2022 Dame Mary Perkins winners announced

11 September 2022

Specsavers Dapto in Australia and Specsavers Dunedin in New Zealand were celebrated at Specsavers Clinical Conference 2022 this weekend, taking out the conference’s annual awards for customer care.

The Dame Mary Perkins Award, which was introduced in 2021, recognises an individual or group of individuals within a store in each country who have delivered an exceptional act of patient care in the past 12 months.

The Dame Mary Perkins Medals were judged by leading industry professionals Justine Cain, CEO of Diabetes Australia, Ian Wishart, CEO of The Fred Hollows Foundation and Pippa Martin, Managing Director of Glaucoma New Zealand.

The awards were presented to two optometrists who stood out for going above and beyond in customer service, clinical care, clinical leadership or teamwork to benefit patient care: Surendran Naidoo Specsavers Dapto and Jennifer Robinson from Specsavers Dunedin.

Specsavers Dapto’s nomination was centred around the story of a patient who had a pituitary tumour detected in an eye test, leading to an urgent diagnosis and surgery that saved the patient’s life. Suren went over and above for the patient by insisting she complete two visual fields tests and then after the referral was made, Suren stayed in close contact with the patient, even when the store was closed for three weeks to refit.

Similarly, Specsavers Dunedin’s nomination involved a brain tumour detection and over and above follow up care for a young patient who required chemotherapy treatment. It also described a day where award winner Jennifer Robinson saw an out‐of‐town farmer with a retinal detachment, requiring same day surgery. The farmer had come to Dunedin alone and had nowhere to park his Ute and trailer while receiving the unexpected treatment which was causing him stress. Jennifer gave him her staff parking space until he had been given clearance to drive home so he could focus on recovery after surgery rather than city parking.

Dame Mary Perkins Medal judge Ian Wishart said “I was honoured to be a part of the judging panel for this year’s Dame Mary Perkins Award for Outstanding Patient Care. All the nominees displayed incredible service for their patients and employed the values of Professor Fred Hollows. They embodied kindness, compassion and integrity in their everyday lives. In the words of Fred himself, they truly demonstrate that ‘every eye is an eye,’ and ensure all people receive the care they deserve. Thank you for the opportunity to recognise their actions.”

Dame Mary Perkins announced the winners in live video cross from the UK.