Partner profiles

Dr. John Farmer OAM

Photo of Leunig and Farmer Partner John FarmerOptometry extends far beyond the consulting room for John Farmer. His work in Papua New Guinea and in the development of new optometric instrumentation indicates his passion and genuine concern for the vision and eye health of the greater community. 

John’s recognition of the dire lack of optometric services for the people in PNG lead to the initiation and coordination of an eye care training program that has developed a life changing eye care system in the developing country.  He has worked for many organisations in PNG including living there for almost two years as Fred Hollows Foundation PNG Education Manager and Head of the Department of Eye Care at Diving word University.  John helped establish an optical workshop in Port Moresby Hospital and is on the board of PNG Eye Care, a National NGO working to make glasses accessible and affordable throughout PNG.  He co-wrote the National Eye Plan and is also a member of PNG National Prevention of Blindness committee.  Currently, John visits PNG twice a year for short teaching trips and consults for the University of Papua New Guinea to provide teaching to Ophthalmology trainees.

Within Australia, John’s contributions to optometry are widely renowned. He developed letter charts designed for vision testing that have been sold throughout the country including every university school of optometry. The computer software John developed alongside Geoff Leunig is also now one of the top selling optometric software packages in Australia.

John was recently awarded an Order of Australia medal, for his contribution to Optometry and the community. He is also a recipient of the Ivor J Lewis Memorial award for outstanding contributions to Optometry. He was also awarded a Paul Harris Fellow by the Drouin Rotary Club. For many years John was a part-time clinical instructor of final year optometry students at Melbourne University. He has a Bachelor of Optometry from Melbourne University, a Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics through the State University of New York and a Masters in Optometry (Research) from Melbourne University. John is registered with the Optometrist Registration Board of Victoria and is also a Fellow of the Victorian College of Optometry and a member of the Contact Lens Society of Australia.

Dr. Ken Thomas

Photo of Leunig and Farmer Partner Ken ThomasSince graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1985, Ken Thomas has made significant and influential contributions to the field of optometry. He joined Leunig & Farmer Eyecare as a graduate and became a partner in 1990.

Ken also worked part-time as a clinical instructor at the University of Melbourne for 10 years, teaching final year optometry students. He is also an Honorary Associate in the Faculty of Medicine, at the Monash Centre for Rural Health, where he has been presenting tutorials for medical students for over a decade and has presented several lectures to GPs in the Gippsland region. Ken has spoken at several optometric conferences including the Southern Regional Congress, Young Optometrists and Graduates Seminars, the inaugural Victorian College of Optometry Cup Day conference and the inaugural Keith Mackriell Lecture at the Tasmanian Optometrists conference. He is an instigator and regular presenter at a Gippsland Optometric Continuing Education group.

Ken has been a member of the Therapeutic Sub Committee of the Optometrists Registration Board, and was the second Australian optometrist to complete the Ocular Therapeutics Course, involving a brief study trip to Boston. He has been involved with Leunig & Farmer Eyecare’s services to Papua New Guinea, completing incredibly valuable trips to the region.

Dr. Markus Ochsenbein

Photo of Leunig and Farmer Partner Markus Ochsenbein

Markus also arrived at Leunig and Farmer Eyecare directly from Melbourne University and soon became a partner and co-director.

He has a Bachelor in Optometry from Melbourne University (1991). He is a fellow of the Victorian College of Optometry, and has been a member of the National Vision Research Institute Australia (NVRI) since 1992. Markus completed his Certificate of Therapeutic Endorsement in 2001, and received his Therapeutic Endorsement in 2002.

During his time at Leunig and Farmer Eyecare, Markus has developed an interest in low vision patients. In 1996 he began consulting at the Low Vision Clinic, first at Kooyong and then at Warragul, and in 1997 he received a certificate in the rehabilitation of the partially sighted. He still consults at the Warragul Low Vision Clinic of Vision Australia once a month. He has also developed a significant interest in Children’s Vision and Behavioural Optometry, and completed the Postgraduate course in Behavioural Optometry (UNSW). Markus is a member of the Australian College of Behavioural Optometry (ACBO). Please click here to learn more about Behavioural Optometry.