Ten Australian eye health care professionals have been recognised in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours, including the late Mr Richard Grills – a former ODMA board chair and founder of Designs For Vision– for significant service to community eye health and the ophthalmic optics industry.
Grills, who passed away in July 2022, was posthumously awarded Member (AM) in the General Division.
In ophthalmology, clinical associate professor at The University of Sydney, Andrew Chang (AM), was recognised for significant service to ophthalmology and retinal surgery as a clinician and educator.
Chang is a consultant ophthalmologist and the head of ophthalmology at the Sydney Eye Hospital and the medical director of Sydney Retina Clinic and Day Surgery, among other appointments.
Distinguished professor Justine Smith (AM), from the College of Medicine and Public Health at Flinders University, was recognised for significant service to ophthalmology, particularly research and education.
Smith is an internationally recognised expert in the causes, effects and treatment of uveitis. Her work extends to infection by parasites and viruses, and ocular cancers. She is also executive vice-president of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Joining Chang and Smith in the honours is Dr Brett O’Donnell, awarded Medal (OAM) in the General Division, for service to ophthalmology. O’Donnell is a dedicated oculoplastic reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney and Mater Hospital, North Sydney.
In optometry, Scientia Professor Fiona Stapleton was awarded Officer (AO) in the General Division, for her distinguished service to optometry as a researcher, mentor and role model, to tertiary education, and to national and international organisations.
She is currently president of the International Society for Contact Lens Research and holds numerous memberships and executive affiliations with scientific organisations.
Conjoint professor Arthur Ho (AM) was recognised for significant service to optometry as a researcher, designer and educator. He is currently the chief scientist innovation officer at the Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI), in addition to an appointment as Visiting Professorial Fellow at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW.
Dr Margaret Crowley (AM), who joined the board of the Lions Eye Institute in 2016, was recognised for significant service to community health, and to people with low vision.
She has held senior executive positions in state and national governments, universities, and the not-for-profit sector – including 15 years as CEO of the Association for the Blind of WA.
CERA research fellow and clinical orthoptist Dr Sandra Staffieri (AO) was recognised for distinguished service to medicine as an orthoptist and vision researcher, and to paediatric ophthalmology. Her research is focused on hereditary eye diseases, including congenital glaucoma, congenital cataract, eye movement disorders and retinoblastoma.
Epidemiologist and former optometrist, Scientia Professor Rebecca Ivers (AM), head of the School of Population Health at UNSW, was recognised for significant service to community health through injury prevention research and education.
Professor Alice Pébay (AM) from The University of Melbourne was awarded for her significant service to science, particularly through stem cell and neuroscience research. Pébay is investigating genetic diseases of the eye, many of which have no intervention or cure.