The Observatory

Jaki Adams-Barton

Jaki Adams-Barton

Jaki Adams-Barton, this the Chair of the Vision 2020 Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee and Manager of The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Indigenous Australia Program. Read more by this author →

Sheila O'Sullivan

Sheila O'Sullivan

Professor O'Sullivan is Chair of the Vision Initiative Steering Committee, Chair of Destination Gippsland and Adjunct Professor for the Bachelor of Strategic Communication degree at La Trobe University. Read more by this author →

A/Prof Nitin Verma AM (RANZCO Congress Convenor)

A/Prof Nitin Verma AM (RANZCO Congress Convenor)

A/Prof Nitin Verma AM is a practicing Ophthalmologist in Hobart, Tasmania, and is a Clinical Associate Professor at the School of Medicine; University of Tasmania and is the Head of Ophthalmology at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Nitin’s work is in the areas of anterior segment, oculoplastics, telemedicine and medical retina. But close to his heart are development programs and eye-care delivery in remote and disadvantaged regions of the world, which he does in his ‘spare time’. Starting with eye care for leprosy patients in his student days, he went on to address the cataract backlog in rural India during the eighties, eye-care delivery in PNG and in Aboriginal communities during the nineties, and in East Timor since 2000. He is the founder and coordinator of the East Timor Eye Program. Currently, Nitin is a Board member of RANZCO, the RANZCO Eye Foundation and Foresight Australia. He serves on various committees of the Macular Degeneration Foundation, St Johns Ambulance and the Specialist International Medical Graduate committee of RANZCO. He is the president of Tasmanian Medical Volunteers. Nitin has received awards for his work including the Order of Australia, Order of Timor Leste, Hobart Citizen of the Year, Distinguished Service awards from RANZCO and the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology. He was a Tasmanian finalist for Australian of the year in 2013. Nitin is the Honorary Consul for Timor Leste in Tasmania and is involved with various programs to assist Timor Leste in its development by fostering closer ties between the two countries. Read more by this author →

Acut Risya Firlana

Acut Risya Firlana from Aceh, Indonesia, blogs about her three week placement at Vision 2020 Australia as part of the Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP). Acut has recently completed a Bachelor of Medicine at the Syiah Kuala University in Aceh, Indonesia. The youngest of three children, Acut and her family live in the outer suburbs of Banda Aceh- one of the areas worst affected by the tsunami in December 2004. Acut has worked part time in an English language teaching organisation since 2010 where she teaches basic English to children in Grades 1 -4. Since 2008, Acut has volunteered in several NGOs in Banda Aceh, but her long term professional ambition is to be a doctor. Her areas of interest include the delivery of health services, research, nutrition, and health promotion and prevention. Read more by this author →

Amanda Clayson

Amanda Clayson

Amanda is a mature age student, currently at Victoria University in Melbourne. She grew up in Perth and previously attended Murdoch University. She is studying communications specialising in Public Relations. Amanda’s area of particular interest is cultural studies. First and foremost she is dedicated to her family and her biggest achievement and most important role is being a Mum to her only daughter, Katie. She is currently working on getting her personal blog ‘live’ on line. Read more by this author →

Amelia Lake

Amelia Lake is a PhD student with The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD). Prior to joining ACBRD, Amelia worked as a Research Fellow in the School of Psychology at Deakin University managing a number of long term research projects. During that time, Amelia developed a strong interest in chronic condition self-management with a specific focus on people with chronic co-morbidities and complex psychosocial issues. Amelia has been closely involved with community based physical activity initiatives and was awarded a National Volunteer Award in December last year for her role as coach and mentor for the ‘Marlborough Trailblazers’ a running club for local primary school students. Read more by this author →

Ana Radis

Ana Radis

Ana Radis is the coordinator for RIDBC Early Learning Program (Vision Impairment).The program provides home based and centre based early intervention and educational services to children with significant vision impairment from 0-8yrs of age living in metropolitan Sydney. Ana has a background in Occupational Therapy and has worked at RIDBC for the last thirteen years where she has gained most of her sensory impairment experience. Over the last few years she has had a particular interest in the use of technology in the field of disability and education and its application to the children she works with. Read more by this author →

