The First Step Feb. 2011 - Page 23

On the 3rd of September 1992, the Fred Hollows Foundation was launched as an Australian charitable foundation providing eye care for the underprivileged people of the world as well as improving the health of Indigenous Australian’s. Sadly, Fred Hollows passed away in 1993, aged 63 but his family has ensured his legacy has continued . It is expected that more than one million people in the world can see today because of Fred Hollows initiatives. Fred Hollows has worked in overseas locations like Nepal, Vietnam and Eritrea, but has not disregarded his home, Australia. His work with Indigenous people began in the early 1970’s when he began working with the Gurindji people at Wave Hill in the Northern Territory and then the people around Bourke and other isolated locations in New South Wales. His concern for the high number of Aboriginals who had eye disorders, particularly trachoma so he established an Aboriginal Medical Service in Redfern in July 1971. This was the first official establishment for Aboriginal medical services to assist Aboriginal people . Fred Hollows spent three years visiting and providing eye care to Aboriginal Australians. More than 460 Aboriginal communities were visited, and 62,000 Aboriginal people were examined. 27,000 were treated for trachoma and 1000 operations were carried out. Without Fred Hollows, these Aboriginal communities would not have been able to avoid preventable blindness. Fred Hollows is a inspirational Australian one that has worked towards ‘Closing the Gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. You can help make a difference. Help BIAS in supporting the Fred Hollows Foundation.