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Kristine Hammond has been awarded the prestigious Robert Maher Award for 2021 at the ADONZ (Dispensing Opticians Association) conference.

Kristine entered the field of optics in 1993 and gained experience as a branch manager and area manager, completing her Advanced Certificate in Optical Dispensing (with distinction) in 1997. After some time out of the field, Kristine returned to optics in 2010 as a dispensing optician and clinical tutor at the University of Auckland. Kristine continued to display academic excellence while carrying out this full-time role, becoming one of the first people in NZ to complete the bachelor-level qualification FBDO (O/S). In 2019 the School of Optometry & Vision Science created a Professional Teaching Fellow role with responsibility for dispensing, allowing Kristine to take on more advanced teaching responsibilities within the Bachelor of Optometry.

Kristine has also served the industry by holding a place on the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board (ODOB) since 2015 and functioning as the Deputy Chair since 2019 – the first Dispensing Optician to hold a position at this level.

The Award was created to honour Robert Maher’s dedication and efforts to support Dispensing Opticians being recognised as a profession and a critical part of the optical industry, and was first presented in 2005. Congratulations to Kristine, a worthy recipient of this recognition.