BHVI and the Brien Holden Foundation: Building enduring strategies for recovery from COVID-19

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is an alliance of civil society organisations, private sector, and professional bodies promoting eye health through advocacy, knowledge and partnerships.
Organisation: IAPB

Child eye healthIn this year of unprecedented change and recalibration, BHVI and the Brien Holden Foundation have worked together to ensure that their staff and programmes receive the support they need.

To enhance the work of both organisations and focus the strengths of existing staff, a senior management reshuffle has been announced.

Tim Fricke, who was appointed as Acting Executive Director of the Brien Holden Foundation in October 2019, is moving back to BHVI to take up the role of Executive Director, Development, Publications and Advocacy. Tim has overseen the provision of in-country support at program level within the international programmes, and the development of optometry specialty training for the emerging schools. He will now contribute to the organisation’s broader development agenda and its key research publications.

Selina Madeleine, who has worked for the Brien Holden Foundation for ten years, has been appointed as its new Director. Selina’s focus is on the Foundation’s international programmes. She brings public health, communications skills and experience to the position and has great familiarity working with the programmes from an advocacy and effectiveness perspective.

The Brien Holden Foundation has been accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) since 2008, and successfully went through reaccreditation in 2015. Together with the CEO, Yvette Waddell, and the newly constituted Board, Selina will guide the Foundation through this year’s reaccreditation process.

In support of the global pandemic response, the Foundation has been among the non-government organisations providing agile response to support DFAT’s request to run Pivot Projects. The Pivot Project model realigns Australian Government funds to directly support the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, at the ground level in developing communities. The Foundation currently has four Pivot Projects running in Vietnam, PNG, Pakistan and Sri Lanka which are providing direct response to the communities our programmes service.

Closer to home, Colina Waddell has moved to the title Head of Australia Programs. This is to reflect the dedicated work she has provided leading the national consortium-led programme, focused on increasing annual eye exam rates through the installation of retinal cameras and the training of health care professionals to use the cameras, in 161 sites across our nation. Colina also works tirelessly to continue the delivery of the Aboriginal Vision Program in NSW and the Northern Territory through the supported network of program and locum staff, and partners at the Aboriginal Medical Services.

“BHVI and the Brien Holden Foundation have strong management teams, robust financial management, solid balance sheets and highly capable Boards. I am grateful to, and commend, all our staff and partners for pulling together at this unprecedented time,” said Yvette Waddell, CEO of both BHVI and the Brien Holden Foundation.