Queen’s Birthday Honours have been awarded to two prominent figures in the field of eye care. Auckland-based Professor Charles McGhee has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to ophthalmology, while Jonathan Mosen of Wellington was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the blind community.
Prof Charles McGhee, ONZM
A preeminent figure in his field, Scottish-born Prof McGhee was appointed the Maurice Paykel Foundation professor of ophthalmology at the University of Auckland in 1999, growing the once small department into the large, internationally recognised, research award-winning organisation it is today.
Prof McGhee is the immediate past president of the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology and chaired the prestigious 70-member International Society of Academic Ophthalmology. He was also recognised for his clinical and research contribution last year, when he was presented with the 2018 Asia Cornea Society Medal, the first academic to receive this award in the Asia Pacific region.
Known as a skilful cornea and cataract surgeon, he is still referred many complex clinical cases from throughout New Zealand and was named as one of the 100 most influential people in eye care in the world last year.
On learning of the award, Prof McGhee said, “It is a great honour to become an Officer of the New Zealand order of Merit, especially in this, my twentieth year in New Zealand. However, as always, this honour largely reflects the work of the excellent ophthalmology team I have had the great pleasure to work with and call friends over the last two decades.”
Jonathan Mosen has held numerous voluntary positions that have allowed him to advocate for New Zealand’s low vision community. He was chairman of the Blind Foundation and president of the Association of Blind Citizens New Zealand, where he advocated for amendments to the Juries Act 1981 to ensure there were no bans on blind people serving on a jury.
In 2003, Mosen began working for Pulse Data (Humanware) as the blindness product marketing manager and was involved in the development of the BrailleNote mPower, a device that’s helped many low vision people succeed in education and employment. He has also managed several blindness-specific, internet radio projects, producing podcasts that have played a crucial role in informing the general public about issues facing New Zealand’s blind community. His company, Out of Sight, offers product management advice, training, eBooks and audio tutorials to assist low vision people with modern technologies.
Announced a week after New Zealand, the Australian Queen’s Birthday Honours included several eye health professionals. Professor David Mackey was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his distinguished service to medicine and to medical education in the field of ophthalmology as a clinician-scientist and academic. Dr Joseph Reich and Professor Dao-Yi Yu were made Members of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to ophthalmology and to education, while Mike Lynskey, the former chief executive of the Fred Hollows Foundations, was made a member for his significant service to international eye health programmes and to the community.