The World Council of Optometry (WCO) has acknowledged vision correction researcher and eye care innovator Professor Brien Holden with a Distinguished Service Medal – the Council’s highest honour.

A pioneer in contact lens development and eye health, Professor Holden is only the sixth person to receive this award.

In a career of over 40 years Professor Holden has been responsible for the creation of a social enterprise that has generated over $1 billion in research, education and humanitarian funds that provide quality eye care services for those without access.

Recognised as a leader in eye care product development, Professor Holden has also provided hundreds of postgraduate opportunities to young researches from around the world and has been heavily involved in the development of the optometry profession in countries lacking comprehensive eye care services.   

Recently Professor Holden has also overseen the development of a retinal camera, which provides advanced detection and diagnosis of blinding eye diseases and other conditions such as diabetes. The camera is intended to bring affordable detection and diagnosis to a range of health care settings, particularly remote areas that experience high rates of undetected eye disease.

Professor Holden said of his award: “Optometry is a wonderful profession, it has the capacity to do immense good for the billions of people who need eye care, especially to those in need and the World Council of Optometry is its guardian, strategic leader and conscience."

“When one is recognised with such a prestigious award, it is received in the knowledge that optometry and my fellow optometrists have offered me, my professional life and access to research, education, the student experience, public health and innovation.”

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