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Suttons Driving Fred Hollows Suttons Driving Fred Hollows

Suttons Driving Fred Hollows

Suttons has been ‘Driving Fred Hollows’ as a major partner of The Foundation since 2017.

Suttons is a family owned automotive business group based in metropolitan Sydney.  Selling and servicing new and used cars and trucks across 24 locations, covering 27 different brands, Suttons is recognised as one of Sydney’s largest and most trusted car dealerships. As their tag-line suggests “Sydney Trusts Suttons”.

Our Partnership

Suttons and The Fred Hollows Foundation share a belief in improving the lives of people here in Australia and around the world. The Fred Hollows Foundation is working towards a world in which no person is needlessly blind and Indigenous Australians exercise their right to good health, and thanks to valued Corporate Partners like Suttons, this dream is becoming a reality.

Through a range of engagement and fundraising initiatives, Suttons will be ‘Driving Fred Hollows’ to specifically improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Western New South Wales.

See Better in September

‘See Better in September’ was an exciting initiative in which Suttons committed to donate $50 per window tint sold across their dealerships during the month of September.

Suttons donated generously towards our sight-restoring work in Australia as a result of this campaign. 

Off the back of this initiative, staff at Suttons Parts also took it upon themselves to sell unused fixtures, raising a further $825 for The Foundation. 

Visiting Bourke 

In May 2017, Suttons took Souths Cares and former Rabbitohs player, Beau Champion, along with six Suttons’ staff to Bourke NSW to raise awareness about eye health. They visited the project Suttons supports, the Outback Eye Service, to experience first-hand the impact of Suttons’ generosity towards the people in that region.

The Fred Hollows Foundation is committed to improving health outcomes and increasing access to eye health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Thanks to our corporate partner, Suttons, we are achieving this in places like Western NSW through our partnership with the Outback Eye Service.”
– Shaun Tatipata, Manager of the Indigenous Australia Program.

The Outback Eye Service

Suttons generously supports the work of The Fred Hollows Foundation in Western NSW through the Outback Eye Service.

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 area and saves the sight of hundreds of people every year.

This region has the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents in NSW 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 program looks to achieve significant results, addressing avoidable blindness for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people living in this region. These include:

  • 1,200 people screened;
  • 100 cataract surgeries performed;
  • 100 diabetic retinopathy treatments performed;
  • 400 spectacles distributed; and
  • Supporting two eye health care positions.

A case study: Paul's sight restored thanks to Suttons

Suttons’ support has allowed patients like Paul to have his dignity and independence restored.

Paul lives outside of Lightning Ridge, in far-Western South Wales, in a caravan without running water or electricity.

10 years ago, Paul started to lose his sight, but he had no idea why. When he was laid off from his job because of his failing sight, so he began working as a self-employed prospector on the opal fields.

Paul started to look around him – at the flowers, the trees and the birds - memorising them for the time when he would be completely blind. He struggled with everyday tasks, relying on others in his community to do basic activities, like buying food.

He was unable to recognise the people around him, “I was voice recognition for so long,” Paul said. “People would come up and say ‘hello Paul’ and I’d have to go through my memory to see which voice it was to know who it belonged to, who I was talking to.”

Saved by the Outback Eye Service 

A group of optometrists from the Outback Eye Service visited Lighting Ridge, and Paul was able to have his eyes screened. They referred him to an ophthalmologist who told him he had “these things called cataracts”.

Paul admitted, “I started to get all nervous then, thinking they were going to chop my eye out of my head and replace it with another eye ball or something. Then I found out I was panicking for no reason.”

Thanks to the support of Suttons, The Fred Hollows Foundation’s valued Corporate Partner, the Outback Eye Service was able to restore Paul’s sight and give him back his dignity and independence.

The Outback Eye Service is the only eye health service operating in the region, and without this, and Suttons’ support, Paul would have lived the rest of his life with avoidable blindness.

When asked what he was going to do when he returned home, he said, “Just look. I’m going to look at everything I can find… I might actually be able to go back and get a proper job again… get real work again and a weekly wage instead of hoping I can survive for a fortnight. It will make a big difference.”

And how does it feel to see again? “I’m free!” Paul says, grinning from ear to ear.