IRIS Taskforce

The role of the IRIS Taskforce is to ensure that there is a national approach and a national outlook to the delivery of eye health services through the
IRIS program.

The Taskforce is working to achieve this by assessing and then prioritising nationally, the needs of all eligible locations and required services across
all of Australia.

The Taskforce evaluates facilities or services that exist currently, which may require enhancement or expansion as well as seeks out locations where
there is no service.

The IRIS Taskforce is as follows:


Dr Mark Loane - National Chair

Brisbane Ophthalmologist Dr Mark Loane has more than 20 years experience in the delivery of eye health services to indigenous, rural, and remote communities throughout Australia and has played a key role in the development of IRIS. He heads the Cape York Eye Health Project which delivers eye health services to remote communities in the Cape York Peninsula.

bill glasson

Dr Bill Glasson - Deputy Chair

Brisbane based Ophthalmologist Dr Bill Glasson is the Deputy Chair of the IRIS Taskforce and has over 20 years experience in the provision of outreach services with particular focus on communities in Central and Western Queensland. Dr Glasson is the former President of the AMA, RANZCO and the ASO and plays a key role in the oversight of the IRIS Program

AMA NSW Board Members-27

Dr Michael Steiner - ASO President

Dr Steiner has over 35 years experience in eye surgery with a particular interest in cataract, glaucoma and laser refractive surgery. Dr Steiner was a RANZCO Councillor for many years and served as President of the College in 1999-2000. He was President of AMA NSW 2010-2012 and a Councillor of the Federal AMA 2004-2012. He was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal in 2003 and was elected a Fellow of the AMA in 2006. Dr Steiner received RANZCO's College Medal in November 2014 for eminent service by a Fellow that is exalted or remarkable in degree in duties of great responsibility. Dr Steiner was appointed to the position of President of the Australian Society of Ophthalmologists in November 2014. 

Dr Ashish Agar - RANZCO Representative

Dr Agar is the Chair of the RANZCO Indigenous & Rural Health Committee, which aims to enhance ophthalmic care on a national scale. Ashish hails from regional NSW and has worked in the state's far west with the Outback Eye Service (based at Prince of Wales Hospital) since its inception over a decade ago; first as a student, then registrar, and now as a specialist. In addition to being the Director of the Ophthalmology Service at Broken Hill Hospital, he conducts clinical and surgical visits to Bourke, and helped set up the service in Cobar. Dr Agar is also a  Glaucoma consultant at the Prince of Wales and Sydney Eye Hospitals.


Dr Angus Turner - Committee WA

Dr Angus Turner is an ophthalmologist based in Western Australia. Angus is actively involved in delivering specialist eye services to remote and Indigenous communities in the West, with a particular focus on the Kimberley and Pilbara regions. Also heavily involved in medical research, Angus is working on a number of research projects at the Lions Eye Institute, focusing on service delivery for remote and Indigenous people.


Dr Tim Henderson - Committee NT

Alice Spring eye specialist Dr Tim Henderson is passionate about improving access to specialised eye health services for Indigenous Australians. Tim visits numerous remote communities each year on a specialist outreach program. He is a Senior Lecturer in ophthalmology with the Northern Territory Clinical School, Flinders University and he supervises the university's accredited training eye registrars during their placement as part of the South Australian ophthalmology training program. He was awarded one of the inaugural RANZCO supervisors training awards in 2006 and has received a number of other awards since.

Dr Michael Lane

Dr Michael Lane - Committee SA

Adelaide ophthalmologist Dr Michael Lane, who has a practice in Henley Beach district, has been active in the delivery of outreach eye services to rural and remote communities for more than 20 years. Michael is part of a small team of doctors who make regular trips to the far north western corner of South Australia to provide specialised eye health clinics to locals. He also travels to Port Lincoln in the Eyre Peninsula each fortnight to treat patients requiring ophthalmic services. Michael is a former Chairman of the State branch of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.

Rowan Churchill

Rowan Churchill - Optometrist QLD

Mr Rowan Churchill has been specialising in the provision of eye health services to remote Indigenous communities throughout Cape York, the Gulf of Carpentaria and Western Queensland for the past 15 years. The programs he helps deliver are based around a multidisciplinary approach that sees Optometrists in a central role working with Ophthalmologists, Eye health Co-ordinators, health workers, GPs, nurses and administrative staff. Rowan is a member of the Vision 20/20 ATSI committee, the Optometrist's Association Indigenous Working Group, the Queensland Vision Initiative, and the Regional Eye Health Coordinator Project Working Group.


Joanna Barton - Committee NSW

Mrs Joanna Barton has co-ordinated the Outback Eye Service, which delivers ophthalmology and optometry services to remote western NSW, for the past 10 years. Joanna works out of the Department of Ophthalmology at Prince of Wales Hospital. Joanna is a country girl at heart, having lived and worked in the Bourke district as a diabetic educator/ophthalmic nurse for many years. She maintains a passion working in Aboriginal and rural communities delivering eye services to those people living in rural and remote areas of NSW.


Genevieve Quilty - Optometrists Association of Australia

Genevieve is the CEO of the Optometrists Association Australia (OAA). In this role she is responsible for the Association's rural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health working groups.  Before joining the OAA, Genevieve spent 11 years working for the then Coalition Federal Government in senior policy roles. She has qualifications in law and political science from the Australian National University.

shaun tatipata for website

Shaun Tatipata - Fred Hollows Foundation

Shaun is currently the Assistant Manager - Programs for the Fred Hollows Foundation's Indigenous Australia Program (IAP). In this role Shaun provides direct support to the IAP's Eye Health Programs across Australia which aim to increase access to eye care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Shaun has worked in Aboriginal health for over 12 years gaining most of his experiene working as a Registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands Health Practitioner at an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation where he also had the opportunity to develop and implement outreach programs with urban and remote Aboriginal communities across the Top End of the Northern Territory.  


Mr Kerry Gallagher - Program Manager

Previously the long-term CEO to AMA Queensland and Secretary General to Federal AMA, Kerry Gallagher is a well respected and acknowledged medical and health lobbyist and policy adviser. He has close to 15 years experience working in both state and federal health settings. Kerry provides strategic level guidance and support to a number of medical groups, including the ASO, through his firm Vanguard Health.


Sam Chenoweth - Program Coordinator

Sam Chenoweth is an experienced project manager having supported a broad range of health programs both in Australia and in the south pacific for federal, private and NGO clients. Sam holds degrees in Business (HR) and Health Science (health administration) and is currently undertaking post graduate studies.


footer_logosFunding for this project is provided to the Australian Society of Ophthalmologists by the Australian Government
under the Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program – Eye Health Teams for Rural Australia measure