It is with great sadness we learned of the passing of Professor Brien Holden on Monday night, a highly-respected leader for research and the development of new and improving vision care technology and products, and a leader in developing humanitarian eye programmes around the world. His dedication and contributions to improving the quality of life for people across the world was well recognised, highly regarded and often awarded. His reach spanned across not only research, but also public health, social enterprise and education. In 2010, the Institute for Eye Research was renamed to the Brien Holden Vision Institute. Over the past 20 years, he generated over $1.3 billion in research, education and humanitarian funds. He work has helped save and improve the vision of millions of people worldwide. He was a true legendary Australian, and yet largely unknown to the public. His awards include an Order of Australia Medal for his work in eye health and vision science; the Schwab Social Entrepreneur Award for Africa 2010 at the regional World Economic Forum; and seven honorary doctorates from universities Africa, Australia, Canada, Europe and the US. He is widely regarded as the greatest optometrist of his generation, but was so much more than that. He was an inspiration to the optometrists at Envision Optical, setting an unmatchable example of passion for preventative eye care and helping people enjoy the gift of clear sight.
Professor Brien Holden will be missed, however his contributions to improving the lives of so many worldwide will be always remembered, and the work of the foundation that bears his name will continue for many years to come. Check out their website at www.brienholdenvision.org for a wider perspective on this incredible man.