Keeping Fred's dream alive
The late Professor Fred Hollows spent most of his life working to end avoidable blindness and to improve the health of Indigenous Australians.
Fred and Gabi Hollows and friends set up The Fred Hollows Foundation in 1992 so his work would continue, and we take our lead from Fred.
We share his vision of a world where no one is needlessly blind and where Indigenous Australians are as healthy as everyone else.
Like Fred, we value forthright honesty, integrity, humour and the willingness to have a go. And our approach is to find people who share our goals and to work collaboratively with them, while advocating for those goals in the wider world.
Fred learned early on that partnerships are the way to go.
The great strides that The Foundation was able to make in its early years in Nepal, Eritrea and Vietnam were largely a result of building on the connections Fred made in those countries with dynamic like-minded individuals such as Dr Sanduk Ruit in Kathmandu and Dr Desbele Ghebreghergis in Eritrea.
Just as Fred was not about charity, we are not a welfare organisation. Fred believed it was important to build local capacity through collaboration so that eye care and other health systems would remain in place for the long term.
Today, The Foundation is an independent international organisation working in Australia and overseas with partners at all levels – individuals, communities, organisations, and governments. These partnerships are the key to achieving sustainable results in all of the countries in which we work.
Fred was known for speaking his mind. When he saw inequity he didn’t just get angry, he did something about it.
As Fred did, we advocate on a number of levels in order to promote our goals. At the most visible level, we promote awareness among the general community in order to raise money and support for our programs. And we run community health programs in the countries in which we work to make sure we reach the people who most need our support.
Perhaps even more important is the less visible advocacy work we do.
We work behind the scenes to make sure our knowledge is taken into account at policy-making levels of government in the countries where we have eye care programs.
And we advocate for our goals through existing structures such as Australia’s Close the Gap coalition, the VISION 2020: The Right to Sight campaign and international forums such as the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.
We are committed to a strong, lean organisation and a cost-effective use of our resources – something Fred identified in the early days with his focus on modern cataract surgery, where a simple low-cost operation can have lasting benefits for whole families and communities.
We believe in transparency and accountability, and are constantly improving the monitoring and evaluation of our programs.
Around the world
In the last years of his life Fred worked furiously towards the opening of intraocular lens (IOL) factories in Eritrea and Nepal in order to force down the price of IOLs internationally, making modern cataract surgery more accessible for the very poor. The IOL factories opened in 1994, one year after his death.
In mid 1992, an ailing Fred discharged himself from hospital to run modern eye surgery workshops in Vietnam.
Fred was building capacity in these countries so that his vision of a world where no one is needlessly blind could be achieved through self-sustaining eye health care systems established across the developing world.
Since those early days in Nepal and Eritrea and Vietnam, The Foundation has worked to that end in over 40 countries around the world.
Make a Donation
Call us: 1800 352 352