GABI HOLLOWