Our board of directors

Leighton Boyd – Chairman

Leighton first became involved with Retina Australia as a board member in 1987, when it was known as the Australian Retinitis Pigmentosa Association. Leighton has been an Australian delegate to Retina International congresses over many years and is proud to say that he was closely involved with the planning and implementation of the extremely successful Retina International World Congress held in Melbourne in 1988. Since then, he has witnessed the growth of Retina Australia into the strong organisation it has become today. 

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 carmody

Mary-Anne Carmody

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.

Melanie Chatfield

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 Craft

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.

Julie Demarte

Julie joined the Board in March 2017 having been a member of the management committee for Retina Australia WA since August 2014. Currently working in the government sector, Julie has gained extensive administrative and project experience in the government/non-government and not-for profit sector. From 1996 to 2000 Julie was employed as the Administrator at CanTeen WA, an Australian organisation for young people living with cancer offering support, information, and resources. In September 2015, Julie obtained a Graduate Certificate in Business from the Curtin Graduate School of Business.

Peter Maas

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.

Heather Mack

Heather was first involved with Retina Australia as a member of the Grants Committee 1998-2010. She was appointed to the national Board as a Director in October 2020.

Heather has over 30 years’ experience as an ophthalmologist focussing on retinal diseases. She leads the retinal electrophysiology laboratory and clinical trials units at Eye Surgery Associates, Melbourne. She was involved with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, a not-for-profit membership organisation,  for 17 years, and served as President 2018-2020.

Heather has an MBA and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Joshua Ginpil

Joshua was appointed to the National Board as a director in 2020. He has extensive experience in senior management roles in the Corporate Governance, Audit and Risk Management profession within the Financial Services and Government sectors.

Josh holds a Masters of Business Administration from Deakin University, a Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute of Australia, a Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting from the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and a Bachelor of Commerce from the Australian National University. Josh is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Secretary and a Chartered Manager and is recognised as a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Managers Australian and New Zealand.

Josh was recently diagnosed with Best Disease and is committed to the challenge of ensuring ongoing funding for research into a cure for all inherited retinal diseases.