Westpac has launched a $100 million Bicentennial Foundation that draws its inspiration from the life and work of Fred Hollows.

The bank will use the money to fund a series of scholarships each year for Australians from all walks of life, as well as its best and brightest.

Gabi Hollows, the Founding Director of The Fred Hollows Foundation, says she’s very proud Fred’s life has been chosen to inspire Australia’s next generation of leaders.

“His life is testament to the fact that with the right support Australians with big ideas can really change our country for the better.”

“In so many ways, Fred helped shape this country’s dedication to helping others – both in our own backyard and around the globe.”

“I really hope that the scholarships offered through Westpac’s Bicentennial Foundation give a whole new generation of leaders the leg up they need to shape Australia – just like Fred did.”

Gabi Hollows says the bank was very supportive when she and Fred established The Foundation in 1992. 

“We were grateful for the help Westpac gave us in those early days through donations of equipment and a true generosity of spirit, opening their doors – literally – to help us fundraise.”

One of those campaigns involved collecting donations to help build intraocular lens (IOL) factories to reduce the price of cataract surgery in some of the world’s poorest countries.

As Fred told The Daily Telegraph Mirror in September, 1992: “For just $5 we can cure a case of cataract blindness … do a whip around among your family, friends and fellow workers… Then take the money to any Westpac branch and tell them it’s for Fred. “ 

One hundred scholarships will be awarded each year in perpetuity.

Westpac will celebrate its bicentenary in 2017.