Governor-General David Hurley has been announced as Glaucoma Australia’s new Patron.
In the role, he will promote the organisation, including its mission to eliminate glaucoma blindness and the patient centred services it provides.
“Since being founded in 1988, Glaucoma Australia has increased community awareness of glaucoma, supported patients and their families and funded critical research,” Mr Hurley said.
“This is an important mission and the impact has been significant.
“The hard work of those involved, their supporters and the researchers they fund and collaborate with has directly helped hundreds of thousands of Australians.”
“I look forward to being involved and working with them as Patron.”
World Health Organisation data suggests glaucoma is the world’s second leading cause of blindness, after cataracts. An estimated 300,000 Australians live with glaucoma, but half of these are said to be unaware they have the disease and therefore losing sight without their knowledge.
Glaucoma Australia partners with a range of health professionals including ophthalmologists, optometrists, pharmacists and orthoptists with the aim of saving sight.
The organisation works to achieve this by raising community risk awareness, detecting and treating glaucoma early and providing education and support aimed at increasing adherence to prescribed treatment regimens.
“This is an exciting time for Glaucoma Australia,” the organisation’s President, Associate Professor Simon Skalicky, said. “As we have moved digitally, we’re connecting with more glaucoma patients and their families, as well as health professionals.
“Digitally integrating the support services of Glaucoma Australia through online referral pathways ensures greater support is provided to people with glaucoma at every step along the journey, in metropolitan, rural and regional Australia.
“Ideally we aim to integrate our service better with healthcare providers to enhance the likelihood that patients access our resources and community support, which in turn motivates long-term adherence to medication and monitoring for glaucoma.”
Welcoming the new Patron, Glaucoma Australia CEO Annie Gibbins said: “At a time when multiple worthy causes are vying for His Excellency’s invaluable patronage, we sincerely thank the Governor-General for becoming Patron of Glaucoma Australia.”