Lions NSW-ACT Save Sight Foundation
Lions Clubs NSW-ACT Public Health Care Foundation

Lions Save Sight Foundation

AWARDS: 2016-2017
Honour Awards granted to the Lion Members and Public in 201N4
 
 
 
The Save Sight Foundation objectives are:

To promote, advance and assist the research into the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of anomalies and diseases of the eye.

The Lions NSW-ACT Save Sight Foundation was adopted by the four District Governors of 201 B, D, G & E at the 22nd Multiple District Convention in Canberra in 1974.

The Foundation is owned by the Lions Clubs of the five Districts ('N' Districts) in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (NSW & ACT).  Each 'N' District is represented by three Directors and the District Governor of the day.

The Directors are elected by delegates at each ‘N’ District Convention to serve for three years on a rotational basis.  The District Governor serves during the term of his/her time in office.   Directors are eligible for re-election at the end of their term.

The Foundation currently contributes $100,000.00 annually towards the running costs of the Lions NSW Eye Bank.  The Foundation is represented on the Eye Bank Management Committee by the Foundation’s Chairman and three Directors and on the Board of the Save Sight Institute by the Foundation’s Chairman and two Directors.

Grants approved by the Foundation assist clubs in the purchase of equipment for hospitals and individuals, in training of medical personnel, printing of medical publications and salaries for the Lions Eye Bank etc.. All grant applications must conform to the Foundation’s guidelines.

Previous grants have included Argon Lasers for treating eye disease, and other equipment appertaining to sight conditions, funding for sight related research projects with the Save Sight Institute and financial assistance to the Lions NSW Eye Bank. 

The Save Sight Foundation provided the University of Sydney’s Save Sight and Eye Health Institute with seeding funds over a six year period to assist with its establishment. The Lions NSW Eye Bank was established in partnership with the NSW Government Sydney Area Health Service.

The Foundation, since its inception in 1974, has provided funding of more than $4,500,000 in grants to tax deductible gift authorized entities. The Save Sight Foundation provided the University of Sydney's Save Sight and Eye Health Institute with seeding funds over a six year period to assist with its establishment. The Lions NSW Eye Bank was established in partnership with the NSW Government Sydney Area Health Service. The Eye Bank receives a substantial amount annually from the Save Sight Foundation to assist with its ongoing function of trying to keep the community in sight. 

The Save Sight and Eye Health Institute and the Lions Eye Bank are both housed at the Sydney Hospital in Macquarie St., Sydney.  Directors of the Save Sight Foundation serve on the Council of the University of Sydney Save Sight and Eye Health Institute as well as on the Management committee of the Lions NSW Eye Bank.

Clubs can assist in fundraising efforts of the Public Health Care Foundation by way of 100% participating Club at a cost of $10 per club member.  The recognition of worthy citizens of the community or club members is also possible by bestowing Life Membership or Life Governorship, The new awards also include the Professor Billson Platinum Honour Award, the Keith Small Gold Honour Award, the Neville Tucker Silver Honour Award and the Harry Hession Bronze Honour Award.  (For more details of these awards please go to the 'Donations and Bequests' page)

Participation in the Lions Eye and Health Week Project through the sale of Raffle Tickets and “Don’t Lose Sight” merchandise provides a great opportunity to promote Lions, serve the community and also raise much needed funds.  Funds from the Lions Eye and Health Project are distributed equally between the Lions NSW-ACT Save Sight Foundation and the Lions Clubs NSW-ACT Public Health Care Foundation.

Corporate Sponsorships and Bequests are other ways of funding being sought by the Foundation in order to increase the Capital base. This is to ensure a continuing source of funding for the ever increasing demand for grants to assist with sight related projects.

You too can make a difference to the many hundreds of thousands of people who have eyesight problems, by assisting with the ongoing work of the “Knights of the Blind”, - Lions Clubs throughout the world, in their “Crusade Against Darkness”.

HONOUR AWARD BIOGRAPHIES

Prof. Frank Billson, Foundation Professor of Ophthalmology since 1978, had been Director of the Save Sight Institute, University of Sydney since 1985 until his retirement in 2008.

