Internationally-renowned ophthalmologist Noel Alpins will lead Moyne Shire’s Australia Day celebrations next week.
Dr Alpins, who was awarded an Order of Australia last year, has been practicing cataract surgery and refractive surgery since founding NewVision Clinics in the 1990’s.
He received the honour for his “significant service” to ophthalmology, particularly to the development of innovative refractive surgery techniques, and to professional associations.
Dr Alpins will share some of his experiences when he addresses the public in Mortlake as part of Moyne Shire’s Australia Day celebrations.
“I enjoy going to places I wouldn’t normally visit and talking to people I wouldn’t otherwise meet,” Dr Alpins said. “I’ve been doing it for six or seven years (at various Victorian locations) and it’s very gratifying.”
Dr Alpins launched his book Practical Astigmatism, Planning and Analysis in September, a compendium of his 20 scientific papers providing a comprehensive guide to his internationally-recognised Alpins Method for analysing astigmatism.
“I had a good idea in that I developed new techniques for treating laser eye surgery with astigmatism which probably made me well known in other parts of the world.
“I found a subject I thought wasn’t understood very well and worked it out like I was doing a maths problem at school. This one (the book) took three years to work out, they don’t give you that long at school.”
The Melbourne-based doctor lectures annually at the American and European societies of cataract and refractive surgeries to educate other specialists.
Dr Alpins will share some of his experiences growing up in Australia as an “enterprising young person” and formative years including a fruit picking stint in Mildura. “It was hard work but it was probably good for me.”
He said shared Australian values included working hard and having a go. “Australians a very get up and go people,” he said. “Many have a passion to succeed in what they do. Many Australians will take on the world and come out on top, including sports people and others.
“People in science and medicine don’t get as much recognition as our sports people so it’s been very humbling and a huge privilege to have the recognition to be asked to be an Australia Day ambassador. It’s always nice to be able to be a part of that.”
“Australians like to help each other, whether it’s a time of floods or bushfires or other things.
“There’s a huge energy amongst Australians to be able to help others who are in need.
“They have a friendly outgoing disposition. If you’re happy people are going to be happy, if you’re angry they’re going to be angry too. It’s infectious.
“In my travels when you say you’re from Australia or down under people react very well to Australians.”