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Homeminews2024 Kings Birthday Honours Eye Care

2024 Kings Birthday Honours Eye Care

Seven eye care professionals have been recognised in Australia’s 2024 Kings Birthday Honours list.

The Honours list celebrates 737 Australians, including awards in the Order of Australia (General and Military Divisions), meritorious awards and recognition for conspicuous service.

Member of the Order of Australia

Professor Glen Anthony Gole, from Queensland received the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division for significant service to ophthalmology, to tertiary education, and to professional organisations.

Prof Gole has practised as a paediatric ophthalmologist in Brisbane since 1990. From 1995-2010 he was Head of Department of Ophthalmology at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, and he continued on as Director of Ophthalmology at Children’s Health Queensland, from 2010-2018. At the University of Queensland he has been Professor of Ophthalmology since 2010 and was Associate Professor of Ophthalmology from 1991-2009.

Prof Gole has volunteered as a paediatric ophthalmologist with Sight for Life Foundation in Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Laos. He has had significant involvement with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO).

He has research interests in retinopathy of prematurity, retinoblastoma, amblyopia and strabismus, and glaucoma.

Dr Diana Bronwen Semmonds from New South Wales received a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division for significant service to ophthalmology, to regulatory bodies, and to professional organisations.

A principal ophthalmologist at St Leonards Eye Centre, Dr Semmonds specialises in cataract and refractive surgery. Among many roles, she has been a visiting medical officer for the intraocular implant unit at Sydney Eye Hospital (South Eastern Sydney Local Health District) since 1988, a member of the Medical Advisory Committee with the Sight Foundation Theatre since 2008, was Chair of the Alumni Association from 2008-2012, and has been a Director of Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation, since 1997.

Dr Semmonds was Vice President of RANZCO from 2016-2018, Chair from 2001-2012 and a Board Director from 2009-2018. She was a Federal Councillor from 1988-2001 and from 2006-2009; and has been on several committees. She also held senior positions with the NSW Branch of RANZCO, including Chair from 1999-2001.

Dr Sherene Davanesen has been made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to community health through governance and administrative roles. Dr Devanesen has worked in health service management and medical administration for over 30 years, including as Board Chair of The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne.

Dr James Edward Elder from Victoria received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division for service to medicine as an ophthalmologist.

Dr Elder practises as an ophthalmologist ay the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne where he held the roles of Director from 1994-2009, Deputy Director from 1990-1993, a co-ordinator of the Paediatric Ophthalmology Seminar from 1993-2010, and a RANZCO training supervisor from 1994-2009.

He has practised as an ophthalmologist at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne since 1992.

Dr Elder has authored 20 book chapters and 79 peer reviewed articles. He has been an Associate Professor with the Department of Paediatrics at University of Melbourne since 2006 and a reviewer for eight ophthalmology journals. Dr Elder has received multiple awards and recognition including Teacher of Excellence, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, 2015 and 2020; Achievement Award, Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology, 2017; and Elizabeth Turner Medal, Medical Staff Association of Royal Children’s Hospital, 2022.

Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division

Helen Christine Summers from the Northern Territory (NT) has received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division for service to the community of the Northern Territory and to optometry.

Ms Summers is the senior optometrist at Helen Summers Optometrist, Bupa Optical. Among many roles, she has been Vice Chair of the Australia Day Council Northern Territory since 2022, and a Director since 2021. She has been Vice-President of Tennis NT since 2023 and a Director since 2020. Ms Summers was a Director of Guide Dogs South Australia/NT and a Director of its Member Service Delivery Committee from 2005-2019.

She has been an Emeritus Member of Optometry Australia since 2021and was Chair of the Australian Optometric Panel from 2012-2021. She is a Past Member of Optometry Australia’s Aborigines and Torres Strait Islander Eye Health Working Group.

Ms Summers’ many awards include the Caroline Amy Award, St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School, Queensland in 2018; Australian Businesswomen’s Network Hall of Fame, 2014; Business Owner Award, Telstra Australian Business Women’s Awards, 2013; Business Woman of the Year, Business Innovation Award, and Business Owner Award, Telstra NT Business Women’s Awards, 2013.

Mr Geoffrey Brian Kaye, a recently retired optometrist from Western Australia, received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division for services to education, particularly STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

Mr Kaye was a cognitive optometrist with a special interest in children with language, literacy, and learning difficulties.

The Kings Birthday Honours List noted his involvement as a volunteer in a number of STEM projects, and as a presenter of STEM at several schools in Perth.

Emma Elizabeth Stanford from Victoria received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division for service to Indigenous eye health.

Ms Stanford is a Senior Research Fellow, Indigenous Eye Health, at University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health, since 2017. She was a Research Fellow, Indigenous Eye Health at the School from 2009-2017 and was Executive Officer for the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes from 2006-2009.