We support their Outback Eye Service, Western NSW program because we believe in improving the lives of everyone around the world without boundaries nor borders.
Professor Fred Hollows had a dream. That was to see a world where no person was needlessly blind and Indigenous Australians exercised their right to good health.
As an ophthalmologist, humanitarian and social activist, Fred became involved in Indigenous eye health when he screened two senior Aboriginal men from Wattie Creek at his Sydney eye clinic in 1968. Fred was invited to fly up to their camp in the Northern Territory and the poor standards of health in the camp, particularly eye health, shocked him.
Fred was later asked to go to Bourke, 800km from Sydney, where he found the same shocking conditions. These moments sparked his indignation and drove his desire to fight for better access to eye health and living conditions for Indigenous Australians.
In 1976-1978 Fred led the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program. Teams of doctors visited 465 remote communities around Australia, to record the state of Indigenous eye health in Australia. They were able to screen 100,000 patients and halved the levels of blindness in Aboriginal communities during this time.
Fred Hollows was named Australian of the year in 1990 for his contribution to Indigenous eye health in Australia, and used this platform to further his message about the importance of ending avoidable blindness and improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
Fred and Gabi Hollows established The Fred Hollows Foundation in 1992, just months before he passed away. The Foundation continues the work that he started here in Australia, and around the world, restoring sight and transforming lives.
The Fred Hollows Foundation is an international development agency, looking to carry on the work of the late Professor Fred Hollows (1929-1993).
The Foundation’s vision is to see a world where no person is needlessly blind and Indigenous Australians exercise their right to good health.
There are 32.4 million people in the world who are blind, however 4 out of 5 of these people do not need to be. 90% live in the developing world and almost two-thirds are women.
Fred Hollows was able to bring modern cataract surgery to the developing world, and thanks to his pioneering spirit, The Foundation can now restore sight with a 20 minute operation, for as little as $25.
2017 marks The Foundation’s 25 year anniversary. Since its inception in 1992, The Foundation has reached 30 million people through eye health intervention and treatments, and now works in 25 countries round the world.
The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Indigenous Australia Program looks to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Indigenous children in Australia have better vision than the mainstream population, but their adult population are three times more likely than other Australians to go blind.
Four eye conditions, refractive error, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and trachoma, cause 90% of the vision loss. Fortunately, each of these conditions are preventable or treatable.
Australia is the only developed country to still have trachoma and it continues to be the fourth leading cause of blindness among Aboriginal people. We are working in partnership to end trachoma in Australia by 2020.
Through our advocacy measures, the Indigenous Australia Program is working with governments to ensure sustained investment in the provision of high quality, accessible and culturally appropriate eye care services to remote and underserviced communities to improve the eye health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
The Outback Eye Service is the only public ophthalmology service west of Orange in New South Wales.
Professor Fred Hollows started this program out of the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, and it continues to this day, offering vital services to this remote region in New Souths Wales.
The Outback Eye Service performs an essential public service to the 115,000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of the Far West and Orana region of New South Wales. It covers approximately one third of the state's land mass and saves the sight of hundreds of people every year.
This region has the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents in New South Wales and almost half of its population live in outer regional, remote or very remote areas.These residents experience significant social and economic disadvantage, particularly in regards to eye heath.
Cataract surgery needs to be increased by 200 operations per year for the area's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents to reach the average national cataract surgery rates.
The Outback Eye Service is significantly under-funded, under-equipped, and critically under-staffed.This project aims to provide this much needed support, particularly through the employment of a full time Ophthalmic Nurse and part time Orthoptist.
In 2017, the project aims to achieve the following outputs: