Dianne Powell completed a postgraduate diploma in Ophthalmic nursing science at the University of Cape Town in 1986 graduating with distinction, and has worked in this field for over 28 years at Groote Schuur Hospital.
Since 2005 Di has also been part time lecturer for the Post Graduate Diploma in Ophthalmic Nursing science at the University of Cape Town. In 1997, Di established the False Bay Ophthalmic Trust to provide a voluntary eye care service to False Bay’s impoverished areas. In 2006 she was instrumental in developing an extremely successful Community based eye-screening project in the Western Cape, a program that in addition to meeting eye care objectives has been successful in providing career paths and job creation to unemployed youth from disadvantaged communities; in that same year she established a high volume cataract unit at Eerste River Hospital; and to provide easy access to services, a high volume refraction services centre was started for the poor.
In 2007 Dianne was invited to serve on the Standards generation body for Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology by the President of the Ophthalmological Society of South Africa; and she went on to establish the first Diabetic Retinal community based screening and laser project in Africa.
In 1998 Di published a report in the Democratic Society of South Africa News entitled “What has Father Xmas for you” addressing the topic of Ophthalmic injuries involving toy guns. In 2007 Di authored a report that was published in the South African Medical Journal evaluating the pilot project of the Diabetic Retinal screening project.
In 2005 Dianne was awarded second runner up in the Cecilia Makiwane Provincial Nursing Award; in 2006 Di won the Shoprite / Checkers Woman of the year award in the Health category. In 2007 Di received the Premier of the Western Cape service in Excellence certificate award for service delivery in health care and in 2008 she was the first runner up in the Marilyn Lehana National Award. In 2008 Dianne also received the National public service department Centre for innovation award for service delivery using information technology. In 2009 she was nominated for the Antonio Champalimaud international project vision award and The United Nations Public service awards for innovative public service delivery.
Di serves on the Provincial and National bodies of the South African Ophthalmic Nurses Society and is a member of Lions International.