VOTE Trust


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 Victoria, 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, and 
  • improve Victorian optometrists’ ability to practice and Victorian students ability to undertake training principally in Victoria.

Project eligibility

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 2018–2019 applications are now open and will close at 5.00pm AEST on 5 October 2018. Apply on the Perpetual Smartygrants website (the link is live until 5.00pm on 5 October only).

Guidelines for 2018–2019 applicants are available in the following document:

Grant recipients

The past grant recipient details are available in the following documents:

Page reviewed 6/09/2018