Michael Knipe

Inducted 2011

Michael Knipe was born in Cessnock in 1955. He grew up in Cessnock, attending St Patrick’s primary school and Maitland’s Marist Brothers High School before completing his optometry degree at the University of NSW in 1976.

In 1977 Michael moved to Tasmania to commence employment with an independent optometrist in Hobart. Michael has been instru­mental in helping to provide or save the sight of patients in Australia and beyond. 

Michael's extensive career has included further study in ocular therapeutics, private practice work, a part-time role as senior optometrist at the Royal Hobart Hospital Eye Clinic, and a prominent role in the East Timor Eye Program. He developed particular interests in contact lens practice, public health, practice management and professional affairs.

Michael’s contribution to the optometry profession, has included holding positions with Optometrists Association Australia, Total Eyecare, the Contact Lens Society Australia, the Tasmanian College of Optometrists and Independent Optometrists Australia (now ProVision). Michael was appointed President of the Optometrists Association Australia in 2010.

Michael developed his interests in business. His qualifications include a Graduate Diploma of Business in Professional Management and a Master of Business Administration. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and of the Victorian College of Optometry.

One of Michael’s long standing business interests was with ProVision Eyecare Proprietary Limited, the largest independent optical group in Australia, servicing the needs of over 370 optometrists across the country. Michael was a Director from 1990 and served as Chairman of the Board for 15 years.

Michael has been involved in the charity Optometry Giving Sight and in the ProVision Optometry Teams. These teams were initiated while Michael was Chairman of ProVision, and provide 13 optometrists each year to spend at least one week in East Timor providing eye care and mentoring East Timorese eye care workers. Michael himself has visited East Timor on several occasions.

In 2013 and 2014 Micheal was recognised for his contribution to optometry in Tasmania, and received awards from Optometry Giving Sight and Optometry Tasmania.

In 2015 Michael was named as a Member (AM) in the Australia Day honours list for significant service to optometry through his executive roles with professional organisations, and to the community of East Timor. 

Read the News.com.au article on Michael Knipe.

Plaque location
120 Vincent Street, Cessnock (garden bed)