Roche announces winners of $125,000 Anniversary Health Charity Grants

125-Year Grant Winners
1. Vision Australia awarded $75,000 to promote good eye health and improve medical referral pathways in central Australia, ensuring equity of access for local Indigenous Australians who are blind or have low vision.
2. Childhood Dementia Initiative awarded $50,000 to develop a world-first Childhood Dementia Family Knowledge Base, helping healthcare professionals and carers make better decisions and improve the quality of life for children with dementia.


SYDNEY, 5 October 2022 – Roche today officially announced the winners of its 125-Year Anniversary Health Charity Grants, an initiative aimed at making a meaningful difference to the health outcomes of Australians. Roche is awarding two grants totalling $125,000 AUD for local projects that will deliver health benefits for specific patient communities.


Vision Australia and Childhood Dementia Initiative were selected by an independent panel of judges as the recipients of the grants, with their proposed projects considered to best meet the established evaluation criteria - particularly in demonstrating an innovative and pioneering spirit, the number of people likely to benefit from the project, the expected magnitude of benefit and their ability to measure and demonstrate that benefit.


Roche Pharma Australia General Manager Stuart Knight said: “Congratulations to both organisations, whose winning projects will make a positive impact on the patient communities they serve.


“And a special thank you to the other health charities who took the time to submit an application through this grants program. I also thank our independent panel of judges for their diligent work in carefully reviewing all the applications and selecting the winners.”

A total of 16 grant submissions from Australian patient groups and other local charities were evaluated by the independent panel of judges. The panel brought together significant expertise in the healthcare and charity sectors, bringing a range of perspectives to the decision-making process.


Vision Australia, will receive $75,000 AUD to help develop culturally appropriate and responsive resources, which will be used to elevate eye health literacy and promote the benefits of improving eye health amongst Aboriginal peoples in central Australia.


As part of this project, Vision Australia will also generate and aim to strengthen effective referral pathways when engaging with ophthalmologists, optometrists, diabetes care clinics and other allied health professionals in Alice Springs and surrounding areas, allowing them to offer ongoing services and equity of access for local Indigenous Australians who are blind or have low vision.


Mr Knight said: “As an important provider of blindness and low vision services for people with vision loss that cannot be corrected with prescription lenses, Vision Australia is really well placed to make a significant and measurable improvement to the health outcomes of the local central Australian population.


“We hope this grant funding assists Vision Australia in improving eye health literacy and access to important services for these patient communities in need.”


Childhood Dementia Initiative will receive $50,000 AUD to help develop a world-first Knowledge Base to help provide timely, accurate, reliable and high-quality information on the many different individual genetic childhood dementia conditions. The Knowledge Base hopes to connect families and carers to relevant research and clinical trials and increase their participation in healthcare decision-making. It will also aim to provide healthcare professionals with important information to deepen their understanding of childhood dementia.


By addressing the many childhood dementia conditions under the one umbrella, Childhood Dementia Initiative strives to build awareness, realise economies of scale, and drive a collaborative and comprehensive response in this area.


Australian Patient Advocacy Alliance Executive Director Deidre Mackechnie, who coordinated the independent panel of judges said: “The calibre of projects submitted by patient groups was exceptionally high. We felt that a number of these projects were worthy of funding, so selecting just two projects was very challenging.


“The two winning applications were well-written and structured, with both projects considered to be highly innovative and representing a real focus on improving the lives of the impacted patient communities.


“Importantly, we felt the funding for each project could help to address a significant barrier that currently exists in ensuring equity of access to effective care and support for these patients and their carers.”


For all media enquiries, please contact Roche Australia:

Tania Jayesuria (0404 094 744).


About the Roche 125-Year Anniversary Health Charity Grants

Timing: The Roche 125-Year Anniversary Health Charity Grants (Grants) were launched on 11 July 2022, with applications open until 29 July 2022.


Eligibility criteria: Applicants to the Grants were required to:

  1. Be a health consumer organisation or non-governmental organisation that is registered as a charity under Australian law.

  2. Work in one (or more) of the following disease areas: Oncology, Haematology, Diabetes, Neuroscience, Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Infectious Diseases or Women’s Health.

  3. Have a primary purpose or mission that relates to improving the health outcomes of Australians.

  4. Have an annual turnover whereby the value of the Grant provided will not exceed 25 per cent of that turnover.


Judging Panel: The independent judging panel for the Grants included:

  1. Deidre Mackechnie Executive Director, Australian Patient Advocacy Alliance;

  2. Professor Sanchia Aranda AM Professor of Health Services Research, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre;

  3. Glenys Beauchamp PSM Former Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Health;

  4. Marcus Godinho Executive Director, FareShare;

  5. Professor Lyn Grifiths Director, Centre for Genomics and Personalised Health, QUT & Director, Bridge Program and BridgeTech Program.


Evaluation criteria: All submissions for the Grants were assessed by the independent panel of judges against the following evaluation criteria,

  1. Demonstrate an innovative and pioneering spirit – the project being proposed may be a pilot, but cannot be a continuation of an existing initiative;

  2. Number of people likely to benefit from the project;

  3. Magnitude of benefit expected & ability to measure and demonstrate that benefit;

  4. Alignment to the following themes:

    a) Inform patients of their rights to access their healthcare information and be involved in their own healthcare decisions

    b) Increase participation in healthcare decision-making processes;

    c) Contribute to improving the quality of life of patients and their carers;

    d) Promote health gains for Australians;

    e) Elevate the health literacy of Australians; or

    f) Increase equity of access to healthcare for Australians.

  5. The project must be linked to one of the following disease areas: Oncology, Haematology, Diabetes, Neuroscience, Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Infectious Diseases or Women’s Health.

  6. The project must adhere to the Medicines Australia Code of Conduct (MA Code), not provide any direct or indirect commercial benefit to Roche, nor encourage, directly or indirectly, the use of any Roche product or service, nor any prescription medicine.