Ensuring that the gift of sight is cherished and preserved.
Perth Eye Foundation (PEF) is an independent charity dedicated to the prevention of blindness through the promotion of skills and knowledge.
Our vision is a future where no one is suffering from a preventable eye disease.
Liam became chair of the charity in 2018 and has also chaired the Program Partners Advisory Panel (PPAP) since its inception in 2019. He retired from his position as Chief Operating Officer of Seven West Media (WA) in 2015 after a 40 year career in the media and manufacturing industries. He makes a significant contribution to the WA community on numerous not-for-profit and health service industry boards, and is an adviser to the Emerging Leaders Program at Murdoch University. He is currently a member of the Medical Board of Australia in W.A, the South Metropolitan Health Service, deputy chair of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of W.A, and deputy chair of Crime Stoppers W.A.
Liam is widely recognised as an exceptional mentor and business leader who has the ability to motivate both individuals and teams to perform at their peak. He has a particular talent for reducing complex problems to manageable components, and by working diligently and collaboratively with stakeholders he often finds innovative solutions to challenging economic and structural problems. He has a passion for streamlining business processes, and uses an inclusive leadership style to encourage the development of highly effective results driven teams.
Simon has over 25 years experience across all facets of business management, having worked extensively in both the media and health sectors. Simon’s previous roles include general manager for Network Ten Perth and CEO for Cystic Fibrosis Australia. In addition to his role as a director of the Perth Eye Foundation Simon is currently the chief financial officer and company secretary for WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA). WAPHA was formed after winning Commonwealth Government contracts to commission health services throughout WA focusing on mental health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health programmes, general practice support, alcohol and drug problems, chronic condition programs, and programs supporting the primary health sector in managing Covid-19.
Simon is also the chair of the John XXIII college finance and risk committee and vice chairman for Breast Cancer Care WA. He has previously served as a non-executive director on the board of Cystic Fibrosis WA and was a trustee director of the Network Ten Superannuation Fund.
Phil is a West Australian trained ophthalmologist and was one of the founding surgeons who established the Eye Surgery Foundation charity in 1990. He has supported the charity through pro-bono work on the board of the Perth Eye Centre and the Eye Surgery Foundation since then and continues to the current day. He operated at the Perth Eye Hospital for many years and served as chairman of the Perth Eye Centre board. He left that board in 2016 to join the Eye Surgery Foundation board and subsequently played a central role in establishing the Perth Eye Foundation charity.
In 2010 he was appointed an Associate Clinical Professor at UWA and has co-authored over 50 peer reviewed publications. He provided regular specialist services to the Pilbara region of W.A for 25 years and has worked in Timor. In 2017 he received an AM in recognition for his commitment to providing ophthalmic services in areas of unmet need and his voluntary services in Australia and overseas. Phil was actively involved in the evolution of the Eye Surgery Foundation into the Perth Eye Foundation.
Jo is a mid-career ophthalmologist with extensive experience in clinical teaching and professional development, particularly in the areas of service quality and accountability. She has been a member of the trainee selection panel and workforce committees of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) for several years, and works as a trainee supervisor at Royal Perth Hospital. She has taught eye health to nurses and optometrists as well as medical practitioners.
She works in private practice with the Western Eye consultants in Perth with subspecialty interests in ocular inflammation, cataract surgery and glaucoma, and has published many collaborative research papers in those areas. Her previous pro bono work for the Perth Eye Foundation (PEF) was with the Program Partners Advisory Panel, but in 2021 she left that role to join the PEF board. She enjoys the opportunity that ophthalmology provides to engage with a wide diversity of people and contribute to improving the quality of people’s lives by improving their vision.
Emma Chinnery is a senior lawyer, practising as a Partner of Jackson McDonald in Perth. Emma’s clients are primarily charities and other not-for-profits, Aboriginal trusts and corporations and government bodies. She has a focus on commercial advice, compliance, corporate structures and best practice governance. She also regularly assists clients with board training, and in facilitating meetings with members and other stakeholders. Emma presents on governance and legal topics through Governance Institute and the Emerging Leaders in Governance Program.
