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Queen’s Birthday honours for eyecare professionals

13/06/2018By Matthew Woodley • Staff Journalist
A number of ophthalmologists and eyecare professionals have been recognised for their contribution to Australia as part of this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honour List.

Alice Springs-based ophthalmologist Dr Timothy Henderson received a Medal of the Order of Australia (AM) for his contribution to Indigenous eye health in the Northern Territory. Henderson has been Head of the Department of Ophthalmology at Alice Springs Hospital since 2005, while he has also contributed to remote outreach clinics and the Fred Hollows Foundation.


“I’d like to think that through my leadership nationally, we’ve established one of the best corneal transplantation services anywhere in the world – perhaps even the best in the world.”
Graeme Pollock, CERA.

Australian Pterygium Centre (APC) CEO and founder, Professor Lawrence Hirst, received his AM for the development of clinical care techniques and eye disease management. Aside from his work with APC, Hirst is also medical director and a founding member of the Queensland Eye Bank, while he was the former CEO of the Queensland Eye Institute from 2005 to 2009.

Head of the Macular research Unit at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA), Professor Robyn Guymer, also received an AM for her “significant” service to ophthalmology. In particular, Guymer was recognised for her contribution to the understanding and treatment of age-related macular degeneration as a clinician, academic and researcher.

However, Guymer was not the only CERA member to be recognised on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Lions Eye Donation Service director Dr Graeme Pollock received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in recognition of his contribution to corneal research and the development of the world’s first post-graduate course in eye-banking at the University of Melbourne. 

Pollock helped establish the Lions Eye Donation Service at the University of Melbourne in 1991, with the support of then-department head Professor Hugh Taylor AC. Since then, Pollock has helped it grow from a small team into one of the largest providers of corneas in Australia.

“I’d like to think that through my leadership nationally, we’ve established one of the best corneal transplantation services anywhere in the world – perhaps even the best in the world,” Pollock said.

“It’s always been rewarding to work in a field that can make so much difference to people’s lives and wellbeing. To receive a reward in recognition of such work is both a surprise and a wonderful added bonus.”

Other OAM recipients include the founder and chair of the Eyes for Africa Foundation Ms Julienne Tyers, and NSW-based ophthalmologist Dr Sudarshan Sachdev who has performed outreach work and established his own foundation to help fund research projects of personal interest.



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