In 2021, Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation celebrated its 40th year.

Since 1981, donors have helped purchase vital equipment, drive innovation and support the acquisition of cutting – edge technology. They have allowed us to build knowledge through research and enabled specialist training and development of staff while staying focused on the key patient group relying on the expert care for which our hospital is renowned.

Last year the Foundation generated a total income of $1,378,985, largely from community support of $895,271 in donations. The remaining income was generated through income from investments.

Grant allocation totalled $1,116,565 with $453,000 enabling eight ophthalmologists to undertake a Foundation Fellowship, building skills and experience while also enriching the hospital’s vital registrar training program.

Scholarships were also made available for nurses, in association with University of Notre Dame, and we have two registered nurses completing their first semester training in ophthalmology.

Dr Khin Oo, Vitreoretinal Fellow January 2021, returned to Myanmer in 2022.

Our commitment to research was also celebrated in June 2021 when the corneal bioengineering project, which we provided $480,000 towards in 2019-2021, being awarded a Federal Government grant of almost $1 million under the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund Frontier Grants Programme.

Linda Fagan, CEO said “Our members and donors should feel a huge degree of satisfaction in enabling this research to progress to develop bioengineered eye tissue to treat corneal blindness. This has the potential to help millions of corneal patients worldwide.”

Matthew Simunovic theatre

Zeiss Artevo 800 digital ophthalmic microscope 

We ushered in a new era in surgical capability with the latest operating technology, a Zeiss Artevo 800 digital ophthalmic microscope purchase. The teaching hospital instantly made use of the new equipment, enabling innovative and pioneering surgical procedures and clinical research across a variety of glaucoma, cataract, corneal and retinal pathologies.

Board Chair A/Professor Andrew Chang recognises generous community support contributing to these improved capabilities. “Our sincere thanks are extended to all who donated in the last year in support of this very special microscope, already having a big impact on surgical capabilities, teaching and research,” said Andrew.

With Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders three times as likely as non-Indigenous people to be blind or have low vision, we decided it was time to close this gap and help address this inequality. Foundation funds now provide for family and essential support for the duration of hospital stay, enabling regional and remote Indigenous patients to access expert care of Sydney Eye Hospital. The hospital aims to reduce early discharge for reasons of financial hardship so patients may complete treatment.

Professor Gerard Sutton

Professor Gerard Sutton, leading the collaborative corneal research project now called BIENCO.

Improving access to care is a priority and the Foundation allocated funds providing free guest Wi-Fi for the benefit of patients and staff as well as improvements for onsite navigation for visitors with low vision through the audio navigational Bindi Maps App.

Photographer John Janson-Moore

Photo: John Janson-Moore

Equally important is recognising the dedication of hospital staff and in May 2021 we facilitated a digital art display, to encourage people, post COVID-19 lockdown, back to the CBD. The hospital’s frontline staff were among hundreds captured in photographs in Sydney during the year and projected onto the hospital’s historic southern archway in May. The exhibit was created by photographer John Janson-Moore and presented by City of Sydney and Illuminart Australia in collaboration with the Foundation and South East Sydney Local Health District.

Digital art displayed on the hospital in May, included photographs of hospital staff by John Janson-Moore.

Santa City of Sydney Chris Southwood 7433

Santa came early, thanking the nurses from Emergency Department Dec 2021.