Gabi Hollows, one of Australia’s 100 Living National Treasures, has been a driving force behind The Fred Hollows Foundation since she helped establish it with her late husband Fred Hollows in 1992.
Gabi grew up on an orchard on the Central Coast of NSW. As a child she had her eyes operated on, and it lead to her dedicating her life to helping people with eye problems.
She first met Fred Hollows during her training as an orthoptist. In 1976 she joined the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program, initiated and led by Fred, which visited 465 remote Indigenous communities and treated Indigenous Australians for trachoma and other painful eye conditions.
Gabi and Fred married in 1980 and had five children.
In 1992, four years after Fred became sick with cancer, Fred and Gabi realised he didn’t have long to live. They got together with friends and set-up The Fred Hollows Foundation to continue his work.
Since Fred’s death on February 10, 1993, Gabi has continued to work tirelessly for The Foundation while caring for her family.
The children I met won’t turn away from a problem, or dismiss a challenge as too hard. As well as looking out for others, they want to make a difference and have become advocates for causes they believe in.
A 1998 World Health Assembly resolution targets trachoma for elimination as a public health problem by the year 2020. While this is ambitious, we are making headway, and we must continue to do more to eradicate this disease all over the world.
There is a gender gap present in almost every aspect of women's lives. Access to education, political representation, employment opportunities, wage disparity and even physical safety are areas where women across the world are frequently at a disadvantage.