Andrew Harris

Andrew Harris

Andrew Harris is a well-known Melbourne optometrist registered by the Optometry Board of Australia since 1990. Andrew has owned and run his own optometry practice in North Melbourne since 1992. Andrew has a depth of experience as an optometrist and leader of the optometry sector having been involved in optometry leadership at both the state and federal level. In 2016, Andrew joined the Board of Vision 2020 Australia. Read more by this author →

Ann Clark

Ann Clark

Ann Clark is the CEO of The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Read more by this author →

Anthony Bennett Hall

Anthony Bennett Hall

Anthony Bennett Hall was born in Lesotho in Southern Africa to missionary parents. He worked in Zimbabwe and Lesotho as a general medical doctor for a number of years. Anthony spent 12 years in UK, training in general ophthalmology retinal surgery. He joined CBM in 2000 as head of the Department of Ophthalmology at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Tanzania. Based in Tanzania for over a decade, Anthony ran a post graduate programme in ophthalmology and a fellowship programme for Vitreo-retinal surgeons. Anthony is currently a Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon in Newcastle and a Conjoint Senior Lecturer in Ophthalmology at the University of Newcastle. Read more by this author →

Avril Cronk

Avril Cronk, Manager of Communications and Congresses for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) Read more by this author →

Belinda Ceritilli

Belinda Cerritelli

Belinda has been involved in the area of eye health for over 10 years and recently joined Vision 2020 Australia in a national advocacy role. She is gaining invaluable first-hand knowledge about the benefit that can be achieved for people with low vision or who are blind when experts across the eye-health sector address government with a united voice. Drawing on her qualifications in Psychology and Management, Belinda also works in career development where she aspires to make a significant contribution to individuals by assisting them through a career transition. Read more by this author →

Bob McMullan

Bob McMullan

Bob McMullan is the President of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. He is a former Minister of the Australian Government, holding several portfolios over a twenty year career in the Australian Parliament. Read more by this author →

Braedan Hogan

Braedan Hogan is the Policy and Advocacy Officer at CBM Australia. Read more by this author →

Brandon Ah Tong

Brandon Ah Tong

Brandon Ah Tong is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at Vision 2020 Australia. Brandon began losing his sight when he was in his mid-twenties, and has been instrumental in ensuring that the voices of those with a disability are heard. His achievements span: the successful inclusion of people who are blind or vision impaired in the National Disability Insurance Scheme; accessible taxi’s; and more recently the National Eye Health Survey and National Framework Implementation Plan. His work was recognised in 2014 where he received the Victorian Government Disability Award in the Emerging Leader category and was a finalist in the National Disability Awards. Read more by this author →

Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation

Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation is a global non-profit, non-governmental organisation and the public health division of Brien Holden Vision Institute. In the last fourteen years, the Institute has delivered sustainable eye care services, education and training programs in 54 countries. The Institute is focused on the elimination of uncorrected vision impairment and avoidable blindness by developing eye care solutions within communities in most need, thereby improving opportunities in education, employment and quality of life. The public health division of the Institute is supported by Optometry Giving Sight. Read more by this author →

Britta the guide dog

Britta

Britta is a guide dog. She likes going to the park and loves the beach. Not so keen on thunderstorms. Read more by this author →

Christoph Ziegenhardt

Christoph Ziegenhardt

Christoph Ziegenhardt is a Community Engagement Officer at CBM Australia, managing the End the Cycle Initiative. He’s also a photographer and loves Africa, journalism and social media. Read more by this author →

Courtney Saville

Courtney Saville

Courtney graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (International Studies) from Deakin University in October 2011. During her studies, Courtney took part in the Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies (ACICIS) program for one year in Indonesia, and a six month legal internship in Cambodia. Courtney has followed her interest in Indonesian studies, and recently graduated with First Class Honours from the Honours in Indonesian Language Program at Deakin University, and was selected as an Australian delegate for the inaugural Conference of Australian and Indonesian Youth in October this year. Courtney has been working with Vision 2020 Australia in Global since January 2011 to continue expanding her knowledge of international development. Read more by this author →

