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Saturday / July 13.
HomeminewsUTS Recognises High Achieving Orthoptics Students

UTS Recognises High Achieving Orthoptics Students

Scholarships and awards were presented to high achieving students of orthoptics at the University of Technology Sydney’s (UTS) 2023 orthoptics awards event in the UTS Balcony Room in late May.

During the evening, which also celebrated the collaborative efforts of UTS Orthoptics, the Graduate School of Health, UTS Advancement team and industry, two inaugural awards were presented.

ODMA Richard Grills Memorial Prize

The ODMA Richard Grills Memorial Prize was established to recognise the student who received the highest cumulative mark in the subjects, ‘Clinical Management of Refractive Error’ and ‘Therapy Management and Rehabilitation’ – subjects which aligned with Mr Grill’s area of interest and expertise.

Mr Grills, who has been described as “a true champion of optics” passed away on 12 July 2022. He was a long-term board member and previous Chair of the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association (ODMA), which donated the prize in his memory.

The inaugural ODMA Richard Grills Memorial Prize was presented to recent graduate Melinda Mo, who flew into Sydney from Brisbane for the awards night. Ms Mo was the recipient of the 2021 Frank Martin Scholarship recipient and is currently working at the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital, where she is exposed to her particular areas of interest within orthoptics, being strabismus and neuro-ocular disorders. Ms Mo said in the future she hopes to also pursue ophthalmology-related research opportunities.

The Prize was presented by ODMA CEO Amanda Trotman, and ODMA Board Director, Mark Altman.

The inaugural ODMA Richard Grills Memorial Prize was presented to recent graduate Melinda Mo

Katoomba Parke Scholarship

The Katoomba Parke Scholarship was established to recognise the student who has demonstrated, at application and interview, a passion to pursue an orthoptic career in rural and remote practice.

The inaugural recipient was final year UTS Orthoptics student Poa Yin Leung who, as part of the scholarship, has an offer of employment at the end of his studies with Katoomba Street Specialist Centre.

The Scholarship was donated and presented by Dr Paul Adler, Principal Ophthalmologist and Founder of Katoomba Parke Specialist Centre.

More Winners

The other Scholarship recipients and Prizes winners are as follows.

The Frank Martin Scholarship

The Frank Martin Scholarship was awarded to first year orthoptic student Elias Helou, who was recognised as the student with the highest grade point average (GPA), based on the most recent completed tertiary qualification. The prize was donated and presented by Professor Frank Martin.

UTS Dr Con Moshegov Orthoptics Scholarships

UTS Dr Con Moshegov Orthoptics Scholarships were presented to first year orthoptics students Majida Alajia and Sangjun (Samuel) Kim by donors Natalie Moshegov and Julian Moshegov.

Ms Alajia’s scholarship was in recognition of being the student of refugee background with the highest grade point average (GPA).

Mr Kim’s scholarship was in recognition of being the student from a rural, regional, or interstate area with the highest GPA. Mr Kim moved to Sydney from Tasmania, with his family, to study the Master of Orthoptics at UTS.

The Lance / Jolly Prize

The Lance / Jolly Prize was awarded to Dan Uyen (Danni) Nguyen for achieving the highest average mark in the orthoptics course. Ms Nguyen, who recently graduated, works at Central Sydney Eye Surgeons. The award was presented by donor Neryla Jolly.

The Orthoptics Australia Prize

Ms Nguyen also received the Orthoptics Australia Prize for achieving the highest mark in professional practice (clinical) subjects in the final year of the orthoptics course.

When receiving her prizes Ms Nguyen addressed her parents in Vietnamese, acknowledging the sacrifices they had made to provide for her and her family.

To the broader audience Ms Nguyen said, “Everyday I aspire to be a better orthoptist than I was yesterday – for the people I love, and for those I’ve yet to meet, that might need that little extra encouragement and/or reminding that their eyes are worth caring for. I’ve come to learn that some eye health journey can be extremely tough, scary and lonely. For that reason, I’m passionate about treating and supporting my patients like family, which is my primary driving force to consistently deliver the highest quality of care.”