Dr. Lawless is a recognised world authority in eye surgery. His specialty is laser vision correction, cataract and lens surgery, and corneal transplantation. He has performed over 30,000 surgical procedures in the following areas:


  • Laser cataract and lens surgery, implantable lenses

  • Corneal transplantation


Dr. Lawless graduated in Medicine from the University of Sydney in 1980. Ophthalmology training in Sydney was followed by two years of sub-speciality education, a corneal and external diseases Fellowship with Professor Doug Coster in Adelaide, and a second Fellowship in corneal and refractive surgery with Professor Richard Troutman at the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital in New York.

Career highlights

  • First Australian to perform laser cataract surgery with the femtosecond laser in Feb 2011. Performed the first LASIK procedure in Sydney in 1995.

  • President, International Society of Refractive Surgery, 2001.

  • Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, Royal North Shore Hospital, 2000-2006.

  • Over 140 publications in the peer reviewed scientific literature and textbook chapters on innovations in eye surgery. Selected to perform televised live surgery at international meetings, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology.

  • Keynote Lecture: The future of laser cataract surgery. American Academy of Ophthalmology Chicago November 2012.

  • Convenor, Cataract scientific programme. Asia Pacific Academy Ophthalmology meeting, India January 2013.


  • Cedric Cohen Medal for Excellence in the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists examination, 1982. Visiting Professor, University of Melbourne, 1998.

  • Founders Award from the International Society of Refractive Surgery, Chicago 2005.

  • Invited Guest Lecturer to the world’s main scientific meetings, most recently the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Los Angeles 2017 and the Asian Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Thailand 2018.

  • Senior Honour Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology for Services to Education in Ophthalmic Surgery, 2012. Presidents Guest Lecturer, All India Ophthalmological Society, Kolkata, March 2016.

Other interests

Consultant ophthalmologist to the Australian Defence Force.

Dr. Lawless is married with three children and is a Shodan (black belt) in two martial arts, Goju Ryu karate and Aikido.