Ray Avery is an amazing person. He is the current NZer of the Year because of his incredible work in the third world using his scientific knowledge to give people cheap cataract operations and other creative scientific solutions. He was brought up in orphanage and foster homes and lived on the streets for a bit but when on to become a scinetist, a millionaire and very successful businessman and now someone who literally does help to change the world. During the mid nineties Ray spent most of his time working in Eritrea and Nepal setting up two world class Intraocular lens laboratories.At that time the cost of an Intraocular lenses was about US$300 but Ray managed to put the technology together to produce lenses for under US$10.00 making modern Cataract surgery accessible to the poor throughout Africa and Asia.Today these laboratories produce over 10% of the worlds supply of Intraocular lenses. Today he encourages other talented people to get on board and tackle some of the really big problems confronting the poor in developing countries.
From his garage in Mt Eden Auckland Ray manages a global network of experts to work on specific projects and somehow everyone finds themselves donating their time and knowledge for free - and they are rewarded by making a difference.