Since 2005, travelers like you have helped us change the world through micro-donations.

  1. A total of

  2. donated
    (100% funded)

  3. to help improve

  4. impacting

  5. in

Project background

For decades, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Lander people have experienced low health outcomes than non-indigenous Australians. Today, there’s still a ten-year gap in life expectancy. Poor eye health and a lack of easy access to services play a part in this. 

Professor Fred Hollows had a fierce determination to improve the eye health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. This mission lives on in The Foundation and much of the work we do. 

In 1980 Indigenous Australians were 10 times more likely to be blind than other Australians. Since then, the gap has been significantly reduced, yet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are still 3 times more likely to be blind than other Australians.

Our challenge, and opportunity, is to close the gap. 

Our program in Australia makes a strong contribution to eye health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Last year, our work contributed to 60% of the eye exams delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and 1 in 4 cataract surgeries. 

Our work is having a real impact, but we must scale up to see a long term improvement. 

Project overview

The Fred Hollows Foundation is determined to deliver Fred Hollows’ vision of preventing blindness and restoring sight. By working with our partners and their communities, we ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can exercise their right to sight, good health and self-determination. 

Over the next five years, The Foundation will focus its work on tackling significant eye health issues for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We will: 

  • Deliver vital surgeries, screenings and medical treatment for cataract, diabetic retinopathy and refractive error;
  • Eliminate trachoma in Australia by preventing the spread of the infection and improving housing and sanitation facilities in communities at risk; 
  • Coordinate and improve outreach medical services for patients in remote communities; and
  • Provide training and employment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health staff, and cultural competency training for non-Indigenous health care workers. 

What's covered in project cost

The Fred Hollows Foundation is making its biggest ever investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health. We have launched an ambitious plan to end avoidable blindness to close the gap.

Your generous donation of $20,000 will support the following activities: 

  • Tackle the cataract backlog – cataract is the leading cause of blindness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults. Currently, eye surgery services are not meeting the needs of people living in regional and remote areas. Aboriginal people face longer wait times and other barriers to treatment. Your support will help us provide urgently new services to clear the cataract backlog and improve wait times. 
  • Train doctors and eye health workers – there is a critical shortage of eye health workers in remote and regional Australia, and many doctors lack the knowledge, experience and skills to deliver culturally appropriate care. Your support will strengthen cultural awareness training for eye health professionals and provide internships and clinical placements in rural and remote areas. 
  • Eliminate trachoma – trachoma is a contagious infection that leads to permanent and irreversible blindness if left untreated. Australia is the only developed country where trachoma exists. With your help, we will work with local partners and remote communities to address the causes of trachoma and monitor and prevent it from re-occurring. 
  • Regional eye health infrastructure – to meet the eye health needs in regional and remote Australia, The Foundation will develop a network of ‘Regional Eye Hubs’ to deliver a mix of services and training for communities in need. 

Partners and community involvement

The Fred Hollows Foundation works in partnership with like-minded organisations and health providers to ensure the largest possible reach and impact of our sight restoring work. In Australia, we work with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services because we believe Aboriginal organisations are best placed to provide eye care appropriate to local people. 

Part of a larger strategy

The Fred Hollows Foundation’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan sets out the impact we aspire to have and how we will deliver that impact. This strategy sets ambitious targets against our disease priorities, including closing the gap in avoidable blindness among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. You can read more about our five-year strategy here: 

Traveling soon? When you buy travel insurance with us, you can make a contribution towards a cause you care about.

Get a quote