The late Australian eye surgeon, Professor Fred Hollows is the face of a new $1 coin that was launched at Parliament House in Canberra recently.

Fred’s wife Gabi Hollows said Fred would have a quiet chuckle at being minted.

“We are honoured that The Mint approached us with this idea. It’s ironic to think that Fred’s face is now on a coin, given that he spent a fair bit of time asking people for money to fund his work in blindness prevention,” she said.

“Fred would probably tell everyone to buy the coin, but then donate it to The Foundation.”

The Fred Hollows coin, which is uncirculated and aimed at collectors, is part of the Royal Australian Mint’s Inspirational Australians series, commemorating unique individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution to society.

The series has also featured soon-to-be-sainted nun and teacher Mary MacKillop (2008), and wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin (2009).

The image on the Fred Hollows coin is based on a portrait by photographer George Fetting. The image shows Fred holding up an intraocular lens used on an Eritrean cataract patient.

A skilled ophthalmologist, Fred migrated from New Zealand in 1965 and immediately set about improving Indigenous health services. Hollows extended his reach internationally, performing eye surgery in developing countries and teaching local technicians to do the same. His name lives on in The Fred Hollows Foundation and in the vision of millions worldwide.

To purchase the Fred Hollows coin visit or phone 1300 652 020.