PRESIDENT’S REPORT

It is my great pleasure, on behalf of the Board of Retina Australia
Victoria, to present the 2007-2008 Annual Report.

We have not only sustained regular income levels on all fundraising
endeavours and increased our membership numbers in the past 12
months, but we have put our small not-for-profit organisation in its
strongest financial position since its foundation in 1979 with a
healthy and sustainable balance sheet.

Undoubtedly, the highlight of Retina Vic’s year culminated at
another not-for-profit organisation’s AGM. This was the result of
much hard work over the previous two years by a group of Retina
Vic volunteers, including Dave Byars, Kate Giles, Graham Owen,
Jane Evans and yours truly, which resulted in the visit to the
Victorian Ladies Bowling Association’s AGM in August 2007 to
collect the cheque for being nominated 2006-2007 Charity for the

The result of the kind generosity of the 518 or so clubs across
Victoria resulted in $112,000.00 for our great (unbiased of course!)
cause. Our esteemed Treasurer, Graham Owen has outlined the
expenditure thus far in his report on the capital improvements in
the office. The remainder of the funds has been placed in a term
deposit account as we continue to develop the plan for the
expansion of our services to regional and rural Victoria, and other
areas, all of which will be covered in future issues of The Achiever
member newsletter.

In the meantime, we hope you share our sincere gratitude to the
members of the VLBA for their support of our organisation
financially, and for the betterment of awareness of retinal

Our surplus for the 2007-2008 financial year increased over the
previous and was underlined by the fundraising conducted by
Special Kids Events Pty Ltd through their Movie Mania program in
Victoria. This association is now in its second full year of an initial
5-year agreement. The fundraising conducted by Special Kids
Events not only provides additional funds to Retina Vic, but also
supports disadvantaged children by sending them to the movies.
Special Kids events Pty Ltd also conduct Magic shows, the first of
which will take place in Victoria in the near future.

During early 2008 we introduced two new staff to the office, one on
a part-time and the other on a casual basis. Mary Maga joined us in
the role of Administration Manager and has since thrown herself
into the role with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm. Judi Potts
was appointed in the casual role to develop and implement the
newly purchased Bluize database. Judi’s role is both a time
consuming one and important in the development and upkeep of
our organisation. As well, special thanks to volunteers assisting
these two in the office, particularly Graham Owen and Leighton

This year the Board is bidding farewell to two of its valued members
who have contributed so much to the organisation over the past 3-4
years. To Jane Evans and Fiona McNabb, thank you for your
invaluable assistance and skills. Both Jane and Fiona, who are not
affected by genetic eye diseases, but are merely kind-hearted
individuals, will remain members of Retina Vic and assist where
their skills enable them to.

My final note is not just that, but indeed my final as President. It
has been a challenging, fruitful and excellent learning experience
for me over the past 3 years. My decision not to stand for re-
election has not come without much thought, but I have found it
increasingly difficult to devote the time I would like to, toward the
role over the past 12 months, particularly due to work

During my tenure as President I have worked closely with all the
Board members and staff to develop the organisation to a new
platform, which can now boast being more financially sustainable
for years to come.

I wish Retina Australia Victoria all the best as I hand over the baton
to President elect, Leighton Boyd.

                                                       Yours in sight

                                                    CHARLES ROGERS
         Cars of the World Report
During the 2007-2008 year we embarked on two events associated
with Cars of the World. Both events provided challenges of their

The Cars of the World event, whilst still young as far as events go
was somewhat forced into moving location from its original base at
Fort Queenscliff. This came about due to the on-going and
worsening drought conditions, which forced the Fort to not approve
our application to use the venue. After some negotiations we were
destined for the Quarantine Station site on the other side of the
Bay. This remained for a number of months in marketing the event
until the negotiations fell through.

Five weeks from the event date, the hurry was on to settle on a new
home. The Morning Star Estate in Mt Eliza was chosen. Luckily we
managed to pull off the event, and in doing so still managed to draw
a surplus, albeit a lot smaller than anticipated, but given the
circumstances, a good result.

The second event preceded the Morning Star Estate display by one
week. This was the running of the 75 Year celebrations of the
opening of the Great Ocean Road. Retina Australia Victoria was
nominated the event’s chosen charity by the local tourism
authorities, who provided a substantial donation to our

The Great Ocean Road event, which covered 4 days, provided
widespread exposure for Retina Australia Victoria through the
media, particularly on the ABC and 3AW, who through the “Bruce &
Phil” show, covered live crosses to the event each night, which
turned into discussion about Retina Australia instead of the event.

