We are working with local partners in developing communities to build sustainable eye care systems and ensure people receive the eye care they need.


Our Vision

Our Values

Our Policies


About Brien Holden Foundation

At the Foundation we recognise the importance of building local and sustainable systems of eye care. Collaboration with national health systems allows us to work alongside existing infrastructure to establish and/or improve delivery of eye care. We place a deep emphasis on community control in our partnerships at the local level to meet community needs and achieve affordable quality eye care. Together, we are contributing to the alleviation of poverty and suffering through a strategic combination of eye care programs.

Education is key to our strategies; we have developed a range of courses to teach and build different skills from the community level to professional development. Through the combination of evaluation, research, education and training, service development, we support 14 emerging optometry schools and have trained almost 250,000 eye care personnel around the world.

Our domestic and international work is anchored in an open and transparent dialogue with local communities and aims to strengthen local capacities in an empowering and sustainable manner. We believe lasting change in the eye health sector is achieved through collaborative support and long-term relationships with partners and communities built on collaboration and aligned strategic focus. We are committed to continuous improvement and to delivering our programs with integrity and professionalism. Funds raised and donated by the public go to support and carry out eye care service delivery, education and training programs in developing communities across the globe.

The Foundation is an Australian NGO accredited by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and is part of the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). As a member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) we adhere to the ACFID Code of Conduct which defines required standards of governance, management and accountability of development for non-government organisations.

We value your feedback. If you would like to provide us with feedback or would like to lodge a complaint, please contact us and your message will be directed to the appropriate staff for resolution.

Our Vision

We believe in Vision for everyone, everywhere.

Sight is a fundamental right.

More than 1.22 billion people are unnecessarily blind or vision impaired simply because they don’t have access to an eye examination and a pair of glasses.

Brien Holden Foundation provides eye care services, education and training initiatives and conducts research in order to eliminate uncorrected vision impairment and avoidable blindness.

Our Values

Social Inclusion

We stand for and support fair treatment of all people regardless of gender, race, colour, ethnicity, age, marital or parental status, sexual preference, disability or religious belief.


Our work with and alongside our colleagues and partners is guided by mutual respect and equity and reflects our shared and common goal to bring about positive change.


We take responsibility for our actions and are transparent in our decisions. We adhere to best practice procedures and hold ourselves accountable through continuous evaluation and learning.


We value authentic knowledge and practice honesty in our communication and work and follow ethical and moral principles in our decision-making processes.

Our Policies

Brien Holden Foundation is committed to adhering to high standards of accountability and governance. If you would like to know more on some of our policies that help guide our practices, please follow the links below.


Our Board of Directors are a group of dedicated people with diverse experiences and knowledge, who serve to ensure our vision and values are maintained and provide oversight across strategy execution.

Brien Holden Foundation

Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation (ABN 86 081 872 586) is a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) and is a fully accredited non-governmental organisation (NGO) by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for delivering overseas aid and development programs.

Through our DFAT funding we are part of the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) that acts as the supporting mechanism enabling Australian NGO community development programs which directly and tangibly alleviate poverty and promote sustainable economic growth in developing countries.

We are a member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the regulatory body for Australian international development NGOs, and adhere to the self-regulatory Code of Conduct mandated by ACFID. This Code sets out standards on how organisations should be governed and managed, how they communicate, how they spend funds they raise and best practice principles for international program development. We are a member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and a principal member of Vision 2020 Australia. 

In 2008, an important milestone was achieved when the Brien Holden Foundation received accreditation by the Australian Aid.

Australian Aid manages the majority of the Australian Government’s overseas aid program working with the governments and people of developing countries to deliver assistance where it is most effectively needed, consequently improving the lives of millions of people.

A key element of Australia’s strategy to effectively engage with communities overseas is its partnership with the Australian Council for the International Development (ACFID). ACFID is the peak body for Australian international development non-government organisations (NGO).

Australian Aid and ACFID signed a partnership agreement in 2009, recognising long standing cooperation between the two organisations and promoting a robust and professional Australian international development NGO sector.

The agreement recognises that non-government organisations like the Institute, contributes significantly to Australia’s overall international development outcomes for the overseas aid program. It acknowledges NGO’s are important partners who play a key role in international efforts to reduce poverty, and comparative advantages in aid delivery include their ability to build people-to-people links, deliver sustainable community-led solutions for people living in poverty, and reach the poorest and most marginalised.

In September 2000, member states of the United Nations, including Australia, agreed to work towards eliminating global poverty and hunger, to improve health, gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability and to create a global partnership for development. This commitment initally produced the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which evolved post 2015 into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically a collection of 17 global goals known as ‘Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. Australian aid helps developing countries to achieve these goals.

Since we received accreditation by Australian Aid and became a member of ACFID, we have adhered to the self-regulatory Code of Conduct mandated by ACFID. The Code represents the active commitment of overseas aid agencies or non-government development organisations (NGDOs) to conduct their activities with integrity and accountability.

