Our board of directors
Leighton Boyd – Chairman
During the intervening years, apart from a gap of four years, he has worked tirelessly to ensure that people like himself who are personally affected by an inherited retinal disease are supported, and that information about their conditions is freely available to them.
Leighton is committed to working with board colleagues to ensure that funds are raised to support Australian research into inherited retinal disease and that any monies collected are disseminated to worthy Australian research projects. He has also helped raise the profile of inherited retinal diseases amongst researchers through his involvement in organising three national congresses in Melbourne since 2000. Leighton looks forward to continuing his contribution to Retina Australia and learning about the advances in research which may ultimately benefit those affected by inherited retinal disease. He is dedicated to working with all members to ensure that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Jeremy D’Souza – Deputy Chairman & Chair of the Finance Committee
Jeremy was appointed to the national Board as a director in 2014 having joined the Management Committee of Retina Australia (WA) in 2008 and appointed as Treasurer in 2009. He took on the role as treasurer of retina Australia in October 2016.
Jeremy has over 25 years’ experience in commercial and corporate roles in the Land-use Planning, Energy and Financial Services sectors, with a proven track record in senior management and consulting roles for the last 9 in such diverse areas as strategy, planning, finance, risk management, policy and stakeholder relations.
Jeremy is a Certified Practising Accountant, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Energy and an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.
Rosemary Boyd – Company Secretary
Rosemary joined the board of Retina Australia in 2008 having been nominated by Retina Australia (Vic) for a position as director. Since then, she has worked closely with fellow directors to promote the cause of Retina Australia and to ensure that monies raised for research into inherited retinal disease is allocated by grants to Australian researchers on the advice of the Grants Advisory Committee.
Rosemary was appointed as honorary secretary of the organisation in 2013, and company secretary in 2016. She is responsible for arranging, and recording all details of, meetings of the board and general meetings of members. All aspects of administration and correspondence are included in her portfolio.
Rosemary represents Retina Australia at events, and on committees, of various affiliated organisations across Australia and world-wide and has attended Retina International meetings as a delegate since 2010.
Rosemary is passionate about the mission of Retina Australia and is working hard to ensure that its goals and objectives are implemented in order to make a difference to all those affected by inherited retinal disease.
Mary-Anne has a background in law and holds Arts and Laws (Honours) degrees from the University of Melbourne as well as a post-graduate Diploma from the Securities Institute of Australia. She first became involved as a board member of the Retinitis Pigmentosa Society of Victoria in the mid-1980s, and has had secretary, webmaster and volunteer roles with the Victorian branch over many years. In 2017 she was made a Life Member in recognition of her years of service.
Mary-Anne is committed to Retina Australia’s mission and the not for profit sector, and has roles on other not for profit boards.
Since being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa in her early 20s, Melanie has been actively involved in raising awareness of living with vision loss and providing support to others who may be affected.
Melanie has a university background in public health (Nutrition and Health Promotion) and has pursued a career working with government and not-for-profits to help improve health equity.
She loves writing and travel, having visited over 60 countries, and is currently the Chief Editor for Travel Play Live Magazine.
Robert is a retired Operations Manager with 50 years’ experience working in an Engineering management role in various manufacturing companies in NSW.
He has retinitis pigmentosa and is now considered to be legally blind. With fair central vision Robert can go about his normal life with only a few limitations. He had to give up driving.
Robert is married with four children and ten grandchildren who occupy a lot of his time. He is teaching others MS Excel, Word and Power point skills, along with being a Church Warden and a Justice of the Peace.
He is committed to support research into finding a cure for all genetic retinal dystrophies by helping to raise funding for these vital works.
Pina Faliti-Smith joined Retina Australia (WA) in 2004 as the President and later was appointed to the national Board of Retina Australia as a Director until 2014. After a 5 year break, Pina rejoined the Retina Australia national Board as a Director in November 2019.
Pina currently works for Colliers International in Sydney’s HQ as the Executive Assistant to the CFO. Prior to this, she worked for MRI (formerly Rockend Technology), WaterNSW & Origin Energy. Pina travelled to Sydney from Perth in September 2014, where she held senior Executive Assistant roles with BHP Billiton Iron Ore, and Synergy. She has been a senior Executive Assistant for over 20 years. She has worked in industries such as real estate, energy & water, mining, construction and IT.
Pina is the Past President of the Australian Institute of Office Professionals (AIOP) in WA and was also a National Director of AIOP. In her spare time, Pina achieved an Associate Degree in Ballroom Dancing and has been teaching ballroom dance for over 15 years. She has also completed her Certificate IV in Business (Frontline Management) and a Certificate in Property Management.
Pina is committed in helping to create awareness of inherited eye diseases and making a difference.
Peter Maas is a retired Primary School Principal. Educated in Victoria and South Australia he worked for the South Australian Education Department in both metropolitan and regional areas as a teacher, principal, consultant and superintendent. Peter was diagnosed with a slow moving form of retinitis pigmentosa in his mid-thirties. The advancement of the disease prompted his retirement in 2010.
Peter has served as a Board member of Retina Australia (SA) for over ten years. He is currently Secretary of RA (SA) and a subscriber to RA (VIC). Peter is an active member of a local Rotary Club where he is also the current Secretary and a Past President. He was nominated by RA(SA) for a position on the Board of Retina Australia in November 2010.
He is committed to the challenge of ensuring ongoing funding for research into a cure for RP and other retinal dystrophies.
Sean became involved in Retina Australia (WA) in 2005 and later was appointed to the national board of Retina Australia as a director until 2014. After a break of 5 years Sean has once again joined the organisation as a board member.
Sean has over 25 years experience in managing and operating a wholesale furniture business in WA until relocating to Sydney in late 2014. In Sydney he has taken up a role as Key Account Manager for an international manufacturing business.
Sean is committed to the ongoing challenge of raising funds towards research into inherited eye diseases with the ultimate goal of finding a cure.