The International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) has awarded Professor Deborah Sweeney the IACLE Award for Lifetime Achievement in Contact Lens Education.
Professor Sweeney was presented with the award for her contribution to global contact lens education, which includes serving as IACLE president from 2000–2011, as well as holding the position of secretary and treasurer for ten years.
She is currently the pro-vice chancellor of research and innovation at the University of Western Sydney in Australia, and has previously held executive roles with the cornea and contact lens research unit at the University of New South Wales’ school of optometry and vision science department, as well as the Vision Cooperative Research Centre.
Receiving the award, Professor Sweeney said: “IACLE is built on the enthusiasm and collaborative spirit of its members.”
“It’s been a personal pleasure, as well as a professional one, to be involved. IACLE will continue to make a great mark on contact lens education,” she added.
Professor Sweeney received the award at the IACLE Congress on Contact Lens Education held at the L V Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India on 9–10 September.
The award was presented by IACLE president, Dr Shehzad Naroo, after a tribute from Professor Desmond Fonn.
Dr Narroo said: “Debbie was able to lead IACLE through some turbulent times. Through her renewed vision, IACLE rose into the global model for eye care education. Debbie is a deserved recipient of this award, which is the highest accolade offered by IACLE.”
At the event, Professor Koon-Ja Lee, from Eulji University in South Korea, was also presented with the 2017 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Award for the Asia-Pacific region.
The IACLE Congress welcomed over 100 contact lens educators and industry representatives to the two-day event.
The theme for the event was Translating knowledge into increasing contact lens penetration, and it featured sessions on ensuring that students have good product knowledge, improved fitting, aftercare and communication skills.