The Fred Hollows Foundation is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Hounslow AM – former Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Foundation Member and prominent human rights campaigner.  

Betty joined The Fred Hollows Foundation in 2003 as General Manager (Operations) and became Deputy CEO in February 2004, a role she maintained until she retired in June 2014. She had a long-standing commitment to social and economic justice, having worked for almost 40 years in various community-based advocacy and service delivery organisations. 

Betty was involved in every aspect of The Foundation’s work, from the development of international and Australian programs, to fundraising and education activities, advocacy, finance and administration. 

In addition to her 10 years of service as The Foundation’s Deputy CEO, Betty worked for many years on the Board of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) alongside The Foundation’s current CEO Ian Wishart. 

“Betty was an exceptional woman with a strong passion for The Foundation and development more broadly. She was committed to enhancing social and economic justice and promoting the human rights of vulnerable people.  She was much loved and worked in partnership with everyone she interacted with,” said Mr Wishart. 

“Betty was a social and political reformer and a tireless advocate for human rights, particularly women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the LGBTIQA+ and refugee communities. She along with others set up the first independent women's refuge in Sydney and was awarded an AM in recognition of her service to women, refugees and the community. 

“Betty was a highly respected colleague and much-admired member of the Hollows community and will be greatly missed”. 

Prior to working with The Foundation, Betty served on several advisory boards and worked with several NGOs including the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). As CEO of ACOSS for seven years, Betty tirelessly tackled poverty alleviation, capacity building and social change. She worked in Cambodia with the UN, supporting emerging NGOs and local community programs. 

Betty also volunteered for many community organisations which campaigned for social justice causes. She was recognised for her commitment, winning several awards including the 2000 Judge, Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership Awards and the 2003 Justice Medallist, Justice Awards, NSW Law and Justice Foundation.

Photo credit: The Fred Hollows Foundation