Emma has held board positions with Netball WA Inc, Glass Jar Australia Ltd and the Forum for Directors of Indigenous Organisations, and is a member of the UWA Sports Advisory Council. She was the inaugural chair of the Governance and Risk Committee for Netball WA. Emma joined the Perth Eye Foundation board in 2020.
Dr Ross Littlewood
AM, MBBS, BA(Phil), FRANZCO
Ross was one of the eight original founders of the Perth Eye Centre board in 1990, which operated the Perth Eye Hospital until 2018. He served on the ESF board from 2014 and then became a founding member of the Perth Eye Foundation board, which superseded the ESF in January 2020. He retired from the PEF board in February 2021.
Ms Liane Papaelias
BBus, FCPA, GAICD
Liane provided sound advice to the board of Eye Surgery Foundation (ESF) during its last few years as an independent charity, and then provided invaluable assistance to the board of the Perth eye foundation (PEF) as it assumed the responsibilities of the ESF charity.
Program Partners Advisory Panel Members
Jacqueline was appointed to the role of program liaison officer in 2022. She brings over 20 years of experience as a health care program administrator to that task. Her carer as an administrator has involved working in both Western Australia and the UK, concentrating particularly on programs with a social focus. The focus of programs she has worked on include homelessness, refugees and asylum seekers, social research, and engineering for a sustainable society. Her expertise in managing programs that support social change is particularly useful to the Program Partners Advisory Panel (PPAP). She is also currently the director for social outreach at St John of God Health Care.
Her role in the PPAP includes advice and assistance with new applications to the Perth Eye Foundation (PEF) for financial assistance. Applications are made on a ‘Program Support Application’ document (downloadable via the link below), but applicants may also need to supply additional supporting information for the application to be successful. As well as assisting applicants with that process she also provides a liaison service after a successful application. This is useful if the PPAP recommends periodic assessment of the progress of a program as a condition for ongoing or recurrent funding.
Beverley works for a non-government Aboriginal Health Service and since 2010 has organised visits by multidisciplinary specialist medical teams to remote Aboriginal Communities on the Ngaanyatjarra Lands. She lived in the desert community of Warakurna for four years then moved to Perth from where she now travels back to the Ngaanyatjarra Lands for up to 24 weeks per year. She also organises a once a year “blitz” eye surgery program where patients from the Ngaanyatjarra Lands are flown as a group to Kalgoorlie by charter plane in order to have culturally appropriate ophthalmic surgical treatment for conditions like cataracts, trichiasis and pterygium.
Beverley encourages student and registrar participation in specialist trips and takes students from University of Western Australia Optometry Program to the Ngaanyatjarra Lands with visiting Ophthalmology/Optometry Teams. This provides students with experience in Aboriginal health care from the perspective of a multidisciplinary health team. Beverley has established valuable relationships with visiting eye care team members and the communities living on the Ngaanyatjarra Lands. She joined the Perth Eye Foundation Program Advisory Panel in 2022.
Chathri is a general ophthalmologist with a wide variety of sub-specialty interests. She graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) with Honours in 2004 from Monash University, Melbourne. She completed her ophthalmology training at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne and followed this with a fellowship in general ophthalmology and rural ophthalmology with Lions Outback Vision, providing ophthalmology services to rural WA. The outback service model includes specialist outreach clinics and telemedicine. She has a continuing interest in ophthalmic service delivery to remote locations, and like many of her colleagues is aware of the economic and logistical impediments to providing access to complex technologies for those living in remote locations, since those technologies are almost never designed for mobility. Many of the programmes evaluated by the PPAP for support have a potential application to remote areas.
