The Fred Hollows Foundation has donated portable ophthalmology equipment to the National Museum used by the late Professor Fred Hollows to restore sight to thousands of people in Australia and overseas.

The collection includes a set of trial lenses and trial frames, an ophthalmoscope and the wooden boxes used to transport them and The Fred Hollows Foundation promotional literature.

The Foundation’s founding Director and Fred’s wife, Gabi Hollows is happy more people will learn about the wonderful work Fred did while he was alive.

“On 10 February next year it will be 20 years since Fred lost his battle with cancer, so it is wonderful that the National Museum of Australia is putting together a collection of items that will give thousands of visitors an opportunity to learn more about Fred’s life and legacy,’ she said.

“Fred was never one for accolades, I know he would be incredibly proud and honoured that his story was going to be preserved in the National Museum, alongside other iconic Australians,” Gabi Hollows said.

Fred Hollows was born in 1929 in Dunedin, New Zealand.  After training in England and Wales he moved to Australia in 1965 to work at the University of New South Wales. In the late 1960s he treated Gurindji elders and political activists Vincent Lingiarri and Donald Nangiari for eye problems in Sydney and later travelled to their country at Wattie Creek in the Northern Territory.

Fred said that he saw more eye disease in 150 Gurundji people as he would have seen in 100,000 white Australians in the city.

Later, Fred developed treatment and training programs in Nepal, Eritrea and Vietnam, focussing on treating preventable blindness, especially cataract blindness.

Fred Hollows died in Sydney in 1993 at the age of 63. He is interred in Bourke, NSW where he worked in the early 1970s.

Since The Foundation was founded it has introduced modern cataract surgery around the world, helping change the lives of millions of people.

In the past five years alone, The Foundation and its partners have carried out nearly one million sight restoring operations and treatments – approximately one every 2.5 minutes.

Find out more about our achievements and our sight-saving work around the world.