SYDNEY, 7 June 2021: Glaucoma Australia has announced the appointment of Maree O’Brien as its President and extends its gratitude to outgoing President A/Prof Simon Skalicky who has served the charity organisation for the past 7 years.
Glaucoma Australia welcomes Ms O’Brien, who joined the Glaucoma Australia ICT Committee in 2017, becoming Chair of the ICT Committee and a member of the Glaucoma Australia Board in 2019. She is also a member of the Audit and Risk Committee.
“I have a strong family history of glaucoma and am committed to Glaucoma Australia’s mission to eliminate glaucoma blindness. As glaucoma is often referred to as the ‘silent thief of sight’ I am looking forward to working with the Directors and CEO to increase awareness of glaucoma in the community and encourage people to have their eyes tested regularly,” Ms O’Brien said.
Ms O’Brien has extensive experience in senior management and leadership roles with multinational technology and professional services companies. Her experience in organisational transformation will assist Glaucoma Australia as it further develops its digital strategy and future direction. Her career spans Commercial, Government and Not for Profit organisations, both internationally and in Australia.
A/Prof Skalicky’s involvement with Glaucoma Australia began in 2014, when he joined the Glaucoma Australia Ophthalmology Committee. Using his research skills in quality of life in glaucoma he led a multicentre Australia-wide randomised clinical trial evaluating the impact of Glaucoma Australia education for newly diagnosed glaucoma patients. In 2016 Simon became Chair of the Ophthalmology Committee and joined the Glaucoma Australia Board, and became President in 2019.
Following his recent retirement from the Glaucoma Australia Board, CEO Annie Gibbins thanked A/Prof Skalicky for his support in her role as CEO and celebrates his many achievements and contributions to the charity, as well as his dedication to patient care and quality of life through education.
“Simon was instrumental in establishing the Glaucoma Australia Research Grants program, and in co-ordinating the Glaucoma Australia involvement in the Medicare submission for MIGS. He actively promotes collaborative care between ophthalmology and optometry and has worked closely with colleagues in optometry to establish the Glaucoma Australia Patient Referral Pathway and integrate Glaucoma Australia services with the online referral platform Oculo, enhancing digital referral of new glaucoma patients to the Glaucoma Australia service. During his term as President, he oversaw the growth of the organisation’s drive for primary eye-care glaucoma screening. This included welcoming His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley, Governor General as Glaucoma Australia’s Patron and Kirk Pengilly as Glaucoma Australia’s Ambassador, who both actively promote glaucoma awareness.
“We wish Simon every success as he devotes more time to his busy practice, research and young family….and we are extremely grateful for the time and expertise he has given to Glaucoma Australia,” Annie Gibbins added.