She works in the public health sector at Royal Perth and Fremantle hospitals, and privately at St John of God Subiaco Hospital and at Northern Eye Surgeons in Perth. She maintains a special interest in training and education for junior ophthalmologists and health care workers.
Eileen is a passionate and respected nurse leader with an extensive career in specialist ophthalmic nursing. She completed a Bachelor of Nursing in Perth and a post graduate diploma in Ophthalmic Nursing through the Sydney Hospital. She is a founding committee member of the Australian Ophthalmic Nurses Association (AONA) WA branch and was the WA representative in the development of the Practice Standards for Ophthalmic Nurses in Australia. She has worked in a number of senior nursing positions, always striving to drive change and promote excellence. She has participated in key initiatives, such as the Ophthalmology Special Reference Group, and the Western Australian State Eye Plan Consultation Workshop.
Eileen has represented ophthalmic nurses in a variety of forums and presented at national AONA conferences and the RANZCO WA Branch Practice Managers Conference. She continues to enthusiastically promote ophthalmic nurse education and patient care and is well qualified to provide a nursing perspective to the task of program evaluation.
Margie O’Neill is an optometrist and eye care coordinator who has lived in and travelled extensively across the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of Western Australia for over two decades. Whilst personally delivering eye care services she acquired a practical knowledge of the limitations of clinical and social services in regional Australia, so is well qualified to advise the PEF on areas of unmet need. Outside of W.A. she has experience in remote communities in NSW and the Northern Territory, acquired while working with the Brien Holden Vision Institute; with Pacific Island communities in Kiribati, Tonga, and Papua New Guinea; while working with Fred Hollows New Zealand. She has worked in several African regions with the Sightsavers School Health Integrated Programme based in the U.K. She has also worked as an optometric volunteer in Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Ghana, and East Timor. In 2003 she was awarded a World Council of Optometry scholarship. Her other awards include a Brien Holden scholarship, the Theo Kannis award for clinical optometry, the university of NSW alumni award, and Australia’s local hero award in 2006. In 2010 she was a finalist in the Australian of the year awards.
Neilsen has over two decades of clinical experience in optometry and over 10 years experience in senior management of not for profit organisations, aimed at furthering his passion for promoting accessible and sustainable eye care for all. This included developing and implementing education programs in 17 countries, and upskilling university academics and trainers to enhance their ongoing delivery of education. He led business development that used social enterprise and social franchise models to develop a global spectacle supply chain that enhanced accessible eye care. He supported the development of research and education in not for profit entities in India and China, and also supported a global child eye health campaign.
He has co-authored 7 peer review papers and contributed to the 2019 World Health Organisation’s “World Report on Vision.” He has presented at conferences in South Africa, Hong Kong, China, UAE, Australia, USA and India. He is currently a senior lecturer at the school of Optometry, University of Western Australia. He is a director at Melville Optical Clinic, a member of Essilor Future Insight Advisory Board, a business associate at ‘nthalmic,’ and a Chairperson of Global Hand Charity.
Vignesh is a consultant ophthalmologist and vitreo-retinal surgeon. He is the former head of department at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) in Perth. Under his leadership the department grew into a well equipped 12-consultant unit that includes all subspecialties within adult Ophthalmology, and provides two accredited registrar training positions. His private ophthalmology practice is at the Joondalup Eye Clinic in Perth.
Vignesh has received special recognition from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) for his excellence in teaching. He completed his primary medical degree in India, followed by a Masters in Ophthalmology at the Aravind Eye Hospital and Postgraduate Institute of Ophthalmology – the world’s largest eye care system. He then completed 8 years of training in both glaucoma and vitreo-retinal surgery at Liverpool and Oxford in the UK. In 2013 he completed a second fellowship in medical and surgical retina with Prof. Ian Constable at SCGH and the Lion’s Eye Institute in Perth. His special areas of clinical expertise are complex cataract surgery, glaucoma, and medical and surgical retina.
Vignesh is highly regarded by his colleagues as a clinician, administrator, and educator.