Our sincere thanks must go to the events’ sponsors, particularly
that of RT Edgar Real Estate Portsea, the Victorian Chamber of
Commerce, the Automotive Centre for Excellence, the Great Ocean
Road Marketing group and the many local communities who
supported our endeavours.

                                                  CHARLES ROGERS
                 VISION 2020 REPORT
Vision 2020 is Australia's peak body in the eye health and vision
care sector and has become a significant force in facilitating unified
initiatives and collaboration across the entire sector. Through its
integrative role across the sector, Vision 2020 provides and
supports important opportunities to influence policy at both State
and Commonwealth levels.

One of the key advantages of our corresponding membership of
Vision 2020, is the opportunity to sit around the table with all
stakeholders in the eye health and vision care sector as equals,
with opportunities to influence and direct policy initiatives and
objectives of the organisation in a meaningful way.

One of the key ways, Vision 2020 achieves its objectives is the
establishment of working groups, formed from the broader
membership. David Foran has represented Retina Australia (Vic),
on a number of working groups, and smaller sub working groups,
aimed specifically at ensuring that our members are represented,
and their needs and wishes are heard and included in the many
discussions and deliberations in the various forums in which we
are engaged.

Participation in the working groups involves attending meetings in
Vision 2020' s offices in Melbourne and participation in other
smaller offline meetings and teleconferencing, where appropriate.
In the current year, to key themes of the older Australian and
children have been emphasised with the formation of two working
groups to address these two important areas with respect to vision
care and eye health, including rehabilitation and low vision issues.
We are represented on both these working groups. The formation
of these two working groups was the result of discussions and
determinations made at Vision 2020 member forums held
throughout 2008, consistent also with a global theme of looking
towards the future and the ageing population.

Attendance and participation at the Vision 2020 member forums are
also great opportunities to ensure our needs and requirements are
articulated and included as initiatives are worked out and
developed. A particularly good example of this was the member
forum held in Brisbane in September 2008. The specific focus of
this forum was low vision services and rehabilitation. Of course, for
us in Retina Australia, low vision services and rehabilitation are of
vital importance and the adoption of this as the theme of the
Brisbane forum was a result of effective representation by us and
other similarly interested members, who expressed a clear need for
these topics to be covered in detail by the broader Vision 2020

Further to this, and as an excellent example of the power of Vision
2020, Bill Shorten, MP, was invited and attended this forum. Given
his responsibilities within the disability sector, this forum proved to
be a valuable opportunity to put forward to the Minister the needs
and hopes of our members. Not only were we able to provide Bill
Shorten, with information, but he was also able to provide us with
important insights into how to improve our representation of the
sector and how to move forward, swiftly with some key initiatives.

Arising out of that member forum in Brisbane, a subsequent
meeting here in Melbourne, worked through the range of outcomes
from the forum and was able to prioritise a set of three key
objectives to be forwarded directly to Bill Shorten's office as he
requested, for him to fast track, as he is able. One of these
prioritised initiatives relates to codes and standards for information
delivery and information technology, and David Foran is on this sub
working group as Retina Australia (Vic)'s delegate.

This is an important opportunity and represents, in essence, the
model by which our participation in Vision 2020, and its activities,
can have significant and meaningful outcomes for our members.

It can be appreciated from the foregoing that collaboration and
opportunities for networking are vital elements of how Vision 2020
and its members work towards and achieve its objectives. In
addition to the opportunities already described, Retina Australia
(Vic) has also been represented throughout the year at several of
Vision 2020' s strategic planning days. The specific aim of these
planning sessions is to gather as many members as possible from
across the broad Vision 2020 membership to collaborate and arrive
at unified positions and common goals. With respect to Vision
2020' s objectives in the near and medium terms. These sessions
also provide excellent opportunities for Retina Australia (Vic), to be
represented and have the needs and requirements of its
membership, articulated and included in the planning of Vision
2020’s activities and initiatives into the future, particularly as they
relate to low vision services and rehabilitation.
Important throughout these strategic sessions and also the member
forums, has been our position in conjunction with the other low
vision service providers that the push for a complimentary
framework dealing with low vision services and rehabilitation is
essential, and that a vital objective of Vision 2020 is to continue its
significant push at State and Federal government levels to ensure
this complimentary framework is developed and implemented to the
extent necessary, such that it sits beside the National Eye Health
Framework already endorsed, but which from our perspective was
deficient in that our requirements in the areas of low vision services
and rehabilitation were excluded. This is a critical objective and is

