Professor Brian Layland, OAM, has passed away at 92 years in Sydney, Australia.
For more than 60 years Prof. Layland’s fierce commitment to advancing eye health saw him driving historic changes to the scope of optometric services in Australia and to government health care provision to ensure equitable and quality access to eye health for all. He was instrumental in the inclusion of optometry services in the health benefits scheme and Veterans’ Affairs – a battle that lasted 22 years. Prof. Layland also successfully advocated for optometrists to be permitted to use diagnostic drugs and was involved in the first optometry course in Australia to provide accreditation for this purpose.
Australian research, education and public health have benefitted greatly from Prof. Layland’s energy and vision. Through his through his leadership and steerage several ground-breaking eye research organisations, including as the Chair for over 30 years of the Brien Holden Vision Institute, he has helped create opportunities for more than $100 million in royalties being reinvested in these areas.
Prof. Layland was a champion for improved Aboriginal health and was instrumental in the establishment of eye care services being established with Aboriginal communities across NSW and Northern Territory. He also provided critical support for the establishment of the Aboriginal Health College at Little Bay in Sydney – where the auditorium is named in his honour.
Professor Brian Layland has made a major contribution to helping people in need throughout his remarkable life. He was a visionary, humanitarian, advocate, dedicated clinician, a talented educator and a generous, much-loved colleague and friend to many. He will be deeply missed.
Our sincere condolences are extended to his wife Jeanette and family at this sad time.