Australian politicians and members of the eye health and vision care sector have formally recognised the significant contributions of the Hon Bob McMullan, who recently retired as President of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).
As a former member of parliament and government minister, Mr McMullan was instrumental in the establishment and success of the Australian Government’s Avoidable Blindness Initiative which saw a consortium of members from Vision 2020 Australia deliver a range of eyecare initiatives across the Asia Pacific, restoring sight to thousands in those countries.
Vision 2020 Australia has continued to be a strong voice for eye health and vision in Australia. Speaking at a recent event to mark its 21st birthday, the current Vision 2020 Australia Chair the Hon Christopher Pyne reflected on both the organisation’s past and its priorities for the future, and paid tribute to Mr McMullan’s long term commitment to eye health and vision care.
“Many people know Bob McMullan from his time in Federal Parliament, but they might not know that in his post-politics life, Bob remained heavily involved in international eye health,” Mr Pyne said.
“In 2012 he was elected President of the IAPB, serving during a period of significant strategic progress, not to mention the impact of the global COVID19 pandemic.”
“Bob recently retired from the IAPB Board and on behalf of Vision 2020 Australia, the Australian eye sector and indeed the many around the globe who benefited from his work with the IAPB, I want to publicly thank him for his contributions.”
Also at the event, Mr Pyne also spoke about the success of Australia’s work in in global eye health, noting that despite being a relatively small nation located deep in the Southern Hemisphere, Australians have been “outstanding leaders” on the global eye health and vision stage.
“Many members are closely involved in international efforts to improve eye health and vision care through their involvement in IAPB or contributions to landmark recent reports including the World Health Organisation’s World Report on Vision and the Lancet Commission on Global Eye Health’s seminal report, Beyond 2020,” he said.
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L to R: Vision 2020 Australia Deputy Chair Maureen O’Keefe, Vision 2020 Australia Chair the Hon Christopher Pyne, past Vision 2020 Australia director Prof Hugh Taylor, Vision 2020 Australia Patron the Hon Amanda Vanstone AO, the Hon Bob McMullan IAPB immediate Past President, Vision 2020 Australia CEO Judith Abbott.