UWA grants Honorary Doctorate to Don Ezekiel

February 26, 2024

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(Don Ezekiel and Sue Murphy. Photo credits: The University of Western Australia, Csmith Photography, and GFP Graduations.)

We’re excited to share that Damon Ezekiel’s father, Don, was granted an Honorary Doctorate by UWA.

At the most recent Graduation Ceremony, Pro-Chancellor, Ms Sue Murphy AO, who presented the award to Don, read the following citation:

“Mr Donald (Don) Ezekiel AM is an innovator, entrepreneur, healthcare professional and trailblazer.

Don has actively sought out opportunities to extend his knowledge internationally and brought new skills and ideas home to Western Australia, where he quietly grew a productive export business selling contact lenses to the world.

Through leading a successful export orientated business, Don was able to introduce new specialised products to patients in Australia and in more than 20 countries.

The Honorary Doctoral Degree of The University is given to a local optometrist who was innovative and influential, in particular to the development of contact lenses worldwide.

This distinguished award was created to give public recognition to individuals for outstanding achievements in any recognised field of endeavour with strategic connection or relevance to the University, either at the State level or beyond.

The proud and humbled recipient was Mr Donald Ezekiel AM.

Don expressed his gratitude for the University’s decision to confer the honorary degree and gave a lengthy speech about his journey and his life dedicated to the world of contact lenses.

Don passed on life’s lessons to the graduates that day and finished with, “you may not progress along simple straight lines, but with determination you will make a contribution to the world, no matter how small or big that contribution may be, it will be your very own legacy, the most indelible of your steps along your journey”.

Don’s innovations include the use of rigid gas permeable materials for scleral lenses, which allows greater corneal oxygenation: the lenses therefore could be worn for longer.

Through joint partnerships, he developed what was reputedly, the world’s first foldable intraocular lens made from a hydrogel material, the key advantage of which was that a smaller limbal incision was needed to insert the lens into the eye.

Don has made a significant and lasting contribution to the optometry profession and patients who benefited from more comfortable contact lenses and better protection for the long-term eye health of the wearer.

At the same time, Don maintained a family optometry practice, caring for patients and providing them with the best vision correction options.

This award reflects the culmination of a lifetime of achievement that began when Don completed his Optometry Board of WA Diploma of Optometry through coursework studies at UWA in 1957.”

Don leaves his legacy to OWA member Mr Damon Ezekiel who runs Ezekiel Eyes, specialising in contact lenses, and continuing the high standard of service that his father
provided.”

This article republished from Optometry Western Australia

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In addition to owning and managing Ezekiel Eyes, Damon is a contact lens consultant to various research organisations. He regularly lectures and conducts workshops in contact lens practice throughout Australia, Asia and the United States. Damon graduated from the University of NSW with a Bachelor of Optometry in 1989. He is now married with two children and enjoys running, hockey, swimming, piano, travelling and trekking.

Damon’s professional associations include:
President of the International Society of Contact Lens Specialists
Practising Fellow of the Scleral Lens Education Society
Fellow of the Cornea & Contact Lens Society of Australia
Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry
Member of Optometry Australia
Member of the Orthokeratology Society of Australia
Member of Alcon Australia advisory panel