Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA) has appointed Dr Kathy Chapman as its new CEO, taking over the role from Ms Dee Hopkins, who departed in June after leading the organisation for the past five years.
An experienced senior leader and CEO in the for-purpose sector, including public health and promoting inclusion for people with disabilities, Chapman commenced on 18 July 2022.
Chapman’s executive career spans key organisations including the Heart Foundation of Australia, Down Syndrome NSW, Cancer Council NSW, and the NSW Council of Social Services.
In a statement announcing her appointment, the MDFA said Chapman’s career of successful advocacy and leadership of preventative health programs makes her an ideal fit for the role and the organisation’s commitment to people living with or at risk of macular disease.
For more than 20 years, MDFA has been the only national charity representing the interests of the 8.9 million Australians at risk of, or living with, macular disease.
“My grandmother lived with age-related macular degeneration so I understand how this condition can negatively impact on the quality of life for a person and for the people that care for them,” Chapman said.
“There were no treatment options available when my grandmother was alive, so I am committed to advancing better treatment outcomes for patients and their families.”
Chapman holds a PhD in public health nutrition and began her career as a dietitian. She is a current board director at Healthy Kids Association and holds honorary academic appointments with the University of Sydney and University of Newcastle.
“I am excited by the opportunity to lead the next phase of growth for MDFA and make a meaningful difference in the lives of people with macular disease and at risk of blindness,” she said.
MDFA chair Mr Graeme Head said the board was delighted to attract someone as talented as Chapman.
“[This will ensure we] continue our strong tradition of prevention and early detection, patient support, advocacy, and research, and build upon the outstanding work that is delivered by our staff and volunteers every day,” Head said.
“We are confident that in Kathy we have found someone who will lead the organisation with innovation, distinction, and integrity.”