James Muecke, 2020 Australian of the Year
A few months ago, South Australian ophthalmologist Dr James Muecke AM was named as the Australian of the Year for 2020. Dr Muecke was honoured for his decades of pioneering work in Australia and abroad where his focus remains to fight blindness. Dr Muecke said that while it was humbling to receive such a prestigious award, his work is far from over. He duly notes that there are 285 million people across the globe with vision impairment and blindness, 80% of which is avoidable, and he hopes that his award will help raise awareness of this problem and help to bring the power of sight to more communities across the world.
Dr Muecke is Chairman of Sight For All whose mission is to empower communities by creating sustainable solutions to deliver high quality eye health care through the provision of research, education and equipment throughout the world. Our practice strongly supports the work of Sight For All, and my colleague Andrew Huhtanen and I have done volunteer work for Sight For All in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar where our main task was to pass on our knowledge and skills – mainly in regard to contact lens fitting and diagnosis of eye disease – to eye health professionals in these areas.
Dr Muecke is a truly humble man and his award is richly deserved. He strongly believes that we all have the right to sight and access to quality eye care is at the core of his – and Sight For All’s – vision. Being recognized as Australian of the Year for 2020 is testament to his outstanding work in fighting blindness both overseas and here in Australia, and we take great pleasure in congratulating him on this wonderful honour.
We always need people like him in the world!