On 7 September, at New South Wales Parliament House, 97 young people were honoured with the Fred Hollows Humanity Award.

The award was held in New South Wales for the first time and recognises Year 6 students who follow in Fred Hollows’ footsteps by showing care and compassion for others.

“The response to the award has been incredible with children from 77 schools across the state nominated. More than 80 award recipients attended the ceremony today, travelling from as far away as Menindee,” Founding Director, Gabi Hollows said.

“It was wonderful to meet so many young people making a positive difference in their communities.”

“The ideas and endless energy that young people encompass continue to inspire me. Fred would have been incredibly proud that The Foundation has inspired young students to dream big and help others.”

Premier of NSW Mike Baird presented the awards and said: “The future of NSW and Australia are in great hands when you consider the incredible qualities of the young people nominated for the Fred Hollows Humanity Award.

“Their parents and schools can be justifiably proud of the work they do in the community and I was honoured to meet them and to present them with their Awards.”

Nominations received were diverse and inspiring with students showing their humanity in many different ways. A number of young people stood out with seven receiving a special mention and Keats Mackay from Ryde East Public School being named the NSW Junior Ambassador.

Keats Mackay was nominated by his school’s Assistant Principal, Debbie Wilson who gave a number of examples of his caring, compassionate nature.

Keats has been involved with Oz Harvest, packing and delivering food to elderly residents and assists the residents with other tasks on a regular basis. He collected clothes and sleeping bags for medical professionals heading to Nepal after the earthquakes. He bought flowers for Amnesty’s 'Keep Hope Alive’ and helped build a sculpture at Milsons Point.

Thanks to sponsor Thomas Sabo Sterling Silver, Keats will extend his humanity by allocating $2500 to one of The Fred Hollows Foundation’s programs to end avoidable blindness.