Approximately 15,000 Australians suffer from an inherited retinal disease, not including age related macular degeneration. We raise awareness and funds for scientific research, information and peer support, to seek a cure for people and families affected by retinal degenerative diseases.
Cure Blindness Australia’s mission is to fund research which will lead to a cure for the leading cause of youth blindness and the leading cause of blindness in the working age population-retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and related conditions, and to provide information and support in any practical way to those affected.
Our vision is a world where Retinitis Pigmentosa and related conditions
can be effectively treated or cured.
Our Board is made up of a diverse and skilled team who are responsible for leading the charity to achieve its mission of raising funds and awareness, as well as supporting those diagnosed with retinal degenerative disease. The majority of our Board members are either affected themselves, or have family members affected, by a blinding eye condition.
MEET OUR BOARD MEMBERS
PRESIDENT | Bruce Richards
Bruce Richards has over 40 year’s experience in the commercial property industry responsible for staff, controlled revenue and large budgets. He is the Property Consultant of choice to major Corporations, a Director of API Leisure and Lifestyle, and Chairman of API Leisure and Lifestyle Property Committee. He sat on the Global Board of CoreNet Global the largest association of Corporate Real Estate Executives in the world, and was the Chair for Australia and New Zealand for 10 years. Bruce is a Registered Valuer and Land Economist, Master of Corporate Real Estate and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
VICE PRESIDENT /
CHAPTER CHAIR HUNTER REGION | Deb Hescott
Deb Hescott has worked in a variety of leadership roles within the public sector as well as her own business. Deb was the business lead for tenders, and business manager for Hunter TAFE. Deb is a strong advocate for equity in which she has worked for the past 20 years. Deb has formal qualifications in Social Science, Communications, Management and Education. Deb is a member of various networks and committee’s throughout the Hunter region and has been recognised for her work in equity. Deb is a carrier of, and has 3 generations of x-linked Retinitis Pigmentosa in her family, this has been her inspiration for joining the board.
SECRETARY | Robyn Richards
Robyn Richards was a Paediatric, General and mammographic Radiographer for 30 years retiring from this due to her vision loss. She joined the council of Retina Australia NSW in 1997 and in 1998 became the Vice President of the Retina Australia national Board. She served as President of NSW from 1998 to 2007 when she handed over the Presidency and became the Hon. Secretary of NSW. She left the national Board a couple of years later as her fundraising duties had become her priority for RANSW. She received the Order of Australia Medal in 2007 for her work for the vision impaired.
MEMBER | Michael Astrinos
Michael Astrinos has 20 years experience in finance, treasury, risk management, compliance and project management in the financial services industry. He is a Committee member on Westpac’s employee action group advocating for people with disabilities, a member of the Risk Management Association Australia, and member of the Governance Risk and Compliance Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Business (Finance) from the University of Technology Sydney. "Michael suffers from Choroideremia (CHM), an inherited retinal disease related to retinitis pigmentosa (RP) Michael joined the Board in December 2016, driven by a desire to play a more active role in finding a cure, and to raise the profile of these rare debilitating diseases.
MEMBER | Gareth Johnson
Prior to retiring in 2015, Gareth Johnson was a solicitor for more than 35 years, specialising in Commercial, Corporate and Trade Practices law. Prior to this he was a high school teacher and an industrial officer with a major trade union. Since retiring, Gareth was a volunteer at the Seniors Rights Service, and a volunteer at Vision Australia for 3 years. For more than 15 years, Gareth was honorary Company Secretary of Industry Capability Network Ltd, a government funded company which aims to find Australian replacements for imported goods. Gareth has RP and stopped driving in March 2006. however, apart from that, his vision is generally quite sound. Gareth commenced on our board in April 2018.
TREASURER | Robyn Zanker
Robyn Zanker is a long time supporter and volunteer of CBA. She first
joined the committee in 2003 and produced RODS newsletter for 8 years. Robyn has just moved back to Sydney after 18 years in the Southern Highlands
Robyn has worked in various industries over the years including hospitality
real estate and cattle. Robyn has Retinitis Pigmentosa.
MEMBER | Susan Rodak
Susan Rodak has been working in the finance industry for over 30 years and has owned and operated an ANZ Mobile Lending Central Coast North franchise business for the last 14 years as well as owning the Battery World Wyong franchise with her husband Paul. Susan is currently the Treasurer of the Wyong Regional Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Community Business Women’s Network Upper Central Coast. Susan and Paul have three sons and one of their sons has Retinitis Pigmentosa which is her motivation to help create awareness and raise funds for continuing support and research that joining the board will achieve.
OUR PATRON & SUPPORTERS
Cure Blindness Australia's approach to blindness prevention offers sponsors an opportunity to make a real difference in giving back sight to many in need.
We welcome the support of our sponsors and partners whose generosity and commitment make our important work possible. Cure Blindness Australia recognises the support and generosity of the public and corporate sector.
OUR PATRON | Judy Horton (OAM)
Cure Blindness Australia's new patron is Judy Horton. Judy is a long-time friend of CBA and her name will be well known to many of our members who have a love for the garden. Judy is a horticulturist who is responsible for the regular updating of Yates Garden Guide, the best-selling Australian gardening book.
Judy began her career as a primary schoolteacher before falling in love with her five acre bush garden and studying horticulture in the early 1980s.
After graduating from Ryde School of Horticulture she worked as a retail nursery garden adviser and a bush regenerator for the NSW National Trust for a number of years. Her radio experience began more than twenty years ago and over the years she has also filled in for Graham Ross and Don Burke on their respective shows. For the last fourteen years, Judy has been one of the weekend regulars who answer gardening questions on ABC 702 “Weekends with Simon Marnie” program.
Judy has been the recipient of the Horticultural Media Association Hall of Fame Gold Laurel and the NSW Nursery Industry Association’s Allan Seale Award for her contribution to gardening media. In 2012 she was presented with the Golden Wattle Award, the highest award from the Australian Institute of Horticulture, for her contribution to horticulture. A few weeks later she received an Award of Merit from the Nursery and Garden Industry of NSW & ACT for her outstanding contribution to the industry.