House debates

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Statements by Members

Brien Holden Vision Institute

1:45 pm

Photo of Matt ThistlethwaiteMatt Thistlethwaite (Kingsford Smith, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

I congratulate the board, staff and supporters of the Brien Holden Vision Institute, which is situated in the University of New South Wales and recently hosted me on a visit. The staff of this wonderful organisation have a simple mission: vision care solutions for everyone, everywhere. The dedicated staff and volunteers of the institute work on research, development, commercialisation, delivery, education and solutions for vision-impaired people throughout Australia, including in remote Indigenous communities, and in developing nations, most notably in the Asia-Pacific and Africa.

A staggering 625 million people throughout the world are blind or vision-impaired simply because they do not have access to eye examinations or glasses. This leads to poverty. The Brien Holden Vision Institute seeks to alleviate that by providing access to eye examinations, glasses and contact lenses and surgery for those who do not have such access. They work cooperatively, particularly through the Cooperative Research Centres, and have highlighted the value of the CRCs with their high-oxygen permeable contact lens project which globally co-developed sales of $25 billion, in-kind research revenues to Australia of $1 billion, and royalties to the CRC of $250 million. What a crying shame the Abbott government has cut $80 million from the CRC's budget.

I am proud to have the Brien Holden Vision Institute in my electorate and I congratulate and thank the wonderful staff of this great organisation.