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HomeminewsDr Trinh Recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Dr Trinh Recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Sydney optometrist Dr William Huyliem Trinh has been honoured in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his life-long work helping thousands of people in Australia and overseas. Dr Trinh received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division for service to international humanitarian medical programs, and to optometry.

As a board member of Optometry NSW/ACT from 1998 to 2001, Dr Trinh is the chairman of charity organisation Australian Health Humanitarian Aid which has enabled more than 8,000 free cataract surgeries, and over 9,000 dental procedures for disabled children in Vietnam and Cambodia.

“I was surprised and very honoured to receive the award,” said Dr Trinh. “But it represents the work of many people and organisations, it is the whole team.”

As a visiting lecturer and clinical instructor at the UNSW School of Optometry and Vision Science and a UNSW Optometry Clinic supervisor, he has taught therapeutics to hundreds of optometry students and has hosted many on placement in his Cabrammatta practice.

“I was always interested in teaching and since 2004 I have been a part-time supervisor at the UNSW Optometry Clinic, and have taught therapeutics to optometry students.

“I host 10 final year optometry students a year at my practice on rotations ranging from one day to six weeks. We see a lot of eye disease and patients with glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, eye injuries and infections.

“I enjoy having students there and exposing them to a cross section of people from the community such as the elderly and the very young.”

Dr Kathleen Watt, Clinic Director, School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW, said “It is truly well deserved. William is an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and caring clinical supervisor at the UNSW Optometry Clinic. He is always willing to share his vast clinical expertise with students and staff and brings innovative and thoughtful ideas into our practice. He is an active member of UNSW Alumni as well as being a Clinical Supervisor at the UNSW Optometry clinic.”

Dr Trinh was co-founder of the Australian Vietnamese Health Professionals Association (AHHA) NSW in 1989 and its treasurer for the first 10 years. In 1990, he helped Professor Hollows raise over $20,000 for his first trip to Vietnam to operate and teach ophthalmology.

“I was surprised and very honoured to receive the award,” said Dr Trinh. “But it represents the work of many people and organisations, it is the whole team.”

“The remarkable thing about AHHA is it has neither received government grants nor paid staff but manages to run charity programs to make lives better for the underprivileged,” Dr Trinh said.

More than 300 volunteers including 60 optometrists, over 40 ophthalmologists, 40 GPs, 30 pharmacists, 50 nurses, 10 anaesthetists and 50 dentists from Australia and New Zealand have taken part in the aid trips.

The organisation also provides humanitarian services and organises and participates in fund-raising activities supporting disaster relief in Australia and overseas. This year it has helped provide personal protective equipment and hand sanitiser during coronavirus and fund-raised for bush-fire relief.

Published with permission of Optometry Australia

Commitment to Eye Health Recognised

The following eye health professionals were also awarded an Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division in the 2020 Queens Birthday Honours for their commitment and ongoing dedication within their specific fields.

Dr Arthur Michael Briner (QLD) was recognised for his service to the Jewish community, and to ophthalmology,

Dr Harold Paul Spiro (QLD) was recognised for his service to paediatric ophthalmology, and

Mrs Alison Plain (VIC) was recognised for her service to the international community of Indonesia through eye health programs.

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