Vision 2020 is an important group, and it is gaining strength and
influence, as well as membership. It provides a valuable forum for
us to participate in significant policy development and decision-
making that directly affects us and our sector. It provides many
opportunities for us. Not only to be informed, but to inform, and we
need to make sure that we continue to drive the agenda in
directions that service our needs and permits the best
representation of our members.

                                                         David Foran
               TREASURER’S REPORT
I have pleasure in presenting the audited Financial Reports for the
Financial Year 2007/08.

For the benefit of members I have printed a detailed version of
these reports so that the members can see where the money has
come from, and where it has been spent. For the year 2007/08 the
Profit & Loss Statement shows that Retina Australia (Vic) Inc.
achieved a surplus of $36 240 while the Balance Sheet shows that
cash at bank and fixed deposits amounts to $158 710. Our financial
position is strong.


In August 2007, Retina Australia (Vic) Inc. received a donation of
$112 000 from the Victorian Ladies Bowling Association (VLBA). Of
this amount $80 000 was invested in fixed deposits while the
remaining $32 000 was retained in the Profit & Loss A/C.

The surplus from fundraising by Magic Mania amounted to $18 405,
the difference between the licensing income and Magic Mania fund-
raising expenses. Surpluses from other fundraising activities such
as the sale of Christmas Cards, Entertainment Books, Owl badges,
raffles and key rings amounted to $12 640. Approximately $2 000
was raised from the 75th Great Ocean Road celebration event that
was held last November. The remaining important fundraiser, Cars
of the World showed only a small profit compared to previous years
because of the additional costs incurred by the unplanned, and
forced, late change of venue from the Point Nepean Quarantine
Station to the Morning Star Estate Mt Eliza. It is expected that
better profit outcomes will be achieved in 2008/09 and in following
financial years.


In the financial year 2007/08, $19 481 from the VLBA donation has
been spent on new office equipment including a Commander
Digital Telephone System, a database package from Bluize, Fuji
Xerox photocopier and ergonomic office chairs. These purchases
have improved the safety of the work environment and the adaptive
equipment has improved the everyday functionality within the
office, enhancing the delivery of member support and the
administration of fundraising activities. Purchase of these items,
combined with move to a square shaped office the previous year,
has place us well to provide improved services to our members as
well as the wider community.

It has been a year since we have received this magnificent donation
from the VLBA and I and the Board have been anxious to spend
funds from this donation carefully. As a guide, the Board used the
results from our 2006/07 Member Survey which revealed the
requests, and needs, of our members living in the Metropolitan and
Country areas. In addition, the Board endeavoured to consider the
needs of people in the wider community who cope with vision
impairment caused by retinal dystrophies.

It takes time to select a database package and then to learn and
enter the data relating to all members as well as entrants to the
Cars of the World Event. Ms Judy Potts has been engaged to enter
the data and her salary cost has been charged against the donation
from the VLBA. Most of the costs in relation to new office
equipment have been included in the asset account of the Balance

The regular office expenses such as salaries, rent, telephone,
insurance, superannuation, postage, stationery, subscriptions and
bank charges etc are shown in the Profit & Loss Statement. The
expenses are unavoidable but nevertheless many hours have been
volunteered by members of the Board and by our Office Manager
(part-time) Mary Maga.

In the Liabilities section (Reserves) of the Balance Sheet, the
Research Funds Account shows a provision of $13 990 which is
ready to be paid out on research projects. This will occur when the
recommendations for research funding are received from the
national association of Retina Australia.

During 2007/08, the budget process, which was introduced in the
previous financial year, was revised and updated. As a
consequence, the Board has been better informed regarding the
detail of all income and expenditure and is able to plan more
accurately. For the forthcoming financial year, 2008/09, a draft
Budget has been developed and it is anticipated that it will continue
to be a useful management tool for the Board as it can be updated
as required until there is a regular pattern of income and
                                                     Graham Owen

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