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Macular foundation CEO wants to make “measurable impact”

07/02/2018By Matthew Woodley • Staff Journalist
Newly appointed Macular Disease Foundation Australia CEO Ms Dee Hopkins has said she is well prepared and will adopt a collaborative approach during her time in the role.

Hopkins spoke with Insight after news of her appointment broke last week and said she was looking forward to building on the work of the Foundation and previous CEO Ms Julie Heraghty.

“Julie has done an incredible job. She’s built a fantastic organisation, it’s got a terrific reputation, it’s innovative, it’s agile, and I want to continue that – but I also think there’s an opportunity to do more,” she said.


“I don’t want to just make a difference; I want to make a measurable impact. That’s really what I’m about.”
Dee Hopkins, MDFA CEO

“It’s early days, but I’m looking forward to really delving into what those opportunities are and how we can build on our strengths. I don’t want to just make a difference; I want to make a measurable impact. That’s really what I’m about.”

Along with her work as a director with Medicines Australia, Hopkins said her experience assisting her late father during his struggles with age-related macular degeneration had given her an appreciation for the potential real life consequences of vision loss.

“I bring the balance of having experience in the pharmaceutical world, but I think mainly it was because I’ve seen the social side, the impact on health of macular disease in communities that I’ve already been involved in and serviced,” Hopkins said.

“My father lived a good life and didn’t ever let it get to him, so he was quite inspirational to me because I think most people would be devastated if something like this happened.”

She also said seeing the impact low vision aids had on her father’s journey meant she was acutely aware of the importance of educating people on what is available to them.

“Getting those aids in place made all the difference,” she said.

“It’s the philosophy you adopt and making sure you know what’s available – knowledge is king, so finding the right supports to help him stay at home and live independently was really important.”

With that in mind, Hopkins said her first priority in the job was to continue to learn as much as she could about the Foundation and wider eyecare sector.

“Listening, meeting patients, meeting ophthalmologists and optometrists, meeting all the different stakeholders. I’ve got a lot of networking to do and I want to build very strong partnerships,” she said.

“I like working in collaboration. When you work collectively you have a much greater impact as a sector, so I’m very much looking forward to that.”



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