mivision congratulates the distinguished members of the eye health community who have been recognised in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List. The appointments acknowledge the significant service of individuals to their specific field and the broader contribution to Australian society.
Among the recipients of the Member of The Order of Australia, Dr John Lionel Crompton RFD, North Adelaide SA, was recognised for his significant service to ophthalmology, and to the community of the Asia-Pacific region.
Prof Crompton received his ophthalmic training in Adelaide and Melbourne before undertaking fellowships in the Middle East, the UK and the US. While working in Melbourne he was invited to join the Eye Surgical Team run by Dr Dick Galbraith in the Solomon Islands.
“The absolute joy seen in the previously almost blind having their lives turned around by simple cataract surgery convinced me of the need for humanitarian aid,” said Prof Crompton.
“Since 1990, I have concentrated on teaching my own sub-specialty: Neuro-Ophthalmology (N/O) to eye doctors in Asia: Myanmar ,Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, China. Mongolia is the next target.”
Through his work with Sight For All, Prof Crompton has organised In-Country Fellowships in N/O where every couple of months an Australian or New Zealand specialist is sent to spend a week teaching a pre-determined topic on patients in their clinics. This has proven a successful case the “teach a man to fish” principle.
“My other great privilege has been the four decades I worked part-time at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Broken Hill Base Hospital and Royal Darwin Hospital where I helped teach many dozens of eye trainees who are now scattered throughout Australia.”
Prof Crompton says he has taught in 17 countries and, since the impact of COVID-19, has continued teaching via webinars hosted by Sight For All.
“Teaching is a great leveller and always a two-way process. We have so much to learn from each other and not just Ophthalmology,” said Prof Crompton.
“I am greatly humbled by my Order of Australia Award but freely admit it is due to the support and forbearance of my wife and family, plus my work colleagues.”
Other recipients of the Member of The Order of Australia include:
Associate Professor Anne Marie Brooks, East Melbourne VIC, for significant service to ophthalmology, and to eye health organisations;
Dr Tom Justin Playfair, Woollahra NSW, for significant service to ophthalmology, and to professional colleges;
Dr Richard John Stawell, Hawthorn VIC, for significant service to ophthalmology, to research, and to professional bodies;
Dr Kevin William Vandeleur, QLD, for significant service to ophthalmology, and to the international community;
Dr Henry Ronald Lew, Caulfield North VIC, for service to ophthalmology, and to the Jewish community;
Dr John Garth Willoughby, Gawler SA, for service to ophthalmology, and to sailing;
Mrs Marion Roseby Rivers, Gisborne South VIC, for significant service to eye health care, and to the community;
Mr Larry Hyam Kornhauser, VIC, for service to eye health research, and to people with keratoconus;
Mr John Francis Gosling OAM, Doncaster VIC, for significant service to people who are blind or have low vision;
Mr Barry Charles Clarke, Rostrevor SA, for service to people who are blind or have low vision.