Eye care professionals, educators and supporters were among those recognised on the Australia Day 2018 Honours List, which was separated by three gazettes; Order of Australia, Meritorious and Distinguished and Conspicuous.
Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia
World-leading scientist, researcher and ophthalmologist Professor Paul Mitchell from Sydney has been awarded Officer (AO) in the general division of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2018 Honours List.
The Order of Australia recognises Professor Mitchell’s extraordinary contribution in the fields of public health, ophthalmic epidemiology and clinical research, advancing the knowledge bank of research into macular disease. It also recognises his daily work in the clinic which has saved the sight of thousands of Australians.
Professor Mitchell initiated and led the landmark Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES). The BMES commenced in 1992 and is globally recognised as one of the most significant ophthalmic epidemiology studies ever conducted. It continues to provide a wealth of vital information on the incidence, prevalence and impact of a range of potentially blinding eye diseases, hearing loss and vascular disease.
The BMES commenced in 1992 and is globally recognised as one of the most significant ophthalmic epidemiology studies ever conducted
The evidence gained from this study continues to guide clinical practice on ophthalmic disease prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, health policy and further research efforts.
Professor Mitchell has acted as the National Research Advisor and has been an active member of the Medical Committee for Macular Disease Foundation Australia since its inception in 2001.
Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia
Dr. Philip Haywood House
Ophthalmologist Dr. Philip House from Western Australia received an AM “for significant service to medicine as an ophthalmologist, to eye surgery foundations, and to the international community of Timor Leste.” Dr. Haywood has served as a visiting consultant in the Pilbara Region for 25 years where he has made a significant impact on the community, having introduced small incision cataract surgery.
Dr. Ross Littlewood
Ophthalmologist Dr. Ross Littlewood from Western Australia received an AM, “for significant service to medicine as an ophthalmologist, to professional medical organisations, and to the international community of Timor Leste”. Dr. Littlewood has been a team leader/teacher with the East Timor Eye Program Maubisee team since 2009 and, among many appointments, was a National Board Director of the Royal Australasian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) from 2007-2010 and Chairman of RANZCO WA branch (2003-2009).
Dr. Gillian Gale
Dr. Gillian Gale from Victoria received a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia “for significant service to children who are blind or have low vision as an educator, and to learning support and education integration programs”. Ms. Gale has been a volunteer educator with the Department of Education and Training Victoria since 2007 and was an education consultant with the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind (now Vision Australia).
Robert Last from Victoria , received an AM “for significant service to children who are deaf, deafblind, or have low vision, and their families, particularly to those with CHARGE syndrome.” Mr. Last has been the Director of Outreach at the CHARGE Syndrome Association of Australasia since 2011 and was Vice President in 2005 and 2011. Among many other appointments he was an early childhood educator for Vision Australia from 1993-2011.
Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Assoc/Prof. Julian Rait
Associate Professor Julian Rait from Victoria received a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division, ”for service to ophthalmology, and to the development of overseas aid”. He has been an Associate Professor at the Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, since 2005 and has published approximately 40 papers in peer-reviewed journals and supervised over 20 clinical trials of new glaucoma therapies. A/Prof. Rait has been Chairman of Council, Australian Medical Association (AMA), Victoria, since 2017, an AMA Federal Councillor and Chairman of the Council of Private Specialist Practice, since 2016, and Chairman of Anglican Overseas Aid, since 2012, among other appointments.
Marg Veltheim from Queensland received her OAM “for service to people who are blind or who have low vision”. Ms. Veltheim has been the Founding Secretary of Beaudesert Region Vision Impaired Persons Supporters Group, since 2001 and was a Board Member of Retina Australia (Qld) Inc. from 2011-2016 and a Founding Member, since 1989 among other appointments.