Ian Gutteridge, Ian Douglas and Matthew Wells, the current optometrists at 348 Hampton St, have great pleasure in acknowledging David Cockburn as the founder of the practice and for his innovation and leadership in setting the practice’s style and clinical model. We believe those strong principles are still evident today and we owe him a great debt of gratitude.
David Cockburn had a deep and abiding interest in developing the profession of optometry. He was one of the first Australian optometrists to fit contact lenses and use retinal photography.
David established the practice in 1951 as a new graduate a few houses along from its current location in Hampton St. In 1959, he purchased the present property and modified it into optometry rooms, while his mother lived in the other half of the house. In the 1970s, a second consulting room was added with David looking for some part-time assistance. In 1975, David approached Ian Gutteridge who was in 4th-year optometry school, to join the practice the following year.
This association proved to be very successful and the practice became known as Cockburn and Gutteridge in 1977. The practice became busier and busier, and the need for another practitioner became very apparent. Ian Douglas, also a Melbourne graduate, had been working both in London and at the Victorian College of Optometry. He accepted an invitation to become a partner in 1988 – the practice became Cockburn, Gutteridge and Douglas. Matthew Wells, another Melbourne graduate joined as an associate in 2000 and became a partner in 2005 – the practice name became Gutteridge Douglas and Wells.
David, Ian, Ian and Matthew have all been involved in teaching in the Department of Optometry, University of Melbourne and the Australian College of Optometry. David and Ian Gutteridge were appointed Associate Professors in 1999.
David was fortunate enough to have his lunch cooked for him by his mother for many, many years. This was some compensation for time spent grinding and edging lenses after hours. These days, a major Melbourne optical laboratory allows us to get home at reasonable hours! We have also evolved our frame display from cabinets in each room wheeled up to the patient to the more spacious and stylish display in what had previously been David’s (and Matthew’s) consulting room.
David retired at 75 years young in 1999. We are dedicated to continuing to develop the legacy of David’s foresight of friendly, efficient optometric care. We have been very fortunate over many years to have the benefit of many loyal and hard-working staff members.