Directors & Staff
Board of Directors
DR PETER SUMICH
MBBS (Hons) FRANZCO
Peter graduated with Honours from NSW University in 1990 and after residency he worked as an accredited emergency medicine registrar at Royal North Shore Hospital. He was awarded the Australian Medal in the Emergency Medicine Primary Exam.
After four years of emergency medicine he transferred to ophthalmic surgery and later graduated from Sydney Eye Hospital. In his final year he was appointed as the Professorial Senior Registrar and worked with the Sydney University Department of Ophthalmology which deals with complex eye disease.
A/Prof. ASHISH AGAR
MBBS (Syd), PhD (UNSW), FRANZCO
Ashish is a Glaucoma consultant and surgeon at the Prince of Wales and Sydney Eye Hospitals, and is a Partner with Marsden Eye Specialists in Sydney.
He is a conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, engaged in clinical studies and laboratory research into Glaucoma, being awarded a PhD in this field, and was Fellowship trained in Oxford.
Ashish is engaged in medical education, from undergraduate medical, optometry and orthoptic students, to registrar training and specialist teaching. He is also involved in aid projects and educational programs in South East Asia and India.
Hailing from regional NSW, Ashish is well aware of the challenges faced in accessing specialist services in the bush. Since completing his training at Prince of Wales in 2005 he has remained committed to ensuring medical eye care is not limited by geography. He works in Far Western New South Wales with the Outback Eye Service and is the Director of the Ophthalmology Service at Broken Hill Hospital.
He is Co-Chair and New South Wales lead of the IRIS program, and is Chair of the RANZCO Indigenous Committee.
Ashish’s involvement with the ASO dates from 2009 when the Outback Eye Service was threatened by draconian cuts to public funding for Cataract surgery.
DR LAURIE SULLIVAN
Laurie is a Corneal Specialist based in Victoria.
He has public hospital teaching appointment at the Corneal Clinic at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, where he is involved in training Ophthalmology registrars and fellows.
Laurie has been a Clinical Associate at the University of Melbourne Department of Ophthalmology and the Centre for Eye Research Australia since 1994.
He is also an Examiner for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists and has lectured at the University of Melbourne Department of Optometry and Visual Science, as well as internationally.
A member of the RANZCO International Development Committee, Laurie helped conduct the first ever Ophthalmology fellowship examinations for Cambodia in 2009 and since then has maintained an involvement in ophthalmology training in the country.
A former Independent Ophthalmic Network (ION) board member, Laurie worked closely with ASO in the development of the Grandma’s Not Happy campaign. Laurie says he is proud to represent members and their patients in relation to both the public or private delivery of specialist ophthalmological and other related eye health services, as well as Medicare and private health insurance issues that may arise due to changes in state and/or federal government policy.
DR MICHAEL STEINER
MB, BS, DO (Syd), FRANZCO, FRCOphth, FAMA
Michael has more than 35 years experience in eye surgery with a particular interest in Cataract, Glaucoma and laser refractive surgery.
After graduating in Medicine from Sydney University in 1970, Michael was admitted as a Fellow of the College in 1974. Two years later he was appointed to the position of Honorary Secretary of the College.
Michael is a Foundation Member of the Australasian Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
He was a RANZCO Councillor for many years and served as President of the College in 1999-2000.
Michael has also served as President of AMA NSW (2010-2012) and was a Councillor of the Federal AMA (2004-2012).
In 2003 he was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal and he became a Fellow of the AMA in 2006.
Michael’s service to the field of ophthalmology has been well documented and in 2014 he was awarded RANZCO’s College Medal for eminent service by a Fellow.
He is one of the founding members of the Australian Society of Ophthalmologists and was President from 2014-2017.
DR ANDREW ATKINS
B Med Sci MBBS, FRANZCO
Andrew is an established eye surgeon in Melbourne with a special interest in cataract surgery.
It was the Federal Government’s decision to cut the Medicare rebate for cataract surgery in 2009 which prompted Andrew to become an active member of the ASO.
From 2012-2014 he served as ASO Vice President.
Andrew was a previous board member of the Independent Ophthalmic Network (ION).
Outside of his private practice work he has been involved in public hospital and medical student teaching, as well as being an examiner in pharmacology with The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.
He has spoken at ophthalmology conferences both in Australia and abroad, as well as providing voluntary eye surgery in the South Pacific.
