histopathology. Professor Wrightwas to be Barry Collin’s mentor for the next20 years and they formed a close friendshipthat endured until Professor Wright’s deathin 1990.
Clinical and Experimental Optometry 84.1 January–February 2001


Microsoft word - peitonst no 106-2009 & 130-2009

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