The Foundation’s 2017 Annual General Meeting and Volunteer Christmas Party was held on Tuesday 5 December at the Foundation’s Sydney office and was one of milestones. Board Directors were farewelled, with new Directors welcomed. The tireless and longstanding support of Patron Ita Buttrose and Ambassador Jean Kittson were acknowledged, and the Foundation’s wonderful volunteers were thanked for their support.
Most significant to the day’s proceedings was the acknowledgment, celebration and thanks to outgoing CEO Julie Heraghty, as she steps down after 13 years of service. Chairman, Robert Kaye SC, in his address to guests, spoke of Julie’s passion and commitment to the Foundation and the macular disease community. Robert acknowledged the overwhelming legacy she leaves, and along with all of the guests in the room, wished Julie success and good health.
Robert noted that 2016-2017 had been “a very positive year for the Foundation”. He spoke on how the Foundation had made further inroads into fighting macular disease through its many activities across education, awareness, advocacy and research. And how, most importantly, the Foundation continued to support those with macular disease, their family and carers, by providing expert information, guidance and support.
In looking to the year ahead Robert outlined a key strategic priority for the Foundation “is to increase the number of people we provided non clinical services, along with maintaining a quality service to meet the needs of the macular disease community.” He spoke of how to increase the quality of the services requires financial sustainability and thanked all those who have made it possible through generous donations.
Retiring Board Directors Paul Rogan and Suellen Tapsall were acknowledged and thanked for their outstanding contribution over 12 years. New Board Directors, Lisa Lusthaus and Neil Wykes, were welcomed.
Guest Speaker was Patron Ita Buttrose who spoke of the achievements of the Foundation. She reinforced the importance of prevention, early detection and treatment of macular disease. She also stressed how important research was to finding a cure.
Ita said, “There is excellent research being carried out in Australia and given that age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible blindness, the need to continue to raise funds to support research and ultimately a cure is vital.”
Ita went on to say of Julie’s leaving of the Foundation, ”It’s been a pleasure working with you Julie and on behalf of my Uncle Gerald, and all the people whose sight have been saved, and all the people with vision loss who you have helped through your leadership of the Foundation – thank you. You have left a very proud legacy. Congratulations on a job well done, and I’m sure everyone here wishes you the best for the next chapter of your brilliant career. “
Download a copy 2016-2017 Annual Report here
6 December 2017