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Dr Ian Robertson Order of Australia recipient

Dr Ian Robertson has been recognised in the 2012 Honours list announced on Australia Day - awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his services to Ophthalmology.

The founding head of the hospital’s Corneal Clinic, Dr Robertson also established the Lions Eye Bank in the 1980s and has been in the field of Ophthalmology since 1954.

Fellow Ophthalmologist, Dr Mark Ellis was one of Dr Robertson’s registrars and worked with him for many years.

“He visited eye banks and corneal clinics in the United Kingdom and USA and obtained the medium for storing donor eyes.

“Upon his return he set about raising funds to create the Eye Bank at the hospital, explains Dr Ellis. “He engaged a patient, who was the District Governor of the Lions Club, who suggested that the Lions Clubs of Victoria would support the new eye bank.

Since then the Lions Eye Donation Service has had more than 10,000 cornea donations.

As well as his extradordinary work restoring the sight of hundreds of people with corneal transplants, Dr Robertson is a dedicated teacher and for many years, spent hours teaching eye registrars in and out of the clinics.

“He ran a teaching session during the Corneal Clinic once a week for years," he says. "He was a brilliant surgeon and teacher and inspired many registrars.

“One cannot help but see the care, diligence and expertise of this man with his patients and colleagues."

Dr Robertson also spent time in Bangladesh, teaching young doctors how to perform cataract surgery and in the Northern Territory surveying eye trachoma disease.

The Australia Day 2012 Honours List was announced on Thursday 26 January 2012 by the Governor-General and provides national and formal recognition for Australians across the nation, who have made a significant difference to their communities.

The Eye and Ear would also like to congratulate Mr Malcolm Daubney who received an Order of Australia. Mr Daubney has served on the Boards of The Centre for Eye Research Australia, Vision Australia and Vision 2020 and is an advocate for people with a vision impairment.

The Eye and Ear congratulates Dr Robertson and Mr Daubney on their achievements!