John McGrath resigns as a director of George & Matilda’s owner

Real estate big noise John McGrath on 9 February resigned as a director of of optical retailer George & Matilda’s owner IPIC Pty Ltd, leaving.

Mr McGrath, as well as the eponymous real-estate company he founded, has been under pressure since a report in The Sydney Morning Herald claimed he was in debt to bookmakers William Hill Australia to the tune of $16.2 million.

His listed company, John McGrath Real Estate Limited, has just reported a $25.5 million loss and all other directors, as well as the company’s chief executive officer, are set to leave this coming week, leaving Mr McGrath as the sole director unless he can find two others before the close of business today to avoid being in breach of the rules of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian Stock Exchange, which require a listed public company to have three directors.
The share price of MRE has fallen from its $2.10 float price in late 2016 to 42.5c.

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By | February 18th, 2018|People|

George & Matilda director owes bookmakers $16.2 million in gambling debt: newspaper

A director of retail optical group George & Matilda Eyecare, owned by unlisted public company IPIC Holdings Limited, has racked up a gambling debt of $16.2 million, according to The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

The director, Mr John McGrath, 54, is primarily the founder and head of Australian Share Exchange-listed-company McGrath Real Australia Limited, and is reported by The Herald as owing the biggest debt in gambling history by a single person to a single company in Australia.

The huge debt is owed to Tom Waterhouse-run company William Hill Australia, and, while a secret until now, has been rumoured in racing circles for some months.

Mr Waterhouse declined to answer questions on the matter, citing responsibility to clients.

McGrath Real Estate Limited was floated on the ASX in 2005 at $2.10 a share, which has fallen to as low as 48 cents. That company’s chairman, most of its directors and its chief executive officer all recently announced their imminent resignations.

Two days after The Herald’s story, Mr McGrath said in an email sent to staff and seen by The Australian newspaper: “The information in the article so ridiculous … I will deal with it and its authors.”

In addition to Mr McGrath, the directors of IPIC are Messrs Andrew Reitzer (chairman), Christopher Beer, Peter Papas and

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By | February 5th, 2018|People|

Australia Day Honours 2018



Dr Mukesh Chandra HAIKERWAL AO, Altona North Vic 3025.
For eminent service to medical governance, administration, and technology, and to medicine, through leadership roles with a range of organisations [including presidency of the Australian Medical Association in 2005-2007], to education and the not-for-profit sector, and to the community of western Melbourne.



Professor Ronald Paul MITCHELL, North Sydney NSW 2060
For distinguished service to ophthalmology as a clinician, particularly in the management of age-related macular degeneration, through research into public health and ophthalmic epidemiology, and as an educator.



Gillian Margaret GALE, Box Hill North Vic 3129
For significant service to children who are blind or have low vision as an educator, and to learning support and education integration programs.

Dr Philip Haywood HOUSE, WA
For significant service to medicine as an ophthalmologist, to eye surgery foundations, and to the international community of Timor Leste.

Dr Ross Kenneth LITTLEWOOD, Cottesloe WA 6011. For significant service to medicine as an ophthalmologist, to professional medical organisations, and to the international community of Timor Leste.



Mr Winston Lloyd JONES, Nedlands WA 6009.

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By | February 5th, 2018|People|

MP/former ophthalmologist in expenses row

Federal MP and former ophthalmologist, Andrew Laming, has been caught charging the taxpayer more than $21,000 in 2017 for himself plus his wife and two young daughters accompanying him on business-class flights crisscrossing from Kununurra to Brisbane via Perth as well as accommodation and hire cars, The Australian newspaper has reported..

The expenditure is within the rules for MPs.

Mr Laming was the Abbott opposition’s spokesman for regional health services and indigenous health but has not held a front-bench position since 2013.

He claims to have visited Kununurra for NAIDOC Week to meet indigenous leaders, and health educators and social-service providers, as well as to attend an indigenous literacy launch and discuss the trial of a cashless welfare card in the East Kimberley community, which is 3,600km from his seat of Bowman in Brisbane’s east.

The Australian said Mr Laming declined to comment when asked why it was necessary for his wife and two daughters (by now aged nine and five) to join him on the trip.

However, he blamed an unforeseen cancellation of a flight from Kununurra to Darwin an alternative rerouting through Perth for much of the cost.