The Code aims to enhance standards throughout the NGDO community to ensure that public confidence is maintained in the way that community contributions to overseas aid are used to reduce poverty through effective and sustainable development. After 14 years of operation ACFID comprehensively reviewed the code in 2010 and it now includes more than 50 principles and more than 150 binding obligations.

How does it operate?

Current compliance mechanisms include:

  • checking of documentation upon membership application (governing instrument, policies)
  • an annual statement of commitment to the code
  • review of annual and financial reports by a qualified accountant against the reporting requirements of the code
  • annual self– assessment against every principle of the code signed by the signatory governing body and reviewed by the Code of Conduct Committee
  • random audits of fundraising material during an emergency and an external complaints mechanism
How is it governed?

An independent, voluntary Code of Conduct Committee monitors adherence to the code and investigates complaints, which may be brought by any member of the public. The primary focus is to work with signatory organisations to improve standards and reduce the risk of breach occurrence. If a breach is serious, or the signatory does not respond appropriately, disciplinary action may be considered.

The committee may require the signatory to provide information to donors, notify Australian Aid, and ultimately suspend Code membership. A small team is located within ACFID that undertakes compliance activities and investigates complaints, which are confidential to the Code Committee.

Complaints against the Institute

Brien Holden Foundation is committed to taking all reasonable measures to monitor and regulate organisation practices to fully adhere to the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Code of Conduct.

Should you feel the ACFID Code has been breached and would like to submit a complaint to the Institute, please address your complaint to the Director at the following email address: complaints@brienholdenvision.org

If you wish to take the matter further or would like to make a complaint about the Director then please address you complaint to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Institute, at the following email address: privacy@brienholdenvision.org

All complaints will be acknowledged as soon as possible with an expected outcome of their complaint be received within a 30 day period of receipt. The Institute’s Director is the focal point for all complaints made and has responsibility to delegate, initiate and coordinate the response in consultation with the CEO, regardless of which country’s practices are in question. On receiving a response, should you wish to take the matter further, appeals may be made in writing to the Chairman of the Board within 30 days of receiving the initial response from the CEO.

If you would like further information please read our complaints policy or contact our complaints officer on: complaints@brienholdenvision.org or call +612 9385 7433.

In the event you wish to take the matter further to ACFID, please visit the complaints section at: www.acfid.asn.au

Brien Holden Foundation is a member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct and is a registered charity.
ABN number: 86 081 872 586

Current Directors of the Board

Yvette Waddell

Yvette Waddell is the CEO of BHVI and Brien Holden Foundation.  Yvette replaced Professor Brien Holden on the board of BHVI in July 2015 and holds group directorships in the USA.

Yvette was CEO of Viscorp Pty Ltd, the commercialisation company established to manage and commercialise intellectual property generated by Vision CRC programs.

Yvette is a University of New South Wales Australia graduate, completing an MBA at AGSM at UNSW Business School. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and was recognised as one of the most influential women in optical in 2016 by Vision Monday, a leading global optical industry journal.

Disclosure: Yvette Waddell is the CEO of both BHVI and the Brien Holden Foundation. Colina Waddell, who is the Head of the Foundation’s Australia Program, is related to Yvette Waddell by marriage.

Rebecca Hodges

Rebecca Hodges is Executive Director of People and Culture at Ambulance Victoria (AV). She leads AV’s People function that focuses on supporting a paramedic workforce to deliver exceptional care to the community of Victoria.  Rebecca is responsible for: Workforce Strategy and Planning, Employee Relations, People Services and Health Safety and Wellbeing.

Previously, Rebecca has held executive roles in the community service and public sectors. Prior to her role at AV she held the position of General Manager People and Culture at Wesley Mission Victoria.

Rebecca has also held senior leadership roles with Victoria Police spanning a seven year period that focused on people, safety and organisational transformational change projects.

Rebecca has a Masters of Commerce (HR) from Swinburne University of Technology and a member of various professional and academic bodies.

Reuben Bolt

Dr Reuben Bolt is an Honorary Associate Professor at the Centre for Social Health Research, the University of New South Wales. He is the first person of Aboriginal heritage to graduate a PhD at the Faculty of Health Sciences, the University of Sydney and has convened more than 50 Indigenous Studies courses across six higher education institutions.

He is passionate about improving Indigenous higher education outcomes and nurturing the next generation of Indigenous leaders in Australia. With four degrees (PhD, MBA, MMAP and BHShons), service on many UNSW boards and committees and more than 16 years research experience, he brings an appropriate mix of leadership, experience and knowledge to the Foundation Board.

Foundation Board Members

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Acknowledgement of Country

Brien Holden Foundation acknowledges the traditional Aboriginal custodians of the many lands that we live and work on, and their continuing connection to Country and culture.

Acknowledgement of Country

Brien Holden Foundation acknowledges the traditional Aboriginal custodians of the many lands that we live and work on, and their continuing connection to Country and culture.

Our site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. For more details, please check our Privacy Policy.