Damian Facciolo

Damian Facciolo

Damian Facciolo is Regional Program Manager for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), supporting countries to develop national plans and increase resources for eye health across the Western Pacific. Damian trained as a journalist, has a Master ofDevelopment Studies and has worked in Thailand, Vietnam and Australia on health, environment and child protection policy. Damian is chair of Diaspora Action Australia and is a fellow of the Asialink Leaders Program and the Australia-ASEAN Emerging Leaders Program. Read more by this author →

Daniel Suggit

Daniel Suggit

Daniel Suggit is guest blogger from the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO). NACCHO is the national peak body for over 150 Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCHOs). ACCHOs provide a range of culturally appropriate holistic primary health care services to Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in urban, regional and remote locations across the country. www.naccho.org.au Read more by this author →

Darren Fittler

Darren Fittler

As the lead lawyer in Gilbert + Tobin’s Third Sector Advisory Group, Darren specialises in the provision of legal assistance to charities and not-for-profit organisations. Darren was involved with the development and drafting of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability at the United Nations in New York. Darren doesn’t let vision loss stop him from participating in a range of sports and activities. He qualified for 1996 Atlanta Paralympics in swimming; has trekked Nepal; raised $22,000 for charity on the back of a tandem bike peddling between Brisbane and Sydney in 11 days; was Australia’s first blind person to compete in the Tough Mudder. Earlier this year Darren worked with a team of people to create an accessible light installation as part of Sydney’s 2014 Vivid Light Festival and hopes to do something similar in 2015. Read more by this author →

David Simmonds and his Guide Dog Olga at work

David Simmonds

David Simmonds lives with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative condition that has caused him to gradually lose his sight. David is both a client and Business Development and Advocacy Manager at Guide Dogs Victoria. David lives in Ballarat and commutes confidently by train with Guide Dog, Olga, to Melbourne every day. Read more by this author →

David Woodbridge sitting in a corridor with his Guide Dog next to him holding a computer and iPad.

David Woodbridge

David Woodbridge is a Technology Consultant at Vision Australia where he has worked since 1990. David lost his sight when he was eight years old and had to learn braille. Since then, he completed high school and went to Sydney University receiving a Social Work degree. David is involved in evaluating technology for use by people who are blind or have low vision and as a person who is blind, he believes that he is well situated to look at the strengths and short comings of the assistive technology that he comes across in both his professional and personal life. Read more by this author →

Dee Tumino - Vision Initiative Manager

Dee Tumino

Dee manages the Vision Initiative, a health promotion program on eye health and vision care in Victoria. Her tertiary studies include a Bachelor of Arts (Japanese)/Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management), Health Promotion studies at Monash University and is Prince2 qualified. Her public health background was developed at the Victorian Department of Health as a Senior Project Officer/Project Manager in the areas of sexual health, tobacco control, mental health promotion, evidence and evaluation and health strategy development where she played an instrumental role in the development of the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2011-2015, the States guiding public health, health promotion and health prevention plan. Read more by this author →

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Dr Clare Allen

Dr Clare Allen is the Chief Executive Officer of VisAbility (formerly Association for the Blind of Western Australia). Clare has more than 20 years senior management experience and has effectively managed organisations to achieve significant success. Clare has a Masters of Leadership and Management and has just completed her Doctor of Business Administration. In Clare’s last role she tripled the size of Community First International in five years and increased the client numbers from 2,000 to 12,000. Clare has a long and established career working in youth; children’s services; disabilities; aged care; employment and mental health as well as strong private sector experience. Clare has won numerous awards, and some of these include: Winner Enterprising Woman Award –Chamber of Commerce and Industries 2009, Winner WA IBM Community and Government Telstra Business Woman of the year 2007, Winner 2007 Organisational Excellence Services Industry Award, Winner 1999 Organisational Excellence Services Industry Awards, Two Local Government awards for Innovation 2001 and 2003. Read more by this author →