By | January 21st, 2018|People|

‘Organ donation can transform lives’

Increased organ donation rates (including 1281 cornea donors) can transform lives as well as save precious health-care dollars, as organ transplants are more cost-effective than ongoing medical care, the Australian Medical Association says in a new position statement.

“The AMA supports organ and tissue donation, and strongly encourages individuals to consider their views on donation and discuss them with their family,” AMA president, Dr Michael Gannon, said while releasing the AMA Position Statement on Organ and Tissue Transplantation 2017.

A good time to make wishes known

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By | January 21st, 2018|People|

AMA adopts Declaration of Geneva pledge

The Australian Medical Association has formally adopted the World Medical Association’s updated pledge, the Declaration of Geneva, which recognises for the first time the need for medical practitioners to look after their own health and wellbeing.

“The declaration is referred to as the Physician’s Pledge, and is considered a modern successor to the Hippocratic Oath,” the president of the AMA, Dr Michael Gannon, said on 3 January.

“The WMA was formed in 1947 with the AMA one of its founding members. It predates other international organisations and was formed, in many ways, in response to the atrocities outlined in the Nuremberg trials.

“The Declaration of Geneva was originally adopted by the WMA General Assembly in 1948 and has undergone a series of amendments throughout the years, with the previous most recent editorial review being in 2006.

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By | January 7th, 2018|People|

New president for Optometry NSW/ACT

Luke Cahill is the new president of Optometry NSW/ACT, the 47th person to hold the position in its 113 years existence. He succeeds Christine Craigie in the position; she is now immediate past-president.

Mr Cahill brings broad experience to the position, including councillor of Optometry NSW/ACT for three years and Optometry WA for 12 years (while practising in WA), clinical work with private and corporate practices (mainly professional services manager with Laubman and Pank in WA and Luxottica in South Australia and later NSW), positions in industry including his current position as head of the Medical Affairs Division Asia Pacific of Johnson & Johnson.

He was also a member of the University of NSW School of Optometry and Visual Science Visiting Committee.

By | January 7th, 2018|People|

Paramedics to become registered with AHPRA

Paramedics are to become registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency by late 2018.

They will join 14 other health-care practitioners registered with AHPRSA, including medical practitioners and optometrists.

National regulation of paramedicine will mean that for the first time paramedics will be able to register once and practice anywhere in Australia. It will also increase public safety as all paramedics will be required to meet the same registration standards, no matter where they live.

‘Can help protect the public’

The chair of the Paramedicine Board of Australia, Associate Professor Stephen Gough, said on 20 December: “Setting registration standards is an important part of how the board and paramedics can help protect the public. 

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By | December 22nd, 2017|People|

Luxottica appoints new CEO

In what the company describes as a move to “simplify its organisational and governance structure,” Luxottica Group has announced the departure of Mr Massimo Vian, who has been chief executive officer for products and operations of the group, three months before his term expires.

The group will consolidate executive responsibilities in the hands of the executive chairman Mr Leonardo Del Vecchio and the deputy chairman Mr Francesco Milleri, who also assumes the position of chief executive officer. Mr Stefano Grassi, chief financial officer of the group, has been appointed to Luxottica’s board of directors.

By | December 22nd, 2017|People|

Glaucoma Australia appoints new CEO

Glaucoma Australia has appointed Mrs Annie Gibbins as its new chief executive officer, effective 1 February 2018.

Mrs Gibbins succeeds Mr Geoff Pollard, who will retire after seven years at the helm of GA.

The presidents of GA, Mr Ron Spithill, commended Mr Pollard on his “outstanding contribution” to the wellbeing of people with glaucoma, saying: “Geoff steps down with GA in a stronger position than any other time in its almost 30-year history. I congratulate him on his considerable achievements in the role and wish him all the best in his upcoming retirement.”

Mr Spithill also commented: “It is a great pleasure to welcome Annie Gibbins as our next CEO. I am confident that under her stewardship our organisation will be a powerful force for change in the war against the blinding impact of glaucoma.”

Mrs Gibbins was chosen in a competitive selection process from a field of candidates and brings over 15 years’ senior management experience to GA’s mission to eliminate glaucoma blindness.

Her previous roles include CEO of the Australian Institute of Ultrasound, CEO of the Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine, national education manager of the Australian Orthopaedic Association and senior nurse educator TAFE, NSW. More recently, she has been CEO of Lipstick Consulting, providing business and life coaching to women.

By | December 4th, 2017|People|