Andrew says he is passionate about helping to ensure the ASO exists as an organisation relevant to ophthalmologists at every stage of their career.
DR SHISH LAL
Shish is an eye surgeon with specific interests in Cataract surgery and the management of Macular Degeneration.
He graduated from the University of Sydney in 1990 and completed his training in Ophthalmology at Sydney Eye Hospital in 1998.
Shish is a visiting medical officer at Sydney Adventist Hospital, a clinical lecturer at Sydney University, and a member of both the Australian and American Societies of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.
Shish is a partner at Hornsby Eye Specialists in New South Wales and was Secretary/Treasurer of ASO from 2011-2013.
His involvement in the ASO is to assist in ensuring that Australian ophthalmologists retain the freedom to provide excellent patient care and to continue to act as advocates for their patients.
DR NISHA SACHDEV
MB ChB, PhD, FRANZCO
Nisha is a general ophthalmologist with subspecialty interest in Paediatric Ophthalmology.
Her interest in Ophthalmology commenced during her undergraduate years, when she completed three research publications and received the AR Moodie Prize in Ophthalmology.
Nisha then relocated to Auckland where she completed a PhD thesis titled “Assessing and Correlating aspects of human cataract using Scheimpflug Photography and Wavefront Aberrometry”. Her research achieved worldwide academic recognition.
After completing her ophthalmic vocational training in New Zealand, Nisha moved to Australia to pursue further sub-speciality training in Paediatric Ophthalmology at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital. Here Nisha was offered a VMO position at the Royal Children’s Hospital and at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear hospital. Nisha now operates her own private practice in Sydney.
She is active in RANZCO and is the current chair of the Younger Fellows Advisory Group, an examiner for the Ophthalmic Basic Sciences, and a member of the Diversity and Inclusions Committee.
Nisha is also a visiting ophthalmologist for Vietnam Vision Project.
A passionate advocate for the delivery of business skills training for ophthalmologists, Nisha has been the key driver in expanding the scope of the annual ASO Business Skills Expo.
DR TOM CUNNEEN
MBBS (Hons) MMed FRANZCO
Tom is a fellowship trained ophthalmic surgeon based in Perth.
He graduated with honours from the University of Western Australia in 2003 and did his residency at Royal Perth Hospital.
Tom trained in Ophthalmic Surgery at the prestigious Sydney Eye Hospital and completed a Corneal and Refractive Surgical fellowship and subsequently an Oculoplastic fellowship in the UK.
He has published widely in the international literature and has a Master’s Degree from the University of Sydney. A Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Western Australia, he holds consultant positions at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Fremantle Hospital.
Tom is a member of the Australian New Zealand Society of Corneal Surgeons, Australian New Zealand Society of Oculoplastic Surgeons and Treasurer of the WA branch of the College of Ophthalmologists
He specialises in cataract surgery, laser eye surgery, corneal transplant and eyelid surgery.
DR LOUISE ROBINSON
FRANZCO, MBBS (Hons), B Com
Dr Louise Robinson is an Ophthalmologist who graduated in medicine with honours from the University of Sydney.
Her Ophthalmic specialty training was obtained through the Sydney Eye Hospital, which provided her with a comprehensive exposure and understanding of both medical and surgical eye presentations and their treatments’. Dr Louise was then accepted as a fellow specialising in Glaucoma at the world renowned University of British Columbia, Vancouver Eye Care Centre, Canada.
Currently, Dr Louise, not only works privately, but also has a public appointment at the Gold Coast University Hospital, where she enjoys managing complex general and glaucoma patients, whilst teaching “future Ophthalmologists” in relevant medical and surgical techniques. Dr Robinson also enjoys providing Ophthalmologic services to the Gladstone and Rockhampton Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, with the help of the Aboriginal “Eye and Ear Surgical Support” and “CheckUP” groups.
Dr Robinson is actively involved in the State Ophthalmology College as the Queensland Young Fellows representative which enables her to be involved in the ongoing support, education and encouragement of new and young fellows. As the Gold Coast representative of the Australian Medical Association, she is also able to participate in broad state medical issues and advice. Mentoring medical students is something that she has enjoyed and she is constantly excited by the enthusiasm and ambition of the young students coming through.
Her surgical skills include cataract extraction, pterygium excisions, medical retinal interventions and her glaucoma sub-speciality interests are trabeculectomy, glaucoma drainage devices, minimally invasive glaucoma devices and goniotomies, whilst also providing a range of glaucoma laser procedures.