Dr Graeme White

Chief Executive Officer, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT; Director, Vision2020 Australia; Director, the Centre for Eye Health; Director & Treasurer, Australian & New Zealand Assistance Dog Association. Previously, Chief Executive Officer, Guide Dogs Victoria (2005-2011) and Director & Deputy Chair of the International Guide Dog Federation (2006-2010). Prior to Guide Dogs Victoria, Graeme spent 30 years in the Australian pharmaceutical, healthcare and optical Industries in marketing, general management and chief executive roles. He has worked at the multinational companies Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Baxter Healthcare, Smith & Nephew, Sigma Pharmaceutical Wholesale and Ocular Sciences, managing businesses ranging from $5 million to $1.2 billion in size. Read more by this author →

Hessom in hospital scrubs in a hospital room

Dr Hessom Razavi

Dr Hessom Razavi was born in Iran and migrated to Australia with his family in 1989. Community-oriented parents heightened his awareness of inequality and his passion for contributing to the self-empowerment of disadvantaged groups. As an ophthalmologist, he has worked in Western Australia providing outreach clinics and surgery to regional, remote and Aboriginal communities, in areas including the Kimberley and Pilbara. This year, Hessom is undertaking a retinal fellowship at the Centre for Eye Research Australia. Read more by this author →

Jessica Gallagher wins bronze

Dr Jessica Gallagher

Jessica is the only Australian female Paralympian to compete at both a summer and winter games. She is a dual medallist, winning bronze in skiing at both the Vancouver and Sochi Games. She is currently training for Rio in cycling and practices as an osteopath. In 2011, she became the Global Ambassador for Vision 2020 Australia and is a newly appointed Vision 2020 Australia Board member. Read more by this author →

Dr Lynne Davis

Dr Lynne Davis

Dr Lynne Davis is a retired academic with a PhD in Sociology. She was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa in her early twenties, and has been involved in disability advocacy and policy for many years. She has been a member of the NSW Disability Council and Deputy Chair of the National Disability Advisory Council, a Board member of the Royal Blind Society of NSW and the inaugural Board of Vision Australia. She is currently the Vice President of Blind Citizens Australia. Read more by this author →

Dr Raymond Wong

Dr Raymond Wong

Dr Raymond Wong is a stem cell biologist specialising in human pluripotent stem cells and reprogramming. He completed his PhD with Prof. Martin Pera (Monash University) and overseas postdoctoral training in Prof. Peter Donovan's laboratory (University of California Irvine, USA) and subsequently Prof. Minoru Ko's laboratory (National Institutes of Health, USA). Recently he joined the Centre for Eye Research Australia as a group leader of the Cellular Reprogramming Group under the mentorship of Dr Alice Pébay. Dr Wong's current research focuses on harnessing the medical potential of human iPS cells for ocular research. Read more by this author →

Dr Rowan Porter

Dr Rowan Porter

Dr Rowan Porter, MBBS, FRANZCO is a RANZCO council member and representative to the Vision 2020 Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee. Dr Porter is a medical retina specialist with a special interest in Indigenous eye health working in both urban and remote centres delivering standard of care services through a range initiatives. These include the Inala Centre of Excellence in Indigenous Health and the IDEAS (Indigenous Diabetes Eyes and Screening) Van. He also works in advocacy at a federal level through the Vision 2020 Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee. Read more by this author →

Sharon Bentley

Dr Sharon Bentley

Dr Sharon Bentley obtained her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Optometry at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She has worked in a variety of clinical and academic settings, both in Australia and Canada. She was a senior consultant and educator at Vision Australia clinics for more than ten years. She has conducted research on the effects of low vision, on the effectiveness of rehabilitation strategies and on low vision service delivery for more than 15 years. Currently, Dr Bentley is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Medicine (Optometry), Deakin University, responsible for teaching and learning in low vision rehabilitation and public health. She is also a sessional Optometrist at the Australian College of Optometry, an Associate Editor for Clinical and Experimental Optometry and a Churchill Fellow. For more than 20 years Dr Bentley has been a member of the Optometrists Association (OAA), the peak professional body representing more than 4000 Australian optometrists, and is currently convener of the OAA Low Vision Working Group. Dr Bentley is the current Chair of the Vision 2020 Australia Low Vision and Rehabilitation Committee. Read more by this author →

