In 1925, when Helen Keller urged Lions Clubs to join her in a “crusade against darkness”, she planted a seed that has yielded a rich harvest all over the world.
Forty-five years after her initial call, at their 1970 conference in Albany, Lions Clubs in Western Australia formed the Lions Save Sight Foundation (WA) Inc. to lead the development of world-class ophthalmic care.
Over time, the Foundation achieved a number of milestones – including the establishment of the Lions Chair in Ophthalmology at The University of Western Australia in 1975 with Professor Ian Constable AO at the helm.
Professor Constable went on to create The Lions Eye Institute (LEI) in 1983, a not-for-profit organisation established to save sight. Under his guidance, the LEI rapidly became a global centre for first-class scientific research into blindness.
Today LEI’s Managing Director, Professor David Mackey, leads a large team of clinicians, medical professionals, researchers and support staff. Under his leadership the LEI is moving into the next generation of eye research and treatment to meet the needs of a growing and aging population while consolidating our reputation as a centre of global excellence in eye health.
The LEI’s ophthalmology clinic has an international reputation for providing high-quality care, with more than 50,000 patients seen each year – including many from south-east Asia. Surplus clinic funds support the LEI’s internationally renowned scientific research.
The LEI also houses a Day Surgery Unit, the Lions Save Sight Foundation WA, a Laser Vision Centre – Western Australia’s premier refractive surgery centre, the Lions Eye Bank – responsible for the collecting, processing and distribution of corneal and scleral tissue throughout Western Australia, and Lions Optics.