Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, Mr Bob McMullan, recently visited The Foundation, sharing his thoughts on work being done to save sight around the world – led by the Australian people and backed in by the Australian Government.
Mr McMullan, who will retire from Parliament at the next election, has been a strong voice for the fight to improve the living standards of people in the developing world.
“Bob has always been a friend of The Foundation, and while we will be sad to see him leave parliament, his contribution towards eye health both in Australia and around the world, will not be forgotten,” said The Foundation’s David Britton.
Mr McMullan said it was great to be involved in restoring sight because it was an activity where the results were immediate and effective.
“The success of this Foundation is down to the inspiration of Fred himself. The people who work at this institution are not only doing something that is both personally rewarding and fulfilling, they also looking out for the welfare of Indigenous Australians and people living in poverty around the world,” Mr McMullan said.
In recent years Australia has shown it is a world leader in the fight to overcome avoidable blindness, including:
- Working to end avoidable blindness in the Asia – Pacific region by making available, in the first instance, $45 million over two years through the Avoidable Blindness Initiative.
- $5.2 million over five years to support the work of The Fred Hollows Foundation in Pakistan, particularly among blind children. The project builds on The Foundation’s work in Pakistan since 1998 which, in partnership with AusAID, has seen the rate of avoidable blindness drop from 1.79% of population to 0.9%. Almost one million more people in Pakistan can now see again as a result.
- $58.3 million to help tackle eye and ear diseases in Indigenous communities as part of the Government’s strategy to close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.