NACCHO Aboriginal #EyeHealth : @FredHollows Foundation launches new Five Year Country strategy investing at least $40 million to close the eye health gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

While we have made significant progress over the last decade, we still have much more to do to achieve full eye health equity.

Fred was passionate about partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and involving them in health programs that affected them.

This is a huge focus for us over the next five years, to empower Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services by giving them the support and tools they need to provide their own quality eye health services.

Last year, The Fred Hollows Foundation contributed to more than 1,000 cataract surgeries for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and doubled the number of cataract surgeries in the Katherine region of the Northern Territory.

We thank the Australian Government and our partners for supporting our work and we ask that they join in our efforts to close the gap on eye health for good.”

Launching the strategy on The Foundation’s 27th Anniversary, Indigenous Australia Program Manager Shaun Tatipata pictured above said Australia’s First Peoples are three times more likely to go blind than other Australians and 12 times more likely to have cataract, the world’s leading cause of blindness

The launch was held at the Aboriginal Medical Service in Sydney’s Redfern, to which Fred donated resources when it was first established.

Read over 50 Aboriginal Eye Health articles published by NACCHO over past 7 years

See the Indigenous Australia Program Five Year Country Strategy here: Or Download


The Fred Hollows Foundation pledges its biggest ever investment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health

The Fred Hollows Foundation today committed its biggest ever investment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health with the launch of its new Indigenous Australia Program Five Year Country Strategy.

The strategy will see The Foundation invest at least $40 million over the next five years to closing the eye health gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Dignitaries present included Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney and Gabi Hollows AO, Founding Director of The Foundation.

The Foundation’s CEO Ian Wishart said Fred’s pioneering spirit was very much alive in the new Country Strategy, which seeks to identify and test better ways to address challenges.

“Empowerment is at the heart of what we do, and today is about empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples by giving their eye health an ambitious way forward,” Mr Wishart said.

See the Indigenous Australia Program Five Year Country Strategy here: [link]

For more resources, including The Foundation’s Spring Appeal video featuring Sally from Katherine, see:

Highlights of the new Indigenous Australia Program Five Year Country Strategy:

The Fred Hollows Foundation’s new Indigenous Australia Program Five Year Country Strategy is underpinned by five goals and five objectives.

Our initiatives align with the Strong Eyes, Strong Communities plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health, developed by members of Vision 2020 Australia.


  • Goal 1: Effective cataract treatment is accessible to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
  • Goal 2: Trachoma, the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness, is eliminated from Australia.
  • Goal 3: Effective refractive error prevention and treatment is accessible to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
  • Goal 4: Effective and timely treatment for diabetic retinopathy and other eye conditions is accessible to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.


  • Strengthen regional eye health services.
  • Train and strengthen the eye health workforce.
  • Strengthen eye care in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.
  • Finally eliminate trachoma.
  • Ensure governments adopt The Strong Eyes, Strong communities

Extra Resources and Save a date Webinar from Healthinfonet

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, in collaboration with The Fred Hollows Foundation, has launched a series of knowledge exchange tools about eye screening and care.

These new resources provide a broad overview of the screening services available for eye health and outline the roles of various professionals such as regional eye health coordinators, optometrists and ophthalmologists.

Each product has been designed as a useful tool for health workers and practitioners working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to assist in understanding the eye care journey.

This series of knowledge exchange products includes:

  • fact sheet for a comprehensive summary of eye screening and care (four pages)
  • an in brief fact sheet for quick, easy-to-digest bites of information (one page)
  • a short animated video offering educational information in an audio-visual format.

To complement the release of these eye health resources, the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet and The Fred Hollows Foundation will host a webinar featuring a special guest presenter Dr. Kristopher Rallah-Baker, Australia’s first Indigenous ophthalmologist.

The webinar, titled ‘Eye screening and care: treatment pathways and professional roles along that pathway’, will take place on at 12:00pm AEST on Wednesday 25 September 2019 and will include a Q & A session with Dr Rallah-Baker.

