What We Do
The Eye Surgeons' Foundation is the medical eye specialists’ foundation, dedicated to restoring sight and preventing vision loss throughout Australasia.
The Eye Surgeons' Foundation is a not-for-profit eye health organisation which represents more than 900 Australian and New Zealand ophthalmologists who are passionate about giving future generations the best vision possible. The Foundation was founded in 2002 as the fundraising arm of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) and The Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia (ORIA).
Each year, 10,000 Australians go blind and approximately 200,000 Australians have visual impairment that cannot be corrected by spectacles. Rather than focusing on a single eye disease or cause of blindness, The Eye Surgeons' Foundation funds ground-breaking research into many of the major causes of blindness; sustainable eye care programs in disadvantaged communities both in Australia and internationally; and JulEYE campaigns to increase public knowledge about the importance of eye health.
Our vision is to create a future where no one is blind. Our mission is to lead efforts to preserve sight and provide resources to prevent avoidable blindness throughout Australasia. To achieve this, we work in partnership with leading eye specialists, medical professionals, industry representatives, the ophthalmic and allied health community, the public, business communities and government.
Despite the common misconception, vision loss is not restricted to the ageing and can affect people at any point in their lives. As vision is lost, the incidence of depression increases and reliance on family, friends and community services doubles. Vision loss leads to lower rates of employment, greater social isolation and emotional distress. The impact of low vision and blindness is greater than the disability burden for breast cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma and HIV aids combined. Considering these factors, it is little wonder that blindness ranks alongside cancer as the health condition Australians fear most.
The RANZCO Eye Surgeons' Foundation works to combat vision loss by funding initiatives in the following areas:
1. National Collaborative Research Projects
We fund major national collaborative research projects into the causes and cures of eye disease, which we identify in collaboration with The Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia (ORIA).
2. ORIA Research Grants
We provide seed-funding for ORIA research grants which offer annual financial support for vision research projects.
The Eye Surgeons' Foundation, in conjunction with the ORIA, supports research into the causes, treatment and prevention of eye disease. Each year it supports a number of research grants for researchers who strive to alleviate suffering from eye disease.
The research we support is of the highest quality, is peer reviewed and monitored by the ORIA throughout the duration of each grant.
You’ll find a list of ORIA research grants here.
3. Research Scholarships
We support the ophthalmic community by funding scholarships to help ophthalmic trainees and ophthalmologists complete their studies or undertake further training.
You'll find a list of research scholarships here.
4. Sustainable International Development
We participate in sustainable eye care development projects in Australia and overseas.
You'll find a list of international development projects here.
We raise public awareness about eye disease by running community awareness campaigns, such as JulEYE.
Get your eyes tested this JulEYE. 75% of vision loss is preventable or treatable if detected early enough, yet every 65 minutes an Australian loses part or all of their vision.
JulEYE is The Eye Surgeons' Foundation’s national eye health awareness month that takes place during July each year. JulEYE aims to:
- raise community awareness of eye health issues
- raise funding for vision research projects into the causes and cures of vision impairment and blindness
- support international and domestic development projects whose goals are aligned with those of the Foundation.
Vision loss can affect people at any time in their lives, and it will often happen gradually so that by the time it becomes noticeable, the damage is done.
Having a family history of eye disease puts you at greater risk of developing eye disease so it's imperative to ask relatives about your family's eye health history and have an eye check this JulEYE. If you have a serious eye condition or noticeable changes to vision, ask for a referral to an ophthalmologist. You’ll find information on where you can be tested here, and you can donate to the campaign and support eye health research and development projects here.
Protect your children’s vision
Good eye health begins with regular testing from birth. The first eight years of a child’s life are critical for eye development. If problems are not picked up during this time, damage and vision loss can be permanent. If you’re a parent, you should be aware that regular eye checks are just as important to a young child’s overall health and well-being as other health checks.
You’ll find more information on children’s eye health here along with real stories of families who have children with eye disorders.