The Connection: Mark Radford, CEO, Queensland Eye Institute Foundation

February 14, 2019 – The Connection

Tell us about your business/organisation?
Queensland Eye Institute (QEI) Foundation is Queensland’s largest independent academic research institute devoted to eye related health and diseases and works every day to save sight by providing innovation and excellence in research, education and clinical care to reduce eye disease, improve eye health, and ultimately eliminate preventable blindness in the community.
With state of the art facilities in South Brisbane, including the QEI Clinic, South Bank Day Hospital, Queensland Electro-Diagnostic and Imaging Centre, medical library, research and microsurgical teaching laboratories and an auditorium, it is also the home of the QEI Foundation.

With no government funding the QEI Foundation’s survival relies solely on the generosity of donors, businesses and the community. QEI operates the QEI Clinic. All profits from the South Bank Day Hospital are invested back into the work of the QEI Foundation.

What is your role at your organisation?
Executive Director & CEO

What are your key skills and responsibilities?
As Executive Director and CEO I am responsible for the running of both the Queensland Eye Institute and the South Bank Day Hospital; of ensuring world class research into eye disease with the ultimate purpose of saving sight, and providing high quality health care to our patients.

How many people work at your business?

What is your favourite place in the precinct? 
It would have to be the award-winning world-renowned Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC).  BCEC plays a significant role in promoting Brisbane, Queensland both nationally and internationally, showcasing the incredible medical and scientific expertise of this city, as well as its local cultural, culinary, and natural delights.  And then there is the huge flow on effect to local businesses.

What do you want BSB members to know about you or your business?
The QEI Clinic has a footfall of 20,000 people every year (300+ per day) and there are opportunities for QEI Foundation to promote BSB businesses. We’d love to discuss opportunities to collaborate and I encourage BSB members to contact our Partnerships Manager, Rachell Hansen via email or phone (07) 3239 5055 to see how we can work together to achieve common goals.

What is something people wouldn’t know about your business?

  • QEI has staff engagement opportunities, from corporate volunteering, site visits of our laboratory, to guest speakers, we can tailor something suited to your needs. Simply contact our Partnerships Manager, Rachell Hansen via email or phone (07) 3239 5055 to discuss more.

  • QEI has a corporate function venue available for hire complete with a new 100-seat auditorium space, AV facilities, cocktail area, and boardroom. Please contact our Partnerships Manager to receive 10% off or mention the code BSB2018 at the time of booking.

What has recently happened at your organisation?
In order to carry out our important, sight saving research, QEI needs sustainable funding.  Recently, QEI launched its work place giving programme.
It’s a simple, effective and convenient way to save sight! All you need to do is ask your HR department to set up regular payroll deductions from each pay cycle to be donated to QEI Foundation. This lowers administration costs for our charity and you will receive an immediate pre-tax benefit!
Please view and share QEI Foundation’s new Workplace Giving video to your employees to give them the freedom to make the choice. Employers may choose to match their employee donations to double the impact! For more information visit:

The QEI Foundation is also launching a new and exciting campaign—Wiggly Eyes!

What is Wiggly Eyes
The simple act of sticking Wiggly Eyes on objects, taking a photo and sharing! (Also known as #eyebombing.)
Each packet of Wiggly Eyes acts as a powerful tool that will address the issue of preventable blindness by educating people to prioritise their eye health and get regular eye checks, while raising vital funds for sight saving research at QEI Foundation.
One packet of Wiggly Eyes can:

  1. Educate one Aussie about the importance of eye health

  2. Educate thousands more people through social media and

  3. Raise $2 for eye health research.

QEI researchers are working towards successful retinal regeneration outcomes and with your help, we hope to find cures for diseases that cause severe loss vision, including glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.

The official campaign launch will be October 2019 to coincide with World Sight Day (10.10.2019), which falls within that month. One year out, we’re calling on Expressions of Interest for a Major Partner, supporters, government and community groups to join the crusade to distribute Wiggly Eyes to spread the message to our community far-and-wide.

How can BSB members help?
We will organise a community engagement and awareness event with the Channel Seven Wheel of Brisbane. It makes sense to do this with Brisbane’s biggest Eye, as it is looking over our community, much like what we’re doing with this campaign. We’re going to attempt a Guinness World Record and we’d love our community to witness the unveiling. We encourage BSB members to get in touch for staff engagement, volunteer and partnership opportunities by contacting our Partnerships Manager, Rachell Hansen via email or phone (07) 3239 5055 to see how we can work together to achieve common goals.

What’s your goal?
Our Big Hairy Audacious Goal is to sell 50,000 packets of Wiggly Eyes to educate more than 50,000 Aussies and raise $100,000 for eye health research, by December 2019.

What have you learnt lately?
While health outcomes for Queenslanders have improved over the last decade, there is still a long way to go, especially in closing the gap with Indigenous Queenslanders (The health of Queenslanders 2018: Report of the Chief Health officer Queensland).

What do you hope to achieve in your industry?
To ensure that Queensland Eye Institute is a world class medical research, education and clinical care facility that delivers on its vision to eliminate preventable blindness.

What inspires you?
Getting feedback from a patient who feels we have made a difference in his or her life.

What are your words of wisdom?
All human emotions teach us what it is to be human.  Happiness should not be our sole goal as it is, but one part of the human life emotional experience, like sadness. Contentment should be our goal.