Dunedin, New Zealand
9 April 1929 – 10 February 1993
Fred Hollows was born in New Zealand where he studied medicine. He completed his education in Britain as an ophthalmologist and then moved to Australia. Starting in 1965, he headed up the ophthalmology department at the University of New South Wales, which meant he also supervised the teaching at two hospitals. He stayed in that position for twenty-seven years.
In his early forties, Hollows began working with the indigenous people of Australia in the Northern Territory. His work with the Gurindji began what became a life mission. It quickly became apparent to Hollows that there was a much higher incidence of preventable eye problems in the communities he was visiting. He set up numerous organizations to aid in fixing this deficiency. In all, he spent three years visiting Aboriginal people around Australia inspecting over 60,000 people.
In the mid-1980s he traveled to Eritrea, Nepal, and Vietnam to repeat his work in Australia. He established clinics, training centres, and lens production factories to make sure good vision was available to everyone. Shortly before his death in 1993 of cancer, Hollows founded the Fred Hollows Foundation to make sure his work would continue without him.