Sir Ray Avery
Sir Ray Avery is a pharmaceutical scientist and social entrepreneur whose groundbreaking work and visionary leadership is improving the lives of millions of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. The low-cost intraocular lenses he developed, costing less than $6, make modern cataract surgery available to the poorest of the poor. With two intraocular lens laboratories – designed and commissioned by Ray – in Nepal and Eritrea, it is estimated that 30 million people suffering from cataract blindness will benefit from his lenses by 2020. In 2010, Sir Ray became a Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (GNZM).
As a founding member of the University of Auckland School of Medicine and Department of Clinical Pharmacology, and as a former Technical Director of Douglas Pharmaceuticals, Ray made a major contribution to the New Zealand pharmaceutical industry over a thirty-year period.
Working throughout Africa and Asia during his career, Ray was exposed to the raw and real shortcomings in healthcare on those continents. With a firm belief in the need for greater global equality, he resolved to use his knowledge of pharmaceuticals, science, and product design to tackle big health issues endemic throughout the developing world at a practical sustainable level.
In 2003, Ray founded Medicine Mondiale, a global network of experts who donate their time and skills to creating sustainable solutions to global poverty through the development of innovative medicine and technologies. By making quality healthcare accessible to the world’s poorest societies, and by developing self-sustainable solutions, Ray hopes to narrow the equality gap and to give more people the tools and solutions to improve their own lives.
Ray gives a great deal of his time to mentoring young people, speaking regularly to students at schools and universities about how they might use their skills and experience to make the world a more egalitarian place.
Leaders propel the human race forward, not through the sum of their own endeavours but by acting as a focusing mechanism for the skills and vision of everyone they touch. By harnessing this collegiate power, they nourish the human spirit and, in doing so, leave the world a better place than when they found it. ”