Championing vision

Heather Herbert’s lifelong love of sport has inspired her to leave a gift in her will to vision research.


Eye-News emails are sent to
subscribers once a month

Share this article

Heather’s passion for sports has kept her active throughout her life.

“I’d play anything with a ball – tennis, basketball, netball, squash. I’m a fairly well‑rounded sportswoman,” she says.

Now in her late 70s, golf is her preferred game. But she still enjoys the excitement of watching a variety of live sports, especially football as an avid Geelong supporter.

It was through the AFL that Heather first heard about Tyler Fishlock – a young eye cancer survivor who was taken under the wing of the Richmond Football Club. “He had to have both his eyes removed, and he was only about eight at the time,” says Heather.

She recalls being deeply moved by Tyler’s story and the profound impact vision loss can have, particularly on young people.

“It’s one of the main reasons I got interested in eye research,” she says.

Making a difference

Heather has experienced several eye conditions herself, including glaucoma, for many years. This has compelled her to help others facing potential vision loss.

Introduced to CERA’s work by her former ophthalmologist, Associate Professor Anne Brooks AM, Heather began donating in 2019 and has since included a bequest to CERA in her will.

She hopes her legacy gift can contribute to lasting change for those affected by vision loss and blindness.

“If I can afford to do it and my family doesn’t need the money, it’s best to donate it to something useful. Every bit helps,” Heather explains.

Maintaining precious vision

Heather has benefited from advances in eye research, such as laser therapy, cataract surgery and corneal transplants, which have helped preserve her vision so she can keep doing what she loves.

“My eyesight is clear but it’s not perfect. I can keep driving though, which is the main aim of the game,” says Heather.

She now encourages her three children in their 50s to have regular eye checks and hopes her 12-year-old granddaughter will do the same in future.

“You’ve got to do the right thing by your eyes because vision is so precious,” she says.

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Newsletter Subscribe
Receive Appeals