As foundation Director of the Save Sight Institute, he was responsible for the formation of fundraising for the commissioning of a laboratory and recruiting over 50 scientists and support staff for this facility. The Institute has attracted extensive research grants from the Lions NSW-ACT Save Sight Foundation and national and international sources including government, industry, and support from the community. A new laboratory was commissioned in 1997 which is amongst the most modern and best equipped in Australia.

He was the Director of the Lions NSW Eye Bank and a member of the staff of the Sydney Eye Hospital and both children’s hospitals in NSW. He is Hospitaller for Australia serving the Order of St John and the Jerusalem Eye Hospital and was instrumental in the establishment of outreach programs with St John Ambulance Australia, working with Aboriginal communities in Katherine NT and Dubbo NSW.

His enthusiasm and leadership are seen in his international commitments to the World Health Organisation and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, where he was the first Chairman of the West Pacific Region and has worked in the Asia Pacific Region for more than 20 years. His work in Bangladesh led to the establishment of the Chair of Clinical Ophthalmology in the University of Chittagong, building an eye hospital and training complex and developing a program to train eye doctors and paramedics for eight base hospitals throughout Bangladesh. He has also helped develop ophthalmic training programs in Sri Lanka, India, China, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Solomon Islands and Eye Banks in China and Vietnam.

In November 2003, he was awarded the International Blindness Prevention Award by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He is an Officer of the Order of Australia and was the first recipient of the Weary Dunlop Asia Medal “for selfless leadership in the service of both his profession and his country”. In 1995, he was made a Life Governor of the Lions NSW-ACT Save Sight Foundation and is an Honorary Lion.

Keith Small joined the Lions Club of Wewak PNG in June 1970. In 1971, he transferred to the Lions Club of Cabramatta and in 1984 he transferred to the Lions Club of Green Valley. He was District Governor of District 201B in 1978-79.

He was first elected as a Director of the Foundations in 1979 and served with distinction until 1999 when he stood down due to ill health. During his 20 years as a Director, he served a number of terms as Secretary and Treasurer of the Lions NSW-ACT Save Sight Foundation, Treasurer of the Lions Clubs NSW-ACT Public Health Care Foundation, Chairman of the Personality Quest Committee and Grant Secretary. He was involved in the investigation committee that led to the formation of the Lions NSW Eye Bank and served on its Management

Committee continuously until 1999. He also served a number of terms on the Council of the Save Sight Institute.

In 1999 he received the Commonwealth Government Seniors Award. He was the recipient of two International President’s Certificates and one International President’s Award and was made a Life Member of Lions in 1990, a Life Governor of the Lions NSW-ACT Save Sight Foundation in 1991 and a Melvin Jones Fellow in 1995. He died in 2000.

Neville Tucker joined the Lions Club of Brookvale in 1964. Within two years, he had been elevated to the Executive of the Lions Multiple District Council as National Treasurer, a position that he was to hold with great distinction for 23 years. He was highly respected for his professional expertise and dedication to his position of Treasurer and to Lionism in general by all with whom he was associated.

Over the years, he received many awards and recognitions as a result of his work for Lions, chief among them being the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in January 1989, three International President’s Medals and the most prestigious Lions Award of all the Ambassador of Goodwill Medal, only the fourth Australian Lion so honoured.

He introduced the Lions standard accounting system in Australia and also adapted the Objects of Lions Clubs International for use in Australia to take advantage of Australian Taxation Laws, but perhaps his greatest achievement was the idea to establish the Lions NSW-ACT Save Sight Foundation and his work in the formation of the Foundation. He died in 2002.

Harry Hession joined the Lions Club of Kempsey in 1961. He was the District Governor of District 201D in 1973-74 when the Lions NSW-ACT Save Sight Foundation was formed and was one of the original signatories to the formation documentation and led his District into participation in the Foundation. He served continuously as a Director until 1980.

He was widely respected as a “hands on” Lion and one of his outstanding achievements was to organise and lead his Club in the building of a house in Kempsey which was sold and the profit used to establish a local Lions Disaster Fund.

He was a made a Life Member of Lions Clubs International in 1977, awarded a Melvin Jones Fellowship in 1991 and made a Life Member of the Lions NSW-ACT Save Sight Foundation. He died in 1992.