Fred Hollows was named Australian of the Year for 1990. Two decades on, we thought we'd look back at what some people wrote about him at the time of receiving this great honour.
"Few recipients of the Australian of the Year award have capitalised on it as successfully as Fred Hollows, ophthalmologist, international aid campaigner, Third World health worker and good bloke personified."
- Carmel Dwyer, the Bulletin, Jan 7, 1992
"[Fred Hollows] is truly a great Australian - skilful, hard-working, selfless, caring and willing to stand up for the underprivileged, the poor and the forgotten. Professor Hollows, we applaud you."
- Editorial, Sunday Herald, Jan 27, 1991, p.30
"The fact that Professor Hollows used his talents to help Africans as well as Australians shows that his broad vision sees the human family as an entity not marred by petty divisions of race, colour, or country. Bravo, Fred!"
- Letter by John O'Callaghan, Strathfield, Sydney Morning Herald, 31 Jan, 1991
"As usual, Fred Hollows came straight to the point. 'Does it involve getting an intraocular lens factory built in Eritrea?' he asked, on hearing that he had been honoured as Australian of the Year. "If it does, it's good."
- Kirsty Cameron, The Australian, 26 Jan 1991
"The thing I would really like to be remembered for is for getting the means to manufacture the things necessary to restore sight surgically in the Third World."
- Fred Hollows quoted by Amanda Meade, Sydney Morning Herald, 26 Jan 1991
Some of Fred's awards in brief
Awarded the Human Rights Medal
Australian of the Year
Humanist of the Year
Appointed Companion, General Division of the Order of Australia (AC)
Named Eritrea's first honorary citizen
Received Rotary International's highest honour, the Rotary Award for World Understanding
Included in The Bulletin Magazine's list of '100 Most Influential Australians'