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Dr Srujana Sahebjada

Dr Srujana Sahebjada BS (Optom), PhD (Ophth) Research Fellow/ Optometrist, Centre for Eye Research Australia. Read more by this author →

Edith Holloway

Edith Holloway

PhD student, Centre for Eye Research Australia Read more by this author →

Elle Spring

Elle Spring

Elle Spring is an Advocacy and Communications Officer at CBM Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of International Relations. Her passion is storytelling for change and she has recently returned from collecting stories of the lived experiences of people with disability in Timor-Leste. Read more by this author →

Emily Caruso_CERA

Emily Caruso

Emily Caruso is Clinical Trial Coordinator for the Laser for Early Age-related macular Degeneration (LEAD) study. Emily trained as an orthoptist and worked in private practice for 4 years before joining the Centre for Eye Research Australia in 2012. Read more by this author →

Emma Bennison

Emma Bennison

Emma is the Executive Officer of Blind Citizens Australia. Read more by this author →

Emma Stanford

Emma Stanford is a Research Fellow at the Indigenous Eye Health Unit. Read more by this author →

Evolution 7 logo

Evolution 7

Melbourne digital agency Evolution 7 is the proud digital partner of Vision 2020 Australia, and advocate of a happy balance between accessibility and design. Connect with us at www.evolution7.com.au or on Twitter @evolution_7 Read more by this author →

Orthoptist Gabi Hollows in Ethiopia

Gabi Hollows

After graduating as an orthoptist, Gabi took up a position at The Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney. It was there she first met Fred Hollows, and a few years later, when Gabi was only 22, she joined him on the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program. Over three years, the team visited over 465 remote Indigenous communities and treated more than 100,000 people. She is Founding Director at the Fred Hollows organisation. Read more by this author →

Geoff Pollard

Geoff Pollard

Geoff Pollard has over 27 years’ experience working in the pharmaceutical industry prior to commencing as National Executive Officer, Glaucoma Australia in April 2011. He has been involved in numerous community awareness programs, has developed many patient support initiatives and is currently working to re-energise support for higher rates of glaucoma detection in Australia. Geoff has qualifications in education and management, with a particular interest in marketing. Read more by this author →

Ophthalmologist Dr Geoffrey Wabulembo

Geoffrey Wabulembo

Geoffrey Wabulembo has had a distinguished career as an ophthalmologist in Uganda. Many years ago Geoffrey worked with CBM in Uganda as a practitioner and until recently he was the Chief Ophthalmologist for the Ugandan Ministry of Health. He also specialises in paediatric ophthalmology. He is currently working in PNG as a senior lecturer in Ophthalmology under a CBM/UPNG partnership. Read more by this author →

Georgia Savage headshot

Georgia Savage

Georgia Savage is a Research Assistant in Public Health at WaterAid Australia. Read more by this author →

Gerhard Schlenther

Gerhard Schlenther

Gerhard Schlenther, General Manager Policy and Programs at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) blogs about RANZCO Fellows (ophthalmologists) participating at the World Ophthalmology Congress, notes some key appointments, and emphasizes key aspects of RANZCO’s strategy to eliminate avoidable blindness and vision impairment. Read more by this author →

Graeme Craig

Graeme Craig

Currently General Manager NDIS at Vision Australia, Graeme Craig has worked in the Vision Impairment and Blindness sector for the past 29 years. Graeme has a service delivery background, is trained as an Orientation and Mobility Specialist and has worked in New Zealand the United Kingdom and Australia. For the past 20 years Graeme has held a number of management and senior management roles focusing on service design and the ongoing sustainability of services. In his current role Graeme seeks to ensure that the great potential of the NDIS provides all of the opportunities and supports that people who are blind or have low vision want and value. Read more by this author →

Jamie Duncan

Jamie Duncan

Jamie is a writer/editor at Vision Australia. Read more by this author →

Jane Edge

Jane Edge

Jane Edge is CEO of CBM Australia having worked for more than 20 years in high impact roles focused on supporting positive change and sustainable development. Prior to her work with CBM Australia, Jane’s extensive experience includes seven years as CEO of ChildFund Australia and five years as Regional Director-Asia for ChildFund International. Read more by this author →

CEO Jennifer Gersbeck in a cafe

Jennifer Gersbeck

Jennifer Gersbeck is Director of Global Partnerships and Advocacy at The Fred Hollows Foundation, and previously CEO of Vision 2020 Australia. Jennifer has been involved in a wide range of social marketing campaigns aimed at raising awareness, changing behaviour and influencing key decision makers. Jennifer has qualifications in Political Science and Business Marketing, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and has worked extensively in the health and community services sector. Read more by this author →

Jess Cutter

Jess Cutter

Jess is a Policy and Advocacy Officer at Vision 2020 Australia. Jess holds a Master of Public Policy and Management from the University of Melbourne and Bachelor of Arts (Global) in international studies and Spanish from Monash University. Read more by this author →

Jodie Bell head shot

Jodie Bell

Jodie is Global Policy and Programs Coordinator at Vision 2020 Australia, joining the team in January 2015. Jodie’s passion for social justice has led to a varied career providing harm reduction services for injecting drug users in Melbourne, working with a research team on HIV prevention in Beijing, and providing care and support to asylum seekers in detention and community settings around Australia. Jodie has provided support to vulnerable people in complex circumstances, managed programs in community settings, and conducted research and project work to develop campaigns, programs and approaches which assist marginalised people to have a voice in society. Jodie holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours in Criminology) as well as a Master of Development Studies from University of Melbourne. Read more by this author →

John Howie

John Howie

John has practiced as a lawyer in Melbourne for nearly 50 years. He is currently a board member on the Professional Advisory Board to La Trobe University Law School but has sat on the board of the Melbourne Olympic Park Board of Management, Montsalvat Foundation, and Chaired the Film Victoria Board - to name just a few! Read more by this author →

John Jeffries

John Jeffries OAM

Former Chief Executive Officer, CBM Australia; Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors; Graduate, Institute of Strategic Leadership. John has served with CBM Australia since 1982, the past 19 years as CEO. During this time John has contributed to the worldwide growth of CBM into the largest organisation working with and for people with disabilities in the developing world. His international commitments have included service on the Boards of CBMI Switzerland, CBM USA, and also the key strategy development bodies of the global CBM Family. He chairs the CBM National Director's Committee. John has also served on the boards of the Centre for Eye Research Australia, Servants Community Housing and Optometry Giving Sight. Read more by this author →

John Simpson

John Simpson

John Simpson is President of Blind Citizens Australia and Chair of Vision 2020 Australia's Independence and Participation Committee. Read more by this author →

A representation of Jonathan Goerlach’s field of vision completed by ophthalmologist Professor John Grigg. The black circles covering Jonathan’s eyes are supposed to be completely white for people with normal vision.

Jonathan Goerlach

Visually and hearing impaired Paratriathlete Jonathan Goerlach, is diagnosed with Usher Syndrome Type 2, meaning he has moderate hearing loss, no peripheral vision, is night-blind and has only tunnel vision. But having discovered a passion for Paratriathlon, he’s also discovered a passion for winning. And with the Paralympics firmly in his sights, he’s working hard to get there, one race at a time. Read more by this author →

Jonathan Noonan

Jonathan Noonan

Jonathan Noonan is a clinician with an interest in ophthalmology. He is currently in the final year of his PhD, which is investigating the mechanisms of impaired blood vessel function in the eyes of people with type 1 diabetes. Read more by this author →

Julie Heraghty, CEO of the Macular Disease Foundation Australia.

