Frank Billson AO





Professor Frank Billson AO, MB, BS, FRCS, FRACS, FRACO is a distinguished Ophthalmologist who has dedicated his life’s work to the alleviation of suffering. His career has been marked by high achievement, sustained and compassionate humanitarian service and selfless leadership in the service of both his profession and his country.

Frank co-founded Foresight Australia in 1978 with Major General Paul Cullen AC and has dedicated over four decades to curing and preventing avoidable blindness and empowering communities in the Asia Pacific Region.

He is currently Chairman of Foresight Australia and Director of Sight for Life Foundation and Surgical Skills Laboratory, Sydney Eye Hospital.

To read about Frank’s distinguished career, life and achievements click here – Visionary Care Professor Frank Billson AO

Positions held

Current – Chairman, Foresight Australia and Director, Sight for Life Foundation/Surgical Skills Laboratory, Sydney Eye Hospital.

Past – Foundation Professor Ophthalmology, University of Sydney, President of Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists (RACS), Chairman of Qualification Education Committee (RACS), Council examination bodies, Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) and Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). Chairman of the Surgical Board in Ophthalmology of RACS and External Examiner to the Universities in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea.

Frank was Director of the Lions NSW Eye Bank and a member of the staff of the Sydney Eye Hospital and both NSW children’s hospitals.

Executive of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and was first Chairperson of the West Pacific Region of IAPB. Council Member of the International Council of Ophthalmology and the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology. Organising committee of the 2002 International Congress of Ophthalmology and was Honorary Vice President of the IAPB.


  • 1985 awarded Officer of the Order of Australia
  • 1994 awarded Weary Dunlop Asia Medal “for selfless leadership in the service of both his profession and his country and internationally”.
  • 1995 made a Life Governor of the Lions NSW-ACT Save Sight Foundation and is an Honorary Lion.
  • 2003 awarded the International Humanitarian Award for Blindness Prevention by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
  • 2004 awarded the Claude Worth Lifetime Distinction Medal for contributions to pediatric ophthalmology.
  • 2005 awarded Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology’s most prestigious award the “Jose Rizal Medal” given to an outstanding ophthalmologist for his or her excellence in ophthalmology.
  • 2006 awarded NSW Senior Australian of the Year, in recognition of his humanitarian work in Australia over 40 years in the honorary care of prevention and treatment of blindness in premature babies.

Frank Billson has expanded the boundaries of his efforts within Asia, contributing to surgical, diagnostic and prevention training programs in Sri Lanka, India, China, Singapore and Papua New Guinea. He has set an example through the selfless sharing and transferring of his skills and expertise, thereby not only encouraging but also empowering others to follow in his footsteps.”

Sir Edward Woodwood Chancellor of Melbourne University.