The Lions Club of Hobart surprised Andrew with this award at their meeting on September 28th. Andrew was the guest speaker and spoke on his experiences and the development of eyecare in East Timor. Andrew was awarded the fellowship in recognition of his long-standing volunteer work with the ProVision Optometry Team as part of the East Timor Eye Program as well as his work at the Tasmanian Lions Low Vision Clinic (TLLVC) at the Royal Hobart Hospital.
Lions International is renowned for its worldwide work in helping eradicate preventable blindness. Lions International recognises outstanding individuals by bestowing on them an award that is named for its founder, Melvin Jones. This Fellowship Award from the Lions Clubs International Foundation is the highest form of recognition of an individual’s commitment to humanitarian work.
Andrew has made 15 trips as a volunteer optometrist to East Timor since 2003 helping to overcome the huge back-load of eye care until the locals can take over.
It is unusual for a non-Lion to be awarded this award. Although not a member of the Lions Club, Andrew has had a long association with Lions projects. This started with involvement in the Tasmanian Lions Eye Diagnostic centre from 1989 to 1992 which progressed to the TLLVC at the Royal Hobart Hospital since 1992. Andrew enjoys using his skills to enable people with low vision make the most of their remaining vision. He is currently Senior Consultant Optometrist at the TLLVC.