Dr Robinson is actively involved and committed to the ongoing glaucoma clinical research, having presented at international conferences, with papers that have been published in peer reviewed journals.
DR PAUL ATHANASIOV
MBBS, MMed(OphthSci), MOphth, FRANZCO
He undertook a post-graduate Master in Medicine (Ophthalmic Science; University of Sydney) and a Master in Ophthalmology (University of Adelaide) before completing formal specialist training in ophthalmology via South Australia and the Northern Territory.
After completion of the RANZCO requirements Paul was invited to undertake further sub-specialist training at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in the areas of Cornea and Glaucoma.
He is now a principal doctor at Eye Surgeons SA in North Adelaide where he specialises in advanced laser cataract surgery, anterior segment repair following trauma, cornea grafting, pterygium excision and glaucoma surgery.
Paul has a strong commitment to international aid and has worked with the Sight For All foundation since 2009.
He also has a keen interest in research and has been widely published in the areas of cataract, oculoplastic surgery and ocular anaesthesia.
He remains an active lecturer for medical students, ophthalmology residents, GP’s and optometrists.
Paul says his goal as an ASO Director is to be an excellent communicator between local and national bodies to ensure that RANZCO South Australia members are being heard, whilst also ensuring the ASO is listening to, learning from and supporting interstate colleagues.
Kerry is a respected medico-political adviser and government relations expert.
He has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Australia Medical Association Queensland and as Secretary General to Australian Medical Association (Federal AMA).
Among his many achievements in these roles Kerry was instrumental in developing a legislative framework for the National Registration of medical practitioners.
He also played a vital role in securing changes to Tort Law in Queensland, allowing doctors to practice without the constant threat of frivolous and vexatious litigation and guaranteeing the delivery of complex medical procedures in Queensland hospitals.
In 2008 Kerry was awarded the Australian Medical Association President’s Award for “outstanding contribution towards fostering the objectives of the AMA”.
Kerry is a recognised builder and leader of result-focused teams, with more than 30 years’ experience as a manager of successful and respected organisations, in particular within the Australian Defence Force (ADF). He has a strong track record on selecting, developing and leading innovative teams.
Kerry has been awarded an Order of Australia medal for his efforts in the ADF.
Katrina oversees the operational activities of the ASO, from our systems and processes through to representation of the Society at conferences and scientific meetings.
Her role also centres on the development of policy and submissions to communicate the Society’s position on issues affecting ophthalmologists and their patients.
Katrina brings with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the areas of government advocacy and campaign development.
She has more than 10 years experience working in medico-political advocacy and policy development from within state government and representative organisations.
Katrina holds a Bachelor of Business majoring in Industrial Relations and a Masters of Business Administration from Newcastle University.
Sandra is responsible for managing relationships between ASO and our key partners, as well as seeking out new opportunities for the Society to build networks.
Sandra drives ASO membership and recruitment; working to deliver the value every ASO member wants to see from their membership. She thrives on opportunities to engage with members one-on-one — such as at events like the annual Business Skills Expo and the Advocacy and Practice Skills Workshop — where she says she can learn first-hand what ophthalmologists need from the Society.
Prior to her appointment at ASO Sandra was National Business Development Manager at MDA National for seven years. She has more than 20 years’ experience working in business development, account management, and senior management roles in health care and professional services across Australia.
Emma brings to the ASO more than 15 years' of public and private sector experience in media, communications, and public relations — including specialisation within health, hospital, and pre-hospital settings.
She is responsible for delivering the ASO Members' Bulletin magazine, our monthly e-newsletter EyeWatch, managing and producing our social media content, and responding to reactive and proactive media opportunities that affect our members.
Since joining the ASO Family, Emma is passionate about raising the profile of ophthalmologists and their pre-eminent role in the delivery of eye care and surgery in Australia — a topic she says we should see more in the news.
Emma has a strong foundation in community and stakeholder engagement, derived from working in government during the earlier years of her career.
Media and public relations are among her key strengths, reinforced by a track record of successfully delivering proactive stories across all mediums and to metro, regional, national, and international audiences.
She finds satisfaction and reward by influencing change through collaborative major projects and communication campaigns that utilise her diverse skill set to strategically achieve the most effective outcomes and results for all concerned.
Emma holds a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism major) and a Certificate in Public Relations. She has also completed broadcast media training and undertaken further Masters studies in the field of Education.