Fred Hollows

by Nicola from Outram, New Zealand

"I believe that the basic human attribute of mankind is to look after each other".

My Hero is Fred Hollows. He was a very famous eye surgeon. He went around the world and did free eye operations for poor kids and orphans who couldn't afford treatment and were going to go blind if they didn't get eye operations. He was especially famous in Australia because his foundation called 'The Fred Hollows Foundation' is mainly based there. It also has a base in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Fred lived in Sydney when he first became a doctor and worked in a hospital in Sydney. Before long he decided to specialize in eye surgery. Five years later he was head of the eye surgery department in a Sydney Hospital.

Fred always believed it was a duty to help people in the public because he was so caring. He thought why waste your talent and skill if you can use it to help people and save their life? When he got as high up as he could in the eye surgeon department, he did some research and found out that almost every aborigine in the Australian outback had eye diseases. The problems could be easily avoided and the only reason the problem occurred was because of dirty conditions and environments. In the 1970's he helped launch a program to stop aborigines getting eye diseases. Many people volunteered to help with the program. Fred and a team of doctors traveled the Australian Outback. In 3 years time he had treated 30,000 people, he had performed 1,000 operations and he had prescribed over 10,000 pairs of glasses.

Fred & Gabi Hollows (
Fred & Gabi Hollows (

Fred Hollows was born in Dunedin, New Zealand on the 9th April 1929. He died in 1993. In 1989 Fred found out he was dying of cancer so instead of having a miserable time with the time he had left he thought of himself as a lucky person to have such a great life helping others. Then he died in 1993. Gabi Hollows (Fred's wife) and their five kids gathered together to say goodbye to their father.

Fred Hollows has a very big impact on my life because of what he has done. In the Australian Outback there are some very unfortunate people. If they had gone blind it would make their lives even harder. There are a lot of people out there that have great lives and never have tough times like the aborigines with eye problems. This has made me think a lot about what is important in life. He is a great role model to me and when I get older I want to follow in his footsteps by helping people, no matter where they are in the world. I know I'm not the only one in the world that Fred has made an impact on their life.

Fred performing operation. (
Fred performing operation. (

Now even though Fred Hollows is dead 'The Fred Hollows Foundation' is still going strong and helping people all around the world. Because of the attitude Fred had towards his work, people have taken over his responsibility. Fred made eight huge achievements over his life and truly worked for them over his whole lifetime. They have websites where you can donate money and to find out more information and see photos of Fred and his work (

Page created on 8/28/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 1/6/2017 4:48:12 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

The Fred Hollows Foundation International - Information on the organisation of The Fred Hollows Foundation
Fred Hollows in Australia - Facts about Fred and stories about his work in Australia