The Victorian Optometrists Training and Education (VOTE) Trust was established in 2010 by the Optometrists Registration Board of Victoria from funds accumulated and held by the Board.
From 1 July 2010, a national registration and accreditation scheme was introduced for optometry and other health professions in Australia and the Victorian Board ceased to exist. Ministerial approval had been secured for some of the Victorian Boards reserve funds to be transferred to a trustee. The remainder of the funds were transferred to the newly established Optometry Board of Australia.
The VOTE Trust was created through a Deed of Trust between the Optometrists Registration Board of Victoria and Perpetual Trustee Company Limited. The trust fund was initially established with $490,000 with the requirements that the funds are to be held in perpetuity, invested and the income from the fund dispersed through annual grants and awards.
The Guardian of the fund is the Victorian health minister and a Grants Advisory Committee is appointed comprising nominees of the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, University of Melbourne, Optometrists Association of Australia Victorian Division, Australian College of Optometry and Optometry Board of Australia.
Purpose of Scheme
The principal purpose of the VOTE Trust is to:
- advance and foster the practice of optometry and related techniques, procedures and policies, principally in Victoria, through research and education, to improve patient outcomes;
- improve Victorian optometrists’ ability to practice and Victorian students ability to undertake training principally in Victoria.
The Grants Advisory Committee advises potential applicants that projects from other states/territories of Australia will be considered for funding and that applications from non optometrists interested in the profession can be considered.
Annual Grant Applications
The 2013-2014 applications are open from 1 June 2013 to 5.00pm on 31 July 2013 and are available from the Perpetual Smartygrants website (the link is live from 9.00am 1 June to 5.00pm 31 July only).
Guidelines for 2013-2014 applicants are available in the following document:
The current grant recipients are available in the following document:
VOTE Trust Training and Education Grants 2012 (289 KB,PDF)