Dr Heather Machin

Head of the Lions Eye Donation Service

Dr Heather Machin is an ophthalmic nurse and Head of the Lions Eye Donation Service.

Dr Heather Machin

Head of the Lions Eye Donation Service


Dr Heather Machin is an ophthalmic nurse and Head of the Lions Eye Donation Service. She also manages the CERA Biobank and project leads on the Hygelix and BIENCO projects, as well as managing her own research across eye banking and nurse workforce development.

With a national and global profile in the eye care and eye tissue fields, she has led sector wide reform, including the development of the Barcelona Principles – a global eye tissue ethical framework.

She has worked in over 30 countries, previously with ORBIS International’s Flying Eye Hospital, as consultant to Fred Hollows Foundation NZ and is a past Lions Corneal Fellow.

She is Project Officer to the Eye Bank Association of Australia and New Zealand; Chair to the Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations; representative to the Lions Clubs International Eye Bank Working Group; Member of the Australian Organ and Tissue Authorities Eye and Tissue Advisory Committee; and a co-developer of the WHO’s Global Action Framework for Tissue in Transplantation.

As an ophthalmic nurse, she is has held nurse director positions in Australia and overseas, is the President of the Australian Ophthalmic Nurses Association, co-developer of the Australian Ophthalmic Nursing Standards, and is a nurse mentor through the Australian Collage of Nursing.

She holds a PhD on corneal exportation, an MBA, a Ba.Nursing, a Grad.Cert in Professional Communications and public relations, and is a certified  PRINCE 2 Project specialist.

She is passionate about improving eye tissue donor awareness, the global ethical and equitable access to tissues for transplantation, training and research, and the engagement and retention of nurses in the eye care workforce.

Current projects

Selected publications

Key collaborators

Funding and support

Current projects

BIENCO Project

This is an MRFF funded project between six Australian institutes, to develop a bioengineered cornea.

Hygelix Project

This is a VMRAF funded project between Australian and USA institutes, that aims to develop a glue to assist donor corneas to ‘unscroll’ when inserted into the recipient’s eye during surgery.

Australian Ophthalmic Nurse Workforce Survey

Funded by the Australian Ophthalmic Nurses Association, this is Australia’s first review of the engagement of nurses in eye care in Australia.

CERA Biobank

This is the research allocation arm of the Lions Eye Donation Service. The Biobank provides consented end-of-life donations to ethics approved researchers. It is a vital service for the advancement of eye research at CERA and beyond. Dr Machin manages the services and is working on a series of project to elevate donor awareness (and consent) and improve researcher access.

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