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Fred Hollows (1929-1993) was a passionate ophthalmologist who became known for his work helping restore the eyesight of countless thousands of people in developing countries and his passionate plight to improve indigenous health here in Australia.

Fred came from a working class family, who instilled a sense of justice in him from the early days. Fred's family lived in Dunedin for the first seven years of his life. While there, he attended one year of formal primary schooling at North East Valley Primary School before moving to Palmerston North Boys' High School when he was 13. At school he joined several clubs and played Trumpet in the band.

Fred initially attended Bible College in Dunedin, dabbling with the idea of joining the clergy. After a short time in a seminary, Fred discovered he wasn't cut out to be a clergyman. Instead, he enrolled at medical school at Otago University in New Zealand, where he decided to become an 'eye doctor' - a trade he described as "good work".

Fred first visited isolated New South Wales towns and stations and Aboriginal communities in Australia in the 1960s and was shocked by the deplorable standards of eye health.He became especially concerned with the high number of Aborigines who had eye defects, particularly trachoma.

In the 1970s Fred began his work with Aboriginal communities in Australia. He helped establish the Aboriginal Medical Service in Redfern, Sydney, in 1971 and was instrumental in the establishment of other Aboriginal Medical Services throughout Australia.

A trip to war-torn Eritrea in 1985 had a huge impact on Fred, sending him on a path that would lead to the establishment of The Fred Hollows Foundation and unprecedented advancements in cataract surgery in the developing world.

In 1992, Fred and Gabi Hollows decided to set up The Fred Hollows Foundation to continue Fred's work. Despite having been diagnosed with cancer in 1988 and knowing he didn't have much longer to live, Fred started raising money to build an intraocular lens (IOL) factory in Eritrea, so IOLs could become more accessible to people who were cataract blind.

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โˆ™ 2010-07-18 03:45:29
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Q: Who influenced Fred Hollows to do what he did?
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