Fact Sheet 3 - Lions Clubs - We Make Things Happen
From hospitals and retirement villages to kindergartens and youth programs, for more than 50 years Lions have made a difference to the quality of life of many thousands of Australians.
No matter how large the national health budget or how tight the welfare net there will always be gaps. That's where Lions come in.
Improving things for the visually disabled is a traditional Lions activity. Lions Save Sight institutes have been established around Australia, providing specialist services and undertaking research projects ranking them as world leaders in the field. Lions have established Chairs of Ophthalmology in universities. Lions operate most of the country's Eye Banks, have provided many Talking Books and were pioneers in extending specialist services to outback areas.
Lions supported the development of the Bionic ear, bringing new possibilities to hearing impaired youngsters.
Lions established and operate Australia's only centre for the training of Hearing Dogs for people with hearing problems. Trained to react to the sound of the telephone, a knock at the door, the cry of a baby, or in an emergency, these animals bring security and confidence to their owners.
Major foundations and health institutes have been established by Lions Clubs in all States, making substantial contributions to the health of the country.
Researchers in the immunology laboratory at the Lions Research Centre at Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital have developed a vaccine for cervical cancer, while a NSW Lions foundation offers scholarships which enable nurses to undertake advanced study. The Victorian Lions Foundation funds research in several areas. The Tasmanian Low Vision Clinics provide a valuable service in the island State. Adelaide leads the world in Cranio-facial research and the WA Save Sight Institute is recognised as among the top six in the world.
Prostate and other cancers, Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, Motor Neurone Disease, Stroke, Renal problems, Melanoma, Rheumatism and Arthritis, Marine Stinger research and encouragement of organ donor programs are some of the areas to which Lions Clubs are contributing.
Cord Blood is a recent area of involvement, offering exciting new health and transplant possibilities. Lions are supporting research in this field in several States.
The home dialysis program in Australia was initiated by Lions Clubs - showing governments the way.
Adopted as a national Lions project only in 1995, the Lions MS Foundation has already made possible discoveries which will contribute towards a cure for this disease.
The David Hart Walker
The most recent Lions undertaking, in conjunction with the Spastic Centre of NSW, is Australian production of David Hart walking frame device, a deceptively simple but very sophisticated English invention which will enable many children with cerebral palsy to take independence for the first time in their lives.