Our Story

More than half a century ago, a group of far-sighted ophthalmologists had a pioneering vision for eye research, and in today’s ageing society, the need is greater than ever.

1953 - A group of prominent eye specialists founded The Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia (ORIA), which has now become the research arm of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO).

1994 - ORIA founded the Gift of Sight Society to highlight its work and promote awareness of the need to raise funds for eye research.

2002 - A significant injection of funds from the 2002 International Congress of Ophthalmology in Sydney gave RANZCO and The ORIA the opportunity to separate their fundraising and research activities, giving each area its own distinct focus. As a consequence, The Eye Foundation was established with a mission to raise and invest funds for eye-related research programs. The Gift of Sight Society was integrated into The Eye Foundation.

2004 - The Board of Directors was finalised, and the first eye research projects were funded.

2005 - The Foundation's first overseas development program commences in Myanmar (formerly Burma).

2006 - The first Research Scholarship was awarded, and eye-care development projects were geographically expanded to Timor Leste (East Timor) and Myanmar (Burma).

-The Eye Foundation embarked on a new initiative to raise funds for four specific research projects that The Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia (ORIA) marked as a high priority.

2008 - JulEYE, the Foundation’s annual eye health awareness and fundraising month, was launched.

- The National Indigenous Eye Health Survey (Minum Barreng Project) becomes the first of The Foundation’s priority research projects to be completed. The results were launched in September 2008 by Her Excellency, Ms Quentin Bryce AC, Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia.

2009 - The Governor General of Australia, Quentin Bryce AC, becomes Patron of The RANZCO Eye Foundation.

2010 - Together with pro-bono agency Ogilvy & Mather Sydney, The RANZCO Eye Foundation launches the 'Black Spot' community service advertising campaign, designed to educate the community of the need for regular eye checks to maintain eye health.

2011 - An Australian research team, led by A/Prof Jamie Craig and supported by The RANZCO Eye Foundation, make the world-first glaucoma gene discovery.

The Governor General launches RANZCO Eye Foundation's support for Diabetic Eye Care Program in the Kimberley.

Guitarist and motivational speaker, Lorin Nicholson, shows his support for eye health by becoming an ambassador of The RANZCO Eye Foundation.

2012 - The RANZCO Eye Foundation celebrates 10 years of supporting eye health research, awareness and sustainable eye care programs.

- The Foundation opens its fifth clinic in Myanmar.

2013 - The RANZCO Eye Foundation supports its largest collection of vision research programs in any given year to date seed-funding eight new ORIA-reviewed research programs.

- The Foundation expands its international development support to include surgical outcomes across India, Cambodia and Bangladesh.

2014 - The Foundation expands its Kimberley Diabetic Eye Care Program into the Pilbara region.

- The Foundation currently performs 23,000 surgeries per annual across Myanmar, India, Cambodia, Bangladesh.

2015 - The RANZCO Eye Foundation is renamed The Eye Surgeons' Foundation and continues to attract wonderful support from the ophthalmic community in order to perform its constitutional duties.

2016 - The Eye Surgeons' Foundation will be formally launched to the general public.


  • Raised more than $24.5 million for vision initiatives since 2003.
  • Our partnership with ORIA has supported more than 202 eye health programs since inception.
  • Raised more than $9.1 million specifically for vision research.
  • Helped more than 83,000 patients with sight-saving procedures across Asia Pacific since 2005.
  • Screened and treated more than 6,000 Aboriginals across the Kimberley/Pilbara regions since 2010.
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