The Fred Hollows Foundation
11 September 2023
Address to the House of Representatives
Bean Electorate: The Fred Hollows Foundation
Mr DAVID SMITH (Bean—Government Whip) (10:31): I recently met with Ian Wishart, CEO, and Oliver White, head of government relations, at The Fred Hollows Foundation. The foundation's mission, to end avoidable blindness, is being actualised in more than 25 countries, including Australia's own Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
In July I visited the foundation's groundbreaking clinic in the Solomon Islands, delivered in partnership with the Australian government. There I was profoundly moved by the 'patch off' moment, witnessing a patient see clearly for the first time post-surgery. This impactful visit reminded me that the remarkable generosity of my constituents in Bean is making a global difference. We have more than 5,000 donors here who have contributed a staggering $5.73 million to The Fred Hollows Foundation. This is more than financial support; it's a catalyst for transformative action. Just $25 can fund a life-changing eye surgery abroad, while here at home the foundation is making important strides in Indigenous eye health. Remarkably they've halved the rate of blindness among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults.
The donations from Bean constituents are tangible acts of compassion, funding surgeries, providing antibiotics and supporting community health workers. Together we're realising Fred Hollows's vision of a world without avoidable blindness. To those generous donors in Bean, thank you for your steadfast support. Let's continue to drive change and uphold human dignity.