John Alfred Nott commenced practice in 1896 after completing his apprenticeship as an optician. He opened rooms in the Burke and Wills Chambers on the corner of Collins and Russell Streets in Melbourne. He was later joined by his brother William. William worked with him for a number of years before starting his own practice further down Collins Street.

In 1926 Ernst Goetz joined the practice. Ernst had completed his training as an optician at Carl Zeiss in Germany 1924 at a time when the fitting of contact lenses was in its infancy. Ernst came to Australia to be their representative here, and on joining Alfred Nott became the first optometrist to fit contact lenses in Australia.

In 1932 Alfred Nott moved into the T&G Building which has been constructed on the site of the Burke and Wills Chambers. By this time Stuart Harvey had joined the practice. We stayed in this location until 1986, shortly before the building was demolished to make way for the construction of the KPMG Building.

Alfred Nott passed away in December 1940 and ownership of the practice passed to Ernst Goetz and Stuart Harvey. Ernst’s son, Arnold joined the practice in 1955, and together they ran the business until Stuart passed away in 1968. Ernst retired in February 1976, and Alan Greenhill then joined the practice in December 1976 after completing his optometric studies and graduating from the University of Melbourne.

Alan took over Ernst’s contact lens practice and began fitting soft contact lenses. He became one of the first optometrists to fit toric soft contact lenses to correct astigmatism. With the advent of advanced lens materials and technology he has also been fitting multifocal contact lenses, as well as having many patients wear contact lenses on an extended wear basis.

Arnold and Alan developed a thriving practice with a major emphasis on occupational health, developing eye safety programs for a number of companies in a variety of industries. With the opening of the Wheelers Hill practice, this also expanded to encompass vision care to residents of a number of aged-care facilities.

In 1975 a second practice was opened in Bay Street, Port Melbourne, growing over the years to become our main practice, and in January 1989 a third practice was opened in Jells Road, Wheelers Hill, subsequently relocating to the Wheelers Hill Business Centre in April 2008. Owing to the imminent reconstruction of the T&G Building we moved the City practice to 135 Collins Street in December 1986, and ten years later to the Grand Hyatt Hotel, at 123 Collins Street, before finally ending our City presence in December 2006, once again because of site reconstruction.

Arnold Goetz retired on 30th June, 1999, and Alfred Nott continues today under the control of Alan Greenhill with the assistance of loyal, highly experienced, long standing staff.