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Ophthalmic community members receive 2024 Australia Day Honours

Michael Aitken Australia Day Honours


The Australia Day 2024 Honours List has recognised 1,042 Australians for their outstanding contributions to the nation, including three ophthalmic community members for their efforts in neuro-ophthalmology, optometry and support for people who are blind or have low vision.

Emeritus Professor Christian Joseph Lueck has been awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division for “significant service to neurology and neuro-ophthalmology through medical research and clinical practice”.

Emeritus Professor Christian Joseph Lueck. Image: Australian National University.

Prior to becoming Emeritus Professor at Australian National University (ANU) in 2023, he was a Professor in the School of Medicine and Psychology from 2012 until 2023.

A researcher at ANU Medical School Research Committee and clinical director of neurology at Canberra Hospital, Lueck was recognised as a highly regarded teacher of medical students. He has been the recipient of numerous teaching accolades and the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society Merit Award in 2019, which celebrates excellence in neuro-ophthalmology.

Retired Melbourne optometrist Mr Michael John Aitken has been awarded Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division for his service to optometry.

From 1960 to 1993 Aitken held a private practice in Coburg, and was a clinical teacher and lecturer at the University of Melbourne from 1960 to 1970. He is known as an honorary archivist for the Kett Optometry Museum at the Australian College of Optometry (ACO) since the museum’s establishment in 1971.

Due to his significant contributions as an honorary archivist, a gallery within the Kett Optometry Museum was named after him. Opening in 2019, the Aitken Gallery features spectacles, optometric instruments and equipment, books, art works and ephemera.

Additionally, Ms Sandra Elizabeth Knight from Burwood East in Melbourne has been awarded OAM in the General Division for her service to people who are blind or have low vision.

From 1998 to 2000, she was president of Blind Citizens Australia’s Melbourne branch, a disability led organisation within Australia that represents the blind and vision impaired community. Prior to this, she was treasurer at this organisation from 1996 to 1998 and secretary from 1994 to 1996. She was also employed by Vision Australia from 2000 to 2009.

Knight has participated in sports for the visually impaired, including the International Blind Tennis Tournament in 2017, and Tenpin Bowling Championships as part of the International Blind Sports Federation where she was a medallist in 2002 and 2004.

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