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What is Queensland Vision Initiative Inc?

The Queensland Vision Initiative Inc (QVI) Inc is an alliance of 24 vision related organisations working together with the aim of developing a comprehensive eye health program for the Queensland population.

How did QVI originate?

The commitment of the Commonwealth Government to develop a National Eye Health Framework, along with the evolution of the Victorian Vision Initiative, inspired the development of the Queensland Vision Initiative in 2003. QVI was established as an incorporated association on 28 July 2006.

What is the purpose of QVI?

The aim of QVI is to reduce the incidence of avoidable vision impairment and blindness within the Queensland population.

The objectives of QVI are to:

• Develop an integrated and comprehensive eye health promotion model in Queensland through a spirit of collaboration between the eye health sector and broader health community;
• Improve referral pathways to appropriate services for those with vision impairment;
• Encourage professional development for the broader health care community to ensure eye health is incorporated as part of holistic health care to reduce avoidable vision impairment and blindness; and
• Increase public awareness of the importance of eye health and encourage the community to participate in preventative strategies.

QVI projects

Referral Pathway Pilot Project

In September 2007, the Queensland Vision Initiative Inc. (QVI) was awarded a National Eye Health Initiative Demonstration grant, with the aim of improving the coordination, quality and delivery of eye healthcare services in metropolitan Brisbane. This pilot project was designed to address some of the issues raised in the National Eye Health Framework report. With representation from QVI, vision-related organisations and low vision agencies a QVI working group was established in November 2007. Since this time, collaboration within the eye care sector has been promoted through; regular meetings of project partners, development of an information resource, regular attendance at professional education events and information gathering by individuals and organisations. A final report was submitted to the Department of Health and Ageing in June 2009.

Referral Pathway Pilot Project summary

Click here to download a copy of the QVI Referral Information Resource (updated 2013):

QVI Referral Pathway Information Resource

Regional Referral Pathway Project

As an extension of the Referral Pathway Pilot Project QVI is now undertaking a survey of referral pathways and knowledge of low vision services across regional, rural and remote Queensland. To strengthen referral practices across Queensland, QVI has also developed this website.

Eye Health Services for Indigenous Queenslanders

In November 2007, QVI was awarded a grant from the Queensland Government to investigate ways to improve eye care services for the Indigenous population in Queensland. This project was completed in 2009, and a “Strategy and Implementation Plan to Improve Eye Health Service Delivery to Indigenous Queenslanders" was submitted to the Queensland Government in March 2009.

Indigenous Queenslander Eye Health Project summary

Association with Vision 2020 Australia

Queensland Vision Initiative Inc is a member of Vision 2020 Australia the peak body for eye health and vision care organisations in Australia, representing over 50 members involved in; local and global eye care, health promotion, low vision support, vision rehabilitation, eye research, professional assistance and community support.

Established in October 2000, Vision 2020 Australia is part of ‘VISION 2020: The Right to Sight’, a global initiative of the World Health Organisation and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. The organisation has three key areas of focus; conducting advocacy, facilitating collaboration and raising awareness.

QVI Committee

QVIs committee has eight committee members, a President, Vice-President, Treasurer and five committee members. The committee is elected each year at the association’s AGM.




Bashir Ebrahim (OAM)  is the Manager of Rehabilitation Services (Client Services) for Guide Dogs for the Blind Association of Queensland. He has worked in the field of Disability Studies, Rehabilitation and Orientation and Mobility for 22 years, having worked at the Royal Guide Dogs Training Centre in Melbourne (Victoria), then Townsville and later in Brisbane with Guide Dogs Queensland. He has a wealth of experience in the rehabilitation field. Bashir has a degree in Disability Studies (majoring in Orientation and Mobility), a Post Grad Diploma in Rehabilitation, he i also a Master Class Instructor in the Ultracane (USA), and has qualifications in MiniGuide, Sonic Pathfinder and the Mowat Sensor - and has been involved in Access for the Blind and Vision Impaired Travellers for many years. Bashir has a keen interest in the use of Wayfinding and Technological Solutions (electronic travel aids - ETAs) for the safe, efficient and graceful mobility of vision impaired people of all ages and abilities. Bashir wants to 'empower clients to interpret, navigate and overcome the barriers of vision impairment'.



Karen Knight (Regional Manager Vision Australia for Queensland and the Northern Territory)
Karen has been on the management committee of the Queensland Vision Initiative since September 2007 and Vice-President since 2008. She has been Vision Australia’s Regional Manager of Independent Living Services since mid 2007. Her background is as a Psychologist working in mental health nurse education, youth suicide prevention, children and young people’s mental health promotion and child protection.  Being blind since birth, she has always had a keen interest in striving for high quality services for Queenslanders who are blind or have low vision.


