Ambassadors and supporters
The Fred Hollows Foundation has a dedicated group of people who support us by helping to promote our work around the globe. Check out their profiles below...
Aaron Davey – AFL player
Outstanding Indigenous footballer Aaron Davey won Best First Year Player at the AFL Players Association MVP Awards in 2004. Aaron is originally from Darwin and is very interested in The Foundation’s Indigenous Program in Australia’s Northern Territory.
“Indigenous Australians still die more than 20 years earlier than other Australians, often from treatable diseases,” Aaron says. “Low literacy levels also have a direct impact on people’s general health and wellbeing.”
Aaron became an Ambassador in 2005 and has since visited the Jawoyn communities The Foundation works with in the Territory.
Adam Spencer – TV and radio personality
Well-known comedian and entertainer Adam Spencer was treated by Fred Hollows as a child and welcomed the opportunity to become an Ambassador for The Foundation.
In 2004, Adam got the chance to see The Foundation’s work first-hand when he took part in a 'See the Work Challenge' trip to Nepal. Adam watched a cataract operation being performed at the Tilganga Eye Centre in Kathmandu.
“I was fascinated by how quick and easy the procedure was,” he says.
In his wide ranging career, Adam has, amongst other things, gained a degree in pure mathematics and written two books on the subject, co-presented Triple J’s breakfast radio show with Wil Anderson and hosted ABC/TV’s Quantum.
Don Maclurcan – Marathon runner
When Don Maclurcan was 10 years old a terminally ill Fred Hollows presented him with an academic award. Nine years later that experience inspired him to run from Perth to Sydney to raise money for The Fred Hollows Foundation.
Don is strongly committed to The Foundation and regularly speaks to school and community groups about our work around the world.
“It is rare to find organisations that truly understand the meaning of ‘helping people help themselves’. The Foundation not only understands the meaning of this phrase, it is an underlying tenet of its work around the world and a principle that has engendered the highest level of respect from patients, practitioners, the public and politicians alike,” says Don.
Gabi Hollows – Founding Director
> Find out about Gabi Hollows.
Jessica McNamee – Actress and TV personality
Jessica McNamee, from the TV show Packed to the Rafters, first raised money for The Foundation on Dancing with the Stars and went on to become an Ambassador after seeing The Foundation’s program work in Vietnam first-hand.
Jessica saw 86-year-old Pham Thi Thong’s sight restored at the eye department at Dai Loc General Hospital, which The Foundation helped build in 2007.
"It was one of the privileges of my life following this beautiful lady through her journey from complete blindness to sight," says Jessica."I didn't realise that such a small amount of money can improve someone's life forever, but now I've seen it with my own eyes."
Jimmy Little – Performer
We are sad to have lost our great mate Jimmy Little in April 2012, and our thoughts are with Jimmy's family and friends.
Jimmy Little began singing professionally in 1956 and in his extraordinary career he achieved two gold records – in 1964 and 1999 – and won numerous music awards. He was inducted into the music industry's ARIA Hall of Fame, and in 2004 he became one of Australia’s National Living Treasures, and was honoured with an Order of Australia.
Jimmy was a particular supporter of the Indigenous Program The Foundation runs in the Jawoyn communities in Australia’s Northern Territory.
Jimmy was committed to Indigenous education and in recent years he worked with the Federal Education Department. In 1989 he was voted Aboriginal of the Year.
Jimmy is greatly missed. Long live his legacy.
Joel Edgerton - Actor
Australian actor Joel Edgerton has been working in the film and television industry for over 15 years.
He is known for his roles in films such as Animal Kingdom (2010), Warrior (2011), Ned Kelly (2003), Star Wars (Episode II and III) and as Tom Buchanan in Baz Lurhmann’s adaptation of the classic novel The Great Gatsby.
As an Ambassador of The Fred Hollows Foundation Joel is a passionate supporter of the work we do in developing countries and in Australian Indigenous communities.
Joel first connected with The Foundation a few years ago and has a strong personal tie to the organisation. Most recently, Joel took time to visit our partner organisation in Nepal, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, where he saw sight saving operations first hand.
During that visit Joel met with renowned eye surgeon Dr Sanduk Ruit and the group of dedicated staff who work alongside him to restore sight to thousands each year.
Julie McCrossin – Radio and TV personality
Julie McCrossin has worked in many fields but is best known for her work on TV and radio. Although most people will know her from the TV show Good News Week and as co-presenter of ABC Radio National’s Life Matters, Julie says her proudest TV moment was her appearance on ABC TV’s Play School as silent clown Plain Jane.
In 2005 Julie travelled to the Northern Territory of Australia with The Foundation’s 'See the World Challenge' and visited the Jawoyn communities east of Katherine. Julie interviewed many local people about the work of The Foundation and the aspirations of the communities, and these stories were broadcast on Life Matters in May that year.
Linley Frame – Olympic swimmer
Former Olympic swimmer and Commonwealth Games record holder Linley Frame is a member of the Australian Institute of Sport Swimming Hall of Fame and a Red Dust Role Model.
As an Ambassador she has been involved in The Foundation’s community fundraisers in Victoria and as a Red Dust Role Model she travels to the Northern Territory and central Australia to visit Indigenous communities.
Linley forged a career out of the water as a swimming commentator and now dedicates much of her time to community work and raising money for charities.
Shellie Morris – Singer/songwriter
Shellie Morris was born in Sydney and trained in opera in her teens. She moved to Darwin in 1997 and traced her roots back to her grandfather, remembered for his skills with guitar and voice. Described as “the Janis Joplin of Jingili”, she has twice won Female Musician of the Year at the Northern Territory Indigenous Music Awards.
In 2010, Shellie performed her song Swept Away at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver with the Black Arm Band (a collaboration of Australia’s top indigenous artists and jazz musicians).
Shellie works closely with the Indigenous community as a motivational speaker and music teacher. We are proud to have her working with The Foundation’s Indigenous Program on music and literacy projects with kids.
Susie O'Neill – Olympic gold medallist
Susie O’Neill was 16 when she won gold and silver at the 1990 Commonwealth Games and she went on to win a medal at every international swim meet she attended for the next ten years, including eight Olympic medals, two of them gold, across three Olympics. Susie was elected to the IOC Athletes’ Commission in 2000 andinducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2002.
Susie’s father and husband are both ophthalmologists and she joined The Fred Hollows Foundation as an Ambassador after the 2000 Olympics.
In late 2008 the ABC’s award-winning TV documentary series Australian Story followed Susie and her husband Dr Cliff Fairley to Alice Springs to take a look at The Foundation’s Central Australian Integrated Eye Program and the week-long session of cataract operations.
Ernie Dingo – TV presenter and actor
Ernie Dingo has worked in television, film and theatre since the late 1970s. He is Wadjarri/Yamatji and was born on Bullardoo Station in Western Australia (he speaks Wadjarri and his people/nation are Yamatji). Ernie is a National Living Treasure and received an Order of Australia in 1990.
As a supporter of The Foundation, Ernie has a particular interest in The Foundation’s Indigenous health programs in the Northern Territory.
Ernie’s surname comes from his grandfather, Dingo Jim, a dingo trapper whose name was changed by white authorities to Jim Dingo when he died.
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