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Low vision organisations unite to create single peak body

10/04/2019By Myles Hume
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The Australian Blindness Forum (ABF) Board has agreed in principle to cease operations and amalgamate with Vision 2020 Australia, resulting in the formation of a single peak body for service providers within the blindness and low vision sector.

Under the agreement, the ABF will cease operation at 30 June, and fold into Vision 2020 Australia as the organisations seek to combine their national advocacy efforts and resources.

The united body is expected to complement the work of disability service and support organisation Blind Citizens Australia, and claims the changes will help build stronger connections between the sector and other Vision 2020 Australia member bodies.

“The coming together of the Australian Blindness Forum and Vision 2020 Australia will provide a single strong voice for services providers and for those they seek to serve,” ABF chair Mr Dale Cleaver said.



“The coming together of the Australian Blindness Forum and Vision 2020 Australia will provide a single strong voice for services providers and for those they seek to serve”
Dale Cleaver, ABF chair

Vision 2020 Australia CEO Ms Judith Abbott added: “The combined experience and expertise of the two organisations will help us achieve the best possible outcome for people who are blind or have low vision, and ensure their voices are clearly heard on a range of important issues.”

Both charitable organisations expect the integration to take some time, however – to support a smooth transition period – Cleaver, the current ABF chair, will join the Vision 2020 Australia Board and fill a casual vacancy until the next Vision 2020 Australia AGM in November.

At present, the majority of ABF directors are from organisations that are members of Vision 2020 Australia, and two directors of Vision 2020 Australia work for ABF member organisations.

According to Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission records, the ABF is classified as a ‘small’ charity with income of $53,078 in the last financial year, while ‘large’ charity Vision 2020 Australia generated $1.6 million in income. 

All key work currently under way at both organisations will continue following the integration. Vision 2020 Australia currently represents 45 member organisations.

 

More reading:

Indigenous eye health: $85.5 million more needed to bridge gap
Support for Pacific eyecare fund under Labor government

 

Image Caption: Vision 2020 Australia chair Ms Amanda Vanstone with the ABF chair Mr Dale Cleaver.






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