Scott Green
Scott is the Community Development and Marketing Officer at LifeTec Queensland. Scott previously worked in Community Development Teams at three local councils, for social services in the UK and for community service organisations including Oxfam Australia and the Australian Red Cross.

  Committee member

Ken Hutchinson
Ken is a Queensland trained medical specialist in ophthalmology working both in private practice and as a Visiting Medical Officer in Queensland’s public hospitals, in Brisbane and western Queensland. Dr Hutchinson is a fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists and represents this college’s Queensland branch on the committee of QVI.

Committee member
Cristy Ross


Committee member

Keren Edwards

  Committee member

Amanda Wylie

Amanda has over 20 years experience in ophthalmic nursing at various levels and in a wide range of practice settings. She is currently working in education and research in ophthalmology, and enjoys an occasional clinical shift as well. Amanda has had extensive involvement in the Australian Ophthalmic Nurses Association of Queensland Inc (AONAQ) and has been a member of that organisation since 1994, serving on the Executive Committee for over 15 of those years. She is currently involved in the development of the Practice Standards for Ophthalmic Nurses in Australia. Amanda has a Masters in Nursing (Health Services), Post Graduate Certificate in Ophthalmic Nursing and Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Teaching and is a member of the College of Nursing Australia.




Committee member

Katherine Whittaker

Katherine joined The Vision Eye Institute Group of Ophthalmologists in 2006 after completing her postgraduate studies in Ocular Therapeutics at the Queensland University of Technology. Since then she has developed a particularly keen interest in retinal and glaucoma treatment and management as well as low vision. She has worked alongside Dr Howes, Dr Loane and Dr Russell involved in patient treatment, care and management. Her latest role at The Vision Eye Institute is that of Optometric/Ophthalmological Liaison Manager which involves communications between the Vision Eye Institute ophthalmologists, optometrists and the wider community.




QVI members

Members of QVI Inc include:

• Australian Diabetes Educator Association (Qld branch);
Australian Ophthalmic Nurses’ Association (Qld) Inc;
Council on the Ageing Queensland Inc;
Diabetes Australia (Qld);
• Eye-Tech Day Surgeries;
General Practice Queensland
Glaucoma Australia;
Greenslopes Low Vision Care Clinic;
Guide Dogs Queensland;
LifeTec Queensland;
National Ageing Research Institute;
Orthoptics Australia;
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Qld Branch;
Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Qld);
Prevent Blindness Foundation;
Queensland Blind Association Inc;
Queensland Eye Hospital;
QUT School of Optometry;
Retina Australia (Qld) Inc;
Optometrists Association Australia (Qld and NT Division);
Orthoptics Australia;
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Qld Branch;
Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Qld);
Prevent Blindness Foundation;
Queensland Blind Association Inc;
Queensland Eye Hospital;
QUT School of Optometry;
Retina Australia (Qld) Inc;
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists;
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (Qld);
Seeing Eye Dogs Australia;
• South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment; and
Vision Australia.

Queensland Vision Initiative Inc may be contacted at:

373 Old Cleveland Road, Coorparoo QLD 4151

QVI Sponsors


The Optometrists Association of Australia (QLD &NT) has pledged $20,000 to support Queensland Vision Initiative Inc (QVI) activities for 2010.
OAA is the professional organisation for optometrists across the State, providing referrals to optometrists and public and professional information.
Image of OAA QLD logo 
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) Queensland branch has pledged $10,000 to QVI for 2010. 
RANZCO is the premier professional organisation for ophthalmologists in Queensland, providing professional and public education, and referrals to ophthalmologists across the State.  
Guide Dogs Queensland  has contributed $5,000 to QVI for 2010. 
Guide Dogs Queensland provides services to increase a person’s independence and mobility and to help individuals to overcome the isolation that can come with losing sight. Services include:
• Guide dog mobility
• White cane training
• Electronic travel aid training
• Adaptive technology
• Counselling retreats
• Young people’s programs and school camps
• Low vision support groups
• Low vision clinics
• Community and professional Workshops and Mobility Expos

Vision Australia has contributed $5,000 to QVI for 2010.
Vision Australia also provides infrastructure support for QVI’s Project Officer.
Vision Australia assists children and adults who are blind or have low vision to live the lives they choose.
Services include:
• Independence, community and home
• Education and training
• Seeing Eye Dogs and mobility
• Information and recreation
• Advocacy and community education
• Business services
The Australian Ophthalmic Nurses Association Queensland (AONAQ) has contributed $850 to support QVI in 2010. The Australian Ophthalmic Nurses' Association Queensland (Inc.) promotes the advancement of ophthalmic nursing in Queensland and Australia by providing a forum that promotes the sharing of knowledge and craft (expertise) for the advancement of ophthalmic nursing.  

You can download a copy of the Association's model rules here. 

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