In the early 1970’s Fred led an eye team which over a 3 year period, covered an astonishing 460 Aboriginal communities, examined 67,000 people, treated 27,000 cases of trachoma, and performed 1000 operations. His first clinic in Bourke was at the showground and during this time he formed a special attachment with the people of the district.
Pretty much everyone in Bourke had a story about the Sydney ophthalmologist. It was the larrikin in him they recalled most; how he might examine their eyes sitting in the gutter of the main street, how he swore at them, joked with them or shared a yarn with them. Fred Hollows left an impression in the west.
The kind of shrewd practicality native to the Australian bush became the stamp of Fred’s extensive overseas campaign to give sight to the blind. He determined to help the Nepalese, Eritreans and Vietnamese to produce their own artificial lenses and trained local ‘barefoot doctors’ to perform the cataract operations. An estimated 1 million people have received the gift of sight as a direct result.
For more information please contact the Back O' Bourke Information and Exhibition Centre
Kidman Way, Bourke NSW 2840
02 6872 1321