minews

Print this page

Queen’s Birthday Honours List Acknowledges Contributions to Eye Health

mivision | 20 June 2017
mivision congratulates the following people who were included in the Queen’s Birthday 2017 Honours list, who have made significant contributions to eye health in Australia and the quality of life of people who are vision impaired or blind.

Officer (AO) in the General Division

Dr. Catherine Mary Green, Victoria

Ophthalmologist Dr. Catherine Green was recognised for distinguished service to ophthalmology as a clinician, through executive roles with national and international professional groups, to research and education, and to eye health care programs in the Asia-Pacific.

Dr. Green, who is the Head of the Glaucoma Unit at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH) and operates a private practice at Lansdowne Eye Clinic in East Melbourne, said the award came as “ a huge and wonderful surprise”.

“This award makes me proud to be Australian. I migrated here in my late 20s and never imagined that something like this would happen to me. It is more than enough to live and work in a safe and functioning country. It is an incredible feeling to be acknowledged as having made a worthwhile contribution,” she said.
She said the greatest satisfaction she derives from working as an ophthalmologist is the relationships she forms with patients. “Vision is such a precious thing to all of us and working with patients to preserve their sight is rewarding and humbling. But apart from this, working on improving ophthalmology teaching and training around the world to address preventable blindness is challenging, exciting and satisfying. The Leadership Development programs to which I contribute provide opportunities to encourage talented young ophthalmologists to achieve great things: the friendships that I have formed through this are deeply rewarding and I continue to be inspired by what people can achieve with a bit of encouragement and affirmation.”

She is extensively involved in the activities of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO)and has recently been appointed to the new position of Dean of Education of the College. She previously served as an elected Board Director and Chair of the Ophthalmic Sciences and Ophthalmic Basic Skills and Knowledge Boards of Examiners. She also served as a Director of the Board of the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) from 2010 to 2014.

Dr. Green has worked as a volunteer surgeon in Nepal, Myanmar, Timor Leste and has made a major contribution to the establishment and development of ophthalmology training programs in the Pacific region and Cambodia. In addition, Dr. Green serves as Program Director for the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) Leadership Development Program and is a member of several other international committees for the International Council of Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the APAO.

Dr. Green has also received include the Distinguished Service and the Nakajima Awards of the APAO, the Gillies Medal of the Australia and New Zealand Glaucoma Society and Honorary Membership of the South African Glaucoma Society.

Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in the General Division

John Cornaggia, South Australia

John Cornaggia was recognised for service to people who are blind or have low vision, and to sport.  
Mr. Cornaggia was diagnosed with glaucoma at the age of four. He lost sight in his right eye when doctors operated on his right eye at that time, it hemorrhaged and he went blind in that eye. He lived a relatively normal life with 90 per cent vision in his left eye and until, as an adult, he lost his sight completely.

Mr. Cornaggia started tenpin bowling in 1987 with the New Concept Tenpin Bowling League at Cross Roads Bowls as a blind bowler, and together with his wife Karen, ran the multi disabled bowling league from 1993 until 2007. Mr. Cornaggia attended 19 tenpin bowling nationals and still holds the Tenpin bowling record for a B1 (totally blind) bowler with a score of 224 (set in 1995 on the Gold Coast). He represented Australia and New Zealand in 2007 and was selected for the 2009 world games, however was unable to participate due to the passing of his wife of 35 years due to cancer. Mr. Cornaggia represented Australia in Trans-Tasman Lawn Bowls Competition in 2007 and has been a member of SA Blind Lawn Bowls, since 1999.

In 1999, he started at Eye Play Sport (then known as the Blind Sporting Council) as a board member for four years, then Vice President for four years. In 2007 he was appointed President. He has been the Public Relations Officer and National Delegate for the South Australian Disabled Ten Pin Bowling for over 20 years, and in 2015 formed the Mt Barker Voluntary Group.

Medal in the General Division

Dr. Roger Thomas Welch, Queensland

Dr. Roger Welch is founder and CEO of Vision Centre Gold Coast and Vision Centre Day Surgery. An ophthalmologist, he practises at Vision Centre Southport and at Vision Centre Robina and is recognised for his expertise in cataract, excimer laser refractive surgery, retina-vitreous and general ophthalmology, especially glaucoma. Since 1996, when he founded the Moree Eye Service, Dr. Welch has provided a regular service to the Moree area, operating on a surgical bus, and now provides eye surgery through the Moree Base Hospital. Since 2007, he has been a consultant to the Pius X Aboriginal Health Care Corporation at Moree. Dr. Welch is an active presenter at Society and College meetings. He is active in registrar and medical student teaching for local Universities.



  • Dr. Catherine Mary Green, Victoria

' t is more than enough to live and work in a safe and functioning country. It is an incredible feeling to be acknowledged as having made a worthwhile contribution '