Between 2008 and 2013 the Royal Australian Mint produced a series
of one dollar coins that commemorated the contributions made by a number of inspirational Australians. This piece celebrates
the life of ophthalmologist Fred Hollows. The reverse was designed by
Vladimir Gottwald and features his impression of a photograph taken of Hollows holding an intraocular lens. The
states "INSPIRATIONAL AUSTRALIANS: HEALTH CARE" and "FRED HOLLOWS 1929 - 1993". The
obverse houses the standard Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
Born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1929 Fred Hollows studied medicine at the University of New Zealand (Otago). Hollows went
on to specialise in ophthalmology (specialist in the anatomy, physiology, and disease of the eye). After studying for some
time in London Hollows came to Australia where he served as an A/Prof of Medicine. While in Australia Hollows became heavily
involved in reducing the rates of curable eye diseases among the aboriginal population and came to recognise that poverty
often drove poor eye health. In 1985 he expanded his work to Nepal, Eritrea, and Vietnam and began working to help these
countries manufacture intra-ocular lenses to avoid the prohibitory prices charged by western manufacturers. The Fred Hollows
foundation was created to allow his work to grow even after his death in 1993.
(Peter Baume, 2017)
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