The Observatory

Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight in 79th year 

Learning that your young child has significant vision loss is an emotional blow that is often hard to comprehend. Parents often tell us that it can be difficult to understand the doctor’s diagnosis of their child’s eye condition, what it means, their needs and how they can help. On top of this is the emotional impact and how to deal with these situations as a parent. Vision Australia’s practical help is vital to parents because these services provide the tools to enable children to achieve key milestones. It also gives the reassurance that they  have help to deal with situations as they arise.  
Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight is in its 79th year and is our biggest fundraiser. 
This year, we have one mission for Carols by Candlelight – to raise one million dollars for children who are blind or have low vision. 
I’m asking Australians to dig deep this Christmas. 
Together, we can help change the lives of Aussie kids who are blind or have low vision. We’re here for small moments and big milestones so these kids will get an education, get a job, and do the things they love in life like any other child. These services are vital to the 357,000 Australians who are blind or have low vision to live the life they choose. 
For children who are blind or have low vision, Vision Australia’s specialist staff work together with families in their environment to help with the transition into mainstream pre-school/kinder, primary school, high school, further education and onto employment.
Proceeds from ticket sales, sponsorship and donations all go towards services that ensure children who are blind or have low vision reach their goals and potential.
Fan favourites Marina Prior, Denis Walter and Anthony Callea will be back at Sidney Myer Music Bowl with more performers set to be announced in the lead-up to Christmas Eve. 
Carols by Candlelight
This iconic event is so important to so many people; it’s a tradition to many. We recently came across Carols by Candlelight fan Jeff Gung. Jeff has been going to Carols by Candlelight since he was three, now aged 69, and has been to at least 45 events since then. Come rain, hail or shine Jeff says it’s the highlight of his year. The happiness this event brings to so many people is wonderful. 
At the heart of this event are the children who are blind or have low vision, we’re bringing more than 120 of our children, and their families, to rehearsal night so they too can experience this incredible event. 
Go to to donate or to buy a ticket, every dollar counts towards Vision Australia’s $1m target.  
Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight airs 8pm, Christmas Eve on Channel Nine. 
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About the Author

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.View author's posts
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