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Five eyecare professionals recognised in Queen’s birthday honours

Five Australian ophthalmologists have received awards as part of the 2019 Queen’s birthday honours list, including two researchers from Lions Eye Institute (LEI).

Professor David Mackey, head of LEI’s genetics and epidemiology research group, was made an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for “distinguished service to medicine, and to medical education, in the field of ophthalmology, as a clinician-scientist and academic”.

Researcher in the field of minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) Professor Dao-Yi Yu was made a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for “significant service to ophthalmology and to education”.

Yu leads LEI’s physiology and pharmacology research group, and was part of the team behind the development of the XEN Gel Stent. LEI Managing Director (Acting) Professor Bill Morgan said the awards are recognition of two ophthalmic researchers committed to preventing and curing blindness and eye disease.

“Both David and Dao-Yi have made a significant contribution to the advancement of scientific knowledge in Australia. Their work is making a tangible impact on our understanding of many serious eye diseases and how we might develop the treatments and cures of the future.”

Melbourne based cataract and refractive surgeon Dr Joseph Reich was also awarded an AM “for significant service to ophthalmology”. He was the first surgeon to perform a refractive laser procedure in Victoria in 1991, a former director of the clinical school at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and a member of RANZCO committees on intraocular lenses, day surgery and orthoptics.

There were also two ophthalmologists awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) this year.

Retired Central Coast ophthalmologist Dr Michael Scobie received the accolade for his service to ophthalmology and to the Papua New Guinea community. His regular visits to Papua New Guinea over his career have helped restore sight to thousands of people.

Retired ophthalmologist Dr William Nardi also received an OAM “for service to medicine in the field of ophthalmology”. Over the course of his career he implemented a training post in Lismore for registrars on rotation from Sydney Eye Hospital, during which he trained 53 registrars.He also served as a clinical examiner in ophthalmic medicine and surgery from RANZCO for a decade.