Participants are invited to register their interest prior to the event with the webinar organiser

Webinar Organiser
Tamara Swann
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
Ph: (08) 6304 6158

Reminder Nominations Close 15 September: The Inaugural Fred Hollows Foundation Award

Healthy Futures Summit 2014 (Screen JPEGs) (135)

Reminder Nominations Close 15 September: The Inaugural Fred Hollows Foundation Award
– Recognising Commitment to End Avoidable Blindness

Win A DRS Camera valued at $16,000

Are you an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation providing eye health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities?

You could win a CentreVue Digital Retinography System – known as a DRS Camera – valued at $16,000 for your service. Onsite training on the installation, maintenance and use of the DRS camera will also be provided as part of the prize.

But hurry nominations close 15 September. Download the brochure for more information on how to enter.

Although Professor Fred Hollows died more than 20 years ago, his fierce determination and commitment to improving the eye health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people lives on through The Fred Hollows Foundation. The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Indigenous Australia Program works with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHO) and other eye health stakeholders to improve the eye health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote and underserviced communities in Australia. The Foundation is launching its Inaugural Eye Health Award to recognise the significant contribution of an ACCHO to improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s eye health.

NACCHO nutrition alert: Menzies and the Fred Hollows Foundation – Improving nutrition in remote communities

Talking about shelf labels

A new resource package focused on improving nutrition in remote stores in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will help to address the poor state of diets in remote Indigenous populations


With support from The Fred Hollows Foundation, the Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) has developed a Talking about Shelf Labels flipchart and a comprehensive resource manual as part of its Remote Stores Project.

Dietary improvement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians is a priority for reducing the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Poor quality diets are a significant risk factor for three of the major causes of premature death – cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Research Fellow with Menzies’ Nutrition Research Team, Dr Susan Colles said a number of remote communities have previously used shelf labels to highlight healthier food and drink choices to help promote good nutrition in remote community stores.

“But there’s been limited support available, for instance there were no tools for developing, implementing, maintaining and evaluating effective shelf label projects,” Dr Colles said.

The Remote Stores Project worked with four communities across Arnhem Land, Cape York, Central Australia and The Torres Straits, to gather information on what sort of shelf label systems currently existed, which were effective and accepted in communities, what sort of tools were necessary and how to work with local people to develop culturally appropriate shelf label projects.

“In each site we collaborated with local people together with store staff, health professionals and other stakeholders to develop and implement shelf label projects and other activities for their stores,” Dr Colles said.

“The findings from this process were used to form a resource package which will assist health and nutrition staff to work with store staff and communities to develop and evaluate a program based on putting better labelling or “shelf talkers” in community stores,” Dr Colles said.

The resource will benefit Indigenous families, remote nutritionists, remote area store staff and health professionals working in communities.

The ‘Talking about Shelf Labels’ resource package can be used when:

· Talking with community leaders, members and stakeholders about shelf labels to help people decide whether they want a shelf label in their store

· Talking about what people might want or expect from a shelf label program

· Helping people decide what their shelf labels might say or look like, and how to provide clear health messages

· Looking for practical training ideas, and for building effective systems for monitoring and maintaining shelf labels

Dr Colles said the resource package also focuses on the promotion of strong partnerships with community store staff. She hopes that people working in remote nutrition and food supply will access the tools andwork in conjunction with communities to promote healthy food choices.

The Remote Stores Project was funded through The Fred Hollows Foundation. Menzies would like to thank all communities, store organisations and stakeholder organisations that participated in this study.

A small number of hard copies of the ‘Talking about shelf labels’ flipchart are available by contacting Karen Black on Ph: 08 8922 6541

The resource manual is available upon request contact: Richmond Hodgson (Media contact) on 08 8922 8438 or 0408 128 099

Background: Menzies School of Health Research are Australia’s only Medical Research Institute dedicated to improving Indigenous health and wellbeing. We have a 27-year history of scientific discovery and public health achievement. Menzies work at the frontline and collaborate broadly, partnering with over 60 Indigenous communities across Northern Australia to create resources, grow local skills, and find enduring solutions to problems that matter.