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RNZFB farewells longstanding Chair

Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB)
17 November 2009
Media release

RNZFB farewells longstanding Chair

The Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind’s (RNZFB’s) Chairman Don McKenzie has retired from his role as Chair of the Board of Directors. He stepped down from his position formally at the Foundation’s recent Annual General Meeting.

Don has been involved with the Foundation for over 50 years, with more than half of these spent as a Board member. He joined the Board of Trustees in 1972 and served as Chair from 1980-1992, and from 2001-2003. Following the introduction of the RNZFB Act in 2002, the Board of Trustees became a Board of Directors, and Don served as Chair again from 2003-2009.

A Foundation member himself, Don attended the Foundation for the Blind school in Parnell, before embarking on a 40-year career as a self-employed physiotherapist. In 1981, he received an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to the blind and to physiotherapy.

During his time as Chair, Don has seen tremendous change for the good:
“One of the most memorable highlights for me was the introduction of the RNZFB Act in 2002 We went from being volunteer driven, to an organisation governed by its own members – that was huge. Another is the overall shift from the 1980s when we provided institutional services to members. Almost thirty years later, the Foundation has opened itself up, and is really focused on encouraging our members to get out in the community, gaining an education and employment.”

Don adds that the current Chief Executive and Executive Team show how the Foundation is becoming modernised, taking up the challenges of the twenty-first century. “I’m leaving the Foundation at an exciting time – it is headed for greater sustainability and a future providing even better services for its members,” he says.

RNZFB Chief Executive Sandra Budd notes, “Don has made an enormous impact on the lives of our 11, 700 members across the country. His tireless efforts in the areas of advocacy and governance, and his commitment to supporting our staff, members and volunteers will be missed”.


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