SA Surgeon Wins Social Entrepreneur of the Year
21 October 2015 at 9:41 am
A South Australian eye specialist who co-founded a Not for Profit aimed at eliminating blindness in Australia and internationally has been named the Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year.
Dr James Muecke AM, who co-founded Sight for All received the award along with seven other entrepreneurs in the annual national awards event.
Dr Muecke said he felt a strong sense of moral duty to help people in disadvantaged countries.
He said that instead of a fly-in, fly-out approach, Sight For All trains and equips local eye care specialists and their staff.
“It tackles childhood blindness and blindness from cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinal disease,” Dr Muecke said.
Dr Muecke was awarded an Order of Australia in 2012 for improving eye health in Asian and Aboriginal Australian communities. In the future, he plans to establish an in-country presence in several countries.
The judges said Dr Muecke is achieving wide reaching social impact in the world’s poorest communities through preventing and treating eye diseases. Using a network of benevolent ophthalmologists to train in-country eye-surgeons, Sight For All has helped over 500,000 patients in the last 12 months.
The top prize of Australian Entrepreneur of the Year went to the Chairman and co-CEO of toy company Moose Enterprise, Manny Stul.
In 1974, Stul created what became one of the largest, most innovative gift companies in Australia. Skansen Giftware listed on the ASX in 1993. 25 years later, he took control of Moose Enterprise. It has since grown from 10 people to more than 200.
Moose Enterprise designs toy products in Australia and develops, manufactures and distributes from its factories in China and Hong Kong to over 80 countries. It is the fourth largest toy brand in Australia and the eighth in the US.
The judges said Australian design talent and innovations have led Moose Enterprises to become a global toy phenomenon. Manny continues to take massive market share from global multinational toy companies.
As the Australian winner, Stul will travel to Monte Carlo in June next year where he will compete against national winners from over 60 countries for the chance to be named the 2016 EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year.