Phil Anderton has been interested in eyes, optics and vision since childhood. This interest was augmented by his first experience at an optometrist in 1964, aged 14, where he was fascinated and converted by personally experiencing the clinical tests used by optometrists to measure vision and optical refraction. He decided to become an optometrist when he put on his first spectacles for myopia and saw the World clearly for the first time. He graduated in Optometry in 1970, completed MSc and PhD degrees and was appointed to the UNSW Optometry staff in 1978. He has published research in the areas of visual ergonomics, retinal physiology and pharmacology, tearfilm rheology and biochemistry, and the socioeconomics of rural healthcare access in Australia. He has served in various capacities advising State and Federal Governments on the Optometry profession, Glaucoma and Rural Eye and Vision Care. He was a foundation member of the Board of the CRC for Eye Rerearch and Technology where he developed an innovative system of postgraduate review. He was responsible for introducing postgraduate education in Ocular Therapeutic prescribing in UNSW Optometry in the 1990s.