Prevention and Early Intervention Committee report for the year ending 30 June 2021

Chair: Ms Marion Rivers

The Prevention and Early Intervention Committee advocates for the elimination of avoidable blindness and vision loss in Australia through prevention, early detection and intervention, and improved awareness.

It met twice during the 2020-21 year. In addition to Committee meetings, working groups met during the year to progress work in relation to improving access to public cataract surgery, embedding eye health in chronic health checks, children’s vision and a cross-committee group that commenced exploring enhancements to mental health support for people affected by blindness and low vision.

The Committee also maintained a strong interest in both the development of the Second National Eye Health Survey and the KeepSight program.

  • Two submissions were made to the Department of Health’s National Preventive Health Strategy. In conjunction with this, a submission was made to the RACGP, regarding increasing eye health and vision content in its Red Book. Progress was made towards greater embedding of eye health and vision into MBS chronic health check items, with analysis and policy development completed near the end of the reporting period.
  • The Children’s Vision Working Group made significant progress towards the development of a national scheme to help ensure all Australian children aged 3.5 to 5 years have a vision screening to help detect vision problems and prevent vision loss.
  • The release of commissioned research into the unmet need for public cataract surgeries (pre-pandemic), which informed early advocacy and engagement work with the Australian Government.
  • Support for the second national eye health survey, with Vision 2020 Australia hosting a sector webinar presented by Prof Paul Mitchell and the Committee receiving reports on its progress.


Annie Gibbins – Glaucoma Australia

Belinda Ford – School of Optometry and Vision Science – University of New South Wales

Carla Abbott – Centre for Eye Research Australia

David Murray – Centre for Eye Health/ Guide Dogs NSW/ACT

Gerhard Schlenther – Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists

Gregory Harper – Keratoconus Australia Inc.

Hugh Taylor – Indigenous Eye Health, University of Melbourne

Jane Schuller – Orthoptics Australia

Jennifer Merryweather – The Fred Hollows Foundation

Leighton Boyd – Retina Australia

Louise Carter – Novartis Australia

Lyn Brodie – Optometry Australia

Marion Rivers – Orthoptics Australia (Chair)

Mark Hassall – Sight For All

Neville Turner – Australian College of Optometry

Sabine Ostrowski – Macular Disease Foundation Australia

Tim Fricke – Brien Holden Vision Institute

Tracy Siggins – Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital

Wendy Drummond – Vision Australia


Blanka Golebiowski – School of Optometry and Vision Science – University of New South Wales

Cesar Carrillo – Sight For All

Guy Gillor – Indigenous Eye Health, University of Melbourne

Jess Walbank – Vision Australia

Larry Kornhauser – Keratoconus Australia

Legend Lee – Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists

Mark Choo – Macular Disease Foundation Australia

Rosemary Boyd – Retina Australia

Simone Kenmore – The Fred Hollows Foundation

Skye Cappucio – Optometry Australia

Val Staikou – Novartis