Closing the Gap lunch

In 2021 our Foundation recognised it had a role to play in enabling regional and remote Indigenous patient’s equal access to the expert care they need at Sydney Eye Hospital.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are three times as likely as non-Indigenous people to be blind or have low vision and, as well as our ophthalmology services, they are also waiting longer for surgery.

We decided it was time to close this gap and find the money to address this inequality.

We consulted the Aboriginal Liaison Unit of Prince of Wales and Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital on how to help Indigenous patients and continuing to build ongoing relationships.

Since then we have given sponsorship of $12,500 to the Critical Care Fund for the removal of barriers to accessing healthcare.

Foundation funds provide for family and essential support for the duration of their hospital stay, enabling Indigenous patients to access expert care of Sydney Eye Hospital.

We also aim to reduce early discharge for reasons of financial hardship so patients may complete treatment.

In October 2021 we engaged Dr Rob Starling to undertake a gap analysis, initially with health professionals in ophthalmology service delivery to contribute in developing a Foundation Action Plan.

The analysis, led by Professor Gerard Sutton, Board Director and ophthalmologist is in consultation with stakeholders including Prince of Wales Hospital, NSW Rural Doctors Network and Optometry NSW.

In collaboration with the Indigenous Liaison team we have also sponsored Close the Gap and Reconciliation Week cultural awareness activities at Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital to raise knowledge and understanding of First Nations People, their culture, history and issues faced today.

On 6 May 2022 we are holding a fundraising lunch to help remove barriers to care to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait patients. Our aim is to raise $50,000 to expand ophthalmology service delivery to remote and regional patients through outreach services, enable telemedicine capabilities and continue to fund critical care.

You’re invited to nominate a nurse for the Health Heart Award, as part of International Nurses Day on 12 May.

Ladies Auxiliary Donation

The Sydney Hospital Ladies Auxiliary has been showing their compassion, commitment and hard work for more than 100 years. And their legacy still lives on. 

In November 2021, they donated more than $200,000 to Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation to support fellowships and equipment.

Since 1919, the Ladies Auxiliary has tirelessly raised funds via raffles, gala balls and the Macquarie Street Kiosk, which opened in 1950, famous for its lolly bags and the cheerful volunteers.

COVID-19 restrictions postponed the planned recognition of the Ladies Auxiliary.


The Sydney Hospital Ladies Auxiliary

President Judith Margerisson
(L) and former President and Secretary, Joy Dick (R), are honoured to present the donation.


Linda Fagan, Chief Executive of the Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation, says,

“We’re so honoured the Auxiliary chose to donate their hard-earned funds to the Foundation and together we can continue their legacy.

“Thanks to the Ladies Auxiliary we look forward to granting funds in 2022 and beyond, directly benefiting the patients and staff of this very special Hospital.”

Dijpaj and Isabel Sydney Eye Hospital Nurses

Unsung heroes, frontline workers, angels in protective gear—call them what you will but our nurses and the real contribution they have made to the care of our patients in these last two years of pandemic are beyond description.

And at Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation, we believe in showing our appreciation for their skills and commitment.

That’s why—thanks to the generosity of our supporters we are funding ophthalmic scholarships for nurses through the University Of Notre Dame.

There is only program in Australia where nurses can get specialist training in ophthalmology. The two-year graduate certificate in ophthalmic nursing costs $11,000 and we want to help by meeting the cost to nurses.

Dijpaj and Isabel


We need to fund four scholarships, costing $44,000 and, already, one nurse, Isabel Divinagracia, is taking the course.

She says: “I can’t wait to share my new skills and knowledge. I have been at Sydney Eye Hospital for ten years.  Now I have the opportunity to learn more and specialise in ophthalmology to be in a better position to help the patients who rely on us.”

Clinical nurse ophthalmology consultant Joanna McCulloch is the course co-ordinator. According to Joanna, the scholarships will be a win for nurses and patients.

“It goes beyond technical expertise and allows nurses to understand how ophthalmology affects the patient in their everyday life.

“The Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation has been absolutely phenomenal with supporting nurses. Everyone knows the far-reaching impact of the Foundation’s Fellowships for doctors, and we’d like to see the same thing for nurses.”

Joanna has been nursing for thirty years, the last twenty in ophthalmology and says she is still passionate about the speciality.

“I’m inspired by our patients with complex eye conditions and low vision. Learning from, about them, allows me to provide better care for the next patient.”

She is extremely proud of the team in developing and delivering the graduate ophthalmic nursing certificate course and says support for the Foundation’s fundraising efforts is vital.

“Every dollar given makes a word of difference to an eye patient. That dollar may buy equipment or support research that provides eyesight and independence to eye patients.

“It will also help train a nurse.”

ANZAC Day Poppies

Plans to fill a Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital courtyard with a field of red poppies as part of the hospital’s Anzac Day Memorial Service on April 25 are underway.

And, fittingly, the courtyard of the historic Nightingale Wing, named after Crimean War nursing heroine, Florence Nightingale, has been selected as the commemorative site.

World Glaucoma Week

6-12 March is Glaucoma Week. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness and this World Glaucoma Week, Sydney Eye Hospital is encouraging people with loss of sight or family history of glaucoma to get their eyes tested.

SEHF 2022 Honorary Fellows

Meet they Sydney Eye Hospital Foundations Fellows for 2022. Supporting Sydney Eye Hospital in these extremely difficult times during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Bienco Launch

In a world-first, a national consortium of clinical, scientific and governance experts, including the NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service, will develop bioengineered eye tissue to treat corneal blindness.

We have achieved something special in 2021, and its thanks entirely to our donor community and the life changing expertise provided by the Sydney Eye Hospital team.

BindiMAPS at Sydney Eye Hospital

Hospitals can be difficult to navigate at the best of times, but throw in a pandemic, being ill or visually impaired and it is hardly surprising people feel daunted when they come for treatment or just visit.

That’s why Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation is pleased to announce it is funding a new wayfinding solution through BindiMaps, an indoor audio- based navigation app which uses common sense language to guide patients and visitors within the hospital.

At Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital all three floors of the main Clinical Services Building and outlying buildings have been mapped including the Emergency Department, Eye and Hand Clinics, surgical wards, COVID-19 testing clinic, Pharmacy and other services onsite including Breast Screen NSW and Pathology Collection Centre.

“Patients and their guests can visit Australia’s first hospital on Macquarie Street Sydney with directions for all our main patient destinations right on their smartphone,” said Jennie Barry, General Manager, Prince of Wales and Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital.

“We are thrilled to offer BindiMaps to complement our signage and to improve way finding for all patients and visitors to Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital.”

“Like most hospitals Sydney / Sydney Eye consists of a number of buildings with no one reception area. We are grateful to the Foundation for supporting this initiative enabling patients and guests to find their destination more readily.”

BindiMaps uses an audio system to describe where users are, what’s around them and the best way to get to their chosen destination.

“Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation is proud to help patients and visitors making the unfamiliar easier to navigate,”

Linda Fagan, Chief Executive Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation, said.

“This way-finding technology provides assistance to patients and guests and especially supports people with vision impairment when inside our hospital buildings.”


Download BindiMaps today on Apple App Store or Google Play.

Apple App Store BindiMAPS   Google Play Button BindiMAPS

BindiMAPS QR Code


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