Just like Fred, our CEO gets things done. Brian Doolan is a humanitarian, a fighter for social and economic justice. Most of all, he's fired up to put an end to avoidable blindness.
When Brian met Fred Hollows in a pub in rural Australia, he could never have imagined that twenty-five years later he would be CEO of The Foundation set up in Fred’s honour. While Fred Hollows was working on the National Trachoma Program
in the 1970s, Brian Doolan was also working to improve the health of Indigenous communities in New South Wales, the Northern Territory and South Australia. Their paths crossed in the late 70s, when Brian was working in Wilcannia, in regional New South Wales, to establish an independent and Indigenous run Medical and Education Centre. Fred Hollows was performing eye surgeries there, and the two men found themselves later having a drink together at the local pub. Little did either know this would be the start of a lifelong connection.
If you cut my working life in two, one half has been working with Aboriginal communities in Australia and the other in international development.
- Brian Doolan
From the early 1990s to 2003, Brian worked as Country Director for CARE International in Iraq and Vietnam. He made such an impact on the country’s economic and social development that in 1994, the President of Vietnam awarded him the Friendship Medal, the country’s highest award for foreigners. Brian then went on to CARE Australia as Principal Executive and later, joint acting CEO.
Before joining The Fred Hollows Foundation, Brian was in Thailand as Regional Director of the US based Global Alliance for Workers and Communities. Also a not for profit organisation, there he worked to provide support for factory workers in China, Vietnam, Thailand, India and Indonesia.
I still get to see the patches come off – and the hair still stands up on the back of my neck every time.
- Brian Doolan
Brian has been the CEO of The Fred Hollows Foundation since 2005. He has been the driving force behind our highly successful work in preventing avoidable blindness, both within Indigenous communities and around the world. Brian is passionate about building partnerships and empowering the people in the countries where we work. For him, it’s all about removing any barrier that stops people accessing quality eye health. Once this is done, there’s no reason why anyone in the world should be needlessly blind.
Just like Fred, Brian believes in rolling up his sleeves and getting things done. And that he certainly does.