Julie Heraghty

Julie Heraghty is CEO of the Macular Disease Foundation Australia. Read more by this author →

Karen Hayes CEO pictured with Guide Dogs Victoria leadership team

Karen Hayes

Karen has extensive general management, human resources and strategic consulting experience in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Canada, the United States and many European countries. Prior to joining Guide Dogs Victoria, as CEO, in November 2011, Karen was the Director, Corporate Engagement and Human Capital with UXC Limited, an ASX300 company and the largest Australian owned ICT Company in the country. Karen was previously CEO for Planpower, a dominant player in the project management and business consulting arena and one of 15 Business Units of the UXC Group. She is a past finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards, has been on the Board for the Breast Cancer Network Australia since its inception in 1998 and was appointed to the Board of the Melbourne Football Club in 2006 Read more by this author →

Kirsty Machon

Kirsty Machon

Kirsty Machon is Acting Chief Executive Officer of Optometry Australia. Kirsty was previously Policy and Member Services Manager at Optometry Victoria, a role she held from 2007 until 2015. She has a background as a journalist and health policy analyst, and has worked extensively on professional and consumer health issues. Read more by this author →

Portrait of Lauren Henley

Lauren Henley

Lauren is the National Policy Officer at Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) and moved into this role after having worked for three years as BCA’s NSW Advocacy and Information Officer. In 2006, Lauren was involved in a motor vehicle accident which resulted in her losing her sight and catapulted her into the world of blindness. Having lived 20 years of her life without a disability, Lauren understands well what it is like not to have to face adversity and does not believe that a person’s vision should determine the extent to which they are able to access services within the wider community. This is the principle which underpins her passion for policy and advocacy work and she is committed to eliminating the many barriers that are still faced by people who are blind or vision impaired today. Read more by this author →

Leah Sidhu

Leah Sidhu

Leah attends Sacred Heart Girls’ College, Oakleigh. She completed a week of work experience at Vision 2020 Australia in July 2016. Read more by this author →

Portrait of Liane Wilcox

Liane Wilcox

Liane is a fully trained orthoptist who graduated in Orthoptics in 1985 from University of Sydney. She has worked in many areas of orthoptics and ophthalmology in both the private and public sectors, was a permanent lecturer at the School of Orthoptics for seven years and continues to lecture in a casual capacity for the University. In 2001 Liane commenced a private orthoptic practice in Castle Hill. This practice specialises in the treatment of eye movement conditions and strabismus in both paediatric and adult patients, as well as eye condition that present in patients who have had traumatic brain injury and stroke. She has a particular interest in children’s vision having completed her Masters in Orthoptics at University of Sydney in 2001 by research in this area. Read more by this author →

Lyndal Rowlands

Lyndal Rowlands

Lyndal Rowlands is a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Timor Leste Program. Read more by this author →

Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery

Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd) leads the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust Australia. Major General Michael Jeffery was the 24th Governor-General of Australia and the first Australian career soldier to be appointed Governor-General. He also served as the Governor of Western Australia (1993-2000). Read more by this author →

Matt De Gruchy

Matt De Gruchy

Matt De Gruchy is 20 years old and lives in Horsham, Victoria. He was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease when he was nine. He is out going, fun loving and always ready to have a good time! Read more by this author →

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Nami Nelson

Nami has around 12 years of experience working in public health and international development. The Consortium is currently implementing the Australian Government funded East Asia Vision Program (EAVP) in Cambodia, Timor Leste and Vietnam. Nami oversees the implementation of the EAVP and facilitates the coordination and collaboration of the Consortium members. Read more by this author →

Natalie Kaine

Natalie Kaine, an Occupational Therapist based in Vision Australia’s Sydney office Read more by this author →

Nileshni Devi

Nileshni currently works as Project Assistant for the Joint Secretariat at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. Nileshni’s academic background is in Public Health and she is currently completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health at Fiji National University. Read more by this author →

Peter Ackland

Peter Ackland

Peter Ackland is the Chief Executive Officer for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). Read more by this author →

Professor Hugh Taylor AC

Professor Hugh Taylor AC

A Melbourne Laureate Professor and Deputy Chair of Vision 2020 Australia, Professor Taylor also holds the Harold Mitchell Chair of Indigenous Eye Health and is the lead of the Indigenous Eye Health Unit at the University of Melbourne. Read more by this author →

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Rachel Furolo

Rachel holds a Masters of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne. She joined Vision 2020 Australia in 2016 as the Communications and Media Coordinator. Read more by this author →

Ron Hooton, Chief Executive Officer, Vision Australia

Ron Hooton

Ron Hooton is the Chief Executive Officer at Vision Australia. Throughout his career, Ron has worked extensively in the primary health care sector and not-for-profit sector. Ron joined Vision Australia in January 2013 after guiding ProCare Health Limited (NZ), New Zealand’s largest Primary Healthcare Organisation, to a leading position in the primary health care sector. Ron has specialised in operational and technical information technology positions over his career and has worked for organisations such as Databank Systems Limited, National Provident Fund, Telecom, Western Bay Health, Countrywide Bank and the New Zealand Defence Force. Ron who has family members who have experienced vision loss is a specialist on the disability sector in Australia, funding in the disability sector, employment and the NDIS. Read more by this author →

Rosamond holds up an eye chart

Rosamond Gilden

Rosamond Gilden is an orthoptist who is employed as a Research Assistant with the National Eye Health Survey. She plays the key role of clinical coordinator within the survey team. Read more by this author →

Samuel Koim portrait

Samuel Koim

Samuel Koim is from the Highlands of Papua New Guinea living in Port Moresby. Sam has triumphed over adversity to work his way into the Senior Manager role at PNG Eye Care where he helps to bring much needed eye care services to his local community. He is also studying law part-time, plays first-grade for the Port Moresby Rugby League Vipers and recently represented Papua New Guinea at an international level. Read more by this author →

Sarah Davies

Sarah Davies

Sarah is a Policy and Advocacy Officer with the Vision 2020 Australia team. Sarah holds a Bachelor of International Relations and has a wide range of interests both internationally and within Australia. Sarah’s passions include advocating for social and economic equality for women and children, and closing the gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Read more by this author →

Sarah Hocking headshot

Sarah Hocking

Sarah Hocking is a 28-year-old mum who recently became legally blind after the birth of her first child Archer. She blogs at www.blindintuition.com about her road to independence and overcoming the challenges she faces in everyday tasks as a blind mother. Read more by this author →

Sarah Zerbib

Sarah Zerbib

Sarah Zerbib is the health promotion officer for the Vision Initiative, an integrated health promotion program established in 2002 by the Victorian Government as a public health response to the National Framework for Action to Promote Eye Health and Prevent Avoidable Blindness and Vision Loss. The Vision Initiative aims to prevent avoidable blindness and reduce the impact of vision loss for all Victorians. Sarah has been working in the Not-For-Profit sector for many years, previously responsible for awareness and marketing activity for an eye health charity in the UK. Read more by this author →

Shannon Peckham testing a patients eyes

Shannon Peckham

Shannon is Australia’s first Indigenous woman to graduate in optometry. She grew up in Mareeba, a small town with a population of around 7,000 in Far North Queensland. She comes from the Wiradjuri People of Dubbo in New South Wales. After completing her optometry degree in 2004, she has become a pioneer for her people in the field of optometry, working in rural parts of Australia conducting school screenings and providing spectacles and eye care for Indigenous patients in remote clinics. Read more by this author →

Sue Silveira

Sue Silveira is an orthoptist and Research Fellow at the Renwick Centre, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children and the University of Newcastle. She has considerable clinical orthoptic experience and has also taught orthoptic students in Sydney. Read more by this author →

Stephanie Thoo, Dee Tumino and Sarah Zerbib

The Vision Initiative team

The Vision Initiative team manages the Vision Initiative program. The Vision Initiative is an integrated health promotion program which aims to prevent avoidable blindness and reduce the impact of vision loss for all Victorians. Established in 2002, the program is funded by the Victorian Government and managed by Vision 2020 Australia. Many partner organisations provide governance to the program and work collaboratively to deliver Vision Initiative activity across Victoria. The Vision Initiative is the Victorian Government’s public health response to the National Framework for Action to Promote Eye Health and Prevent Avoidable Blindness and Vision Loss. Read more by this author →

Worrelle Blow

Worrelle Blow

Worrelle is an Aboriginal woman from the Yorta Yorta and Goreng Goreng nations of Victoria and Queensland respectively. She has worked in the Advocacy Coordinator role at Vision 2020 Australia since August 2006. Worrelle has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs in local and state government and non-government organisations over the last 20 years and especially enjoys the chance to work directly with communities when the opportunities arise. Read more by this author →

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