• Maureen Robertson and Fiona Elms

    Maureen Robertson and Fiona Elms

  • Mark Fraser and Karen Gassner

    Mark Fraser and Karen Gassner

  • Koula Notaras and her son Harry Notaras

    Koula Notaras and her son Harry Notaras

  • Judy Ingle, Chris Bright, Gabi Hollows and Harkeet Sandhu

    Judy Ingle, Chris Bright, Gabi Hollows and Harkeet Sandhu

  • John Bradley and Kathy Tymms

    John Bradley and Kathy Tymms

  • Jan and Richard Johnston

    Jan and Richard Johnston

  • Gai Jones and Phil Freeman, Gabi Hollows, Diane Hughes and Mohammed Ali

    Gai Jones and Phil Freeman, Gabi Hollows, Diane Hughes and Mohammed Ali

  • Frank and Sue Owen

    Frank and Sue Owen

  • The Stilettos, Janie Lawson, Sally Jackson and Tina Neir

    The Stilettos, Janie Lawson, Sally Jackson and Tina Neir

  • On the viewing platform at Anzac Hall.

    On the viewing platform at Anzac Hall.

  • Eichard Umphelby, Helen Stone, Greg Polson, Susie Umphelby and Carole Polson

    Eichard Umphelby, Helen Stone, Greg Polson, Susie Umphelby and Carole Polson

  • Maurice Stellati and Brigitte Tabuteau with Gabi Hollows

    Maurice Stellati and Brigitte Tabuteau with Gabi Hollows

  • Brian and Anne Nolan

    Brian and Anne Nolan

  • Vanessa Gillespie and Paul Hagon with Debbie Notaras

    Vanessa Gillespie and Paul Hagon with Debbie Notaras

Friends of Fred Hollows Fundraising Dinner

19 February 2015

Anzac Hall at the Australian War Memorial is at night dark and imposing. The lighting set to invoke a feeling of doom and gloom especially under the bits of Japanese submarines in the Naval section that have a watery movement that sends you looking for something to hang on to but the whole presentation aspect of the space is quite impressive. For dinners and significant events it is unique but would be nicer if someone turned the lights on. It is so dark that photos make people look like they’ve been caught in the headlights! For the Friends of Fred Hollows fundraising dinner this hall had a tenuous link to the core of this wonderful organisation.

The Fred Hollows story is one to make us proud. He was an ophthalmologist who made a difference on an international scale that is a continuing legacy to this man of vision whose Foundation has restored vision to millions.

And sitting under the imposing G for George Bomber in the Anzac Hall exhibition space it was but a blink away from the perspex of the nose turret gunners space that gave researchers a beginning for the development of the intraocular lenses that are now manufactured in Nepal, Vietnam and Eritrea. Who’d have thought perspex would be the magic material to give sight to those millions who don’t need to be blind.

The perspex fragments in the eyes of injured gunners were not rejected by their bodies and the ‘how’ of that research and development was just part of Gabi Hollows address to the 250 guests at the Friends of Fred Hollows fundraising dinner enjoying this opportunity to update on the Foundation’s continuing work and the myriads of good news stories the 6 million lenses – thus far – have engendered. She is the most delightful lady, her commitment to the organisation a whole of family endeavour including the international family which keeps Fred’s work going. Canberra president Chris Blight diplomatically stepping in to give Gabi a breather even though she could and would happily continue, but there were raffles, auctions and entertainment to enjoy.

Judy Ingle, Canberra’s most dedicated stalwart of the organisation, has been to Vietnam to see the production of the lenses in the brand spanking new facility in Da Nang and loves to tell of the Nepalese elders carried for days by families to the Foundation’s facilities.

Something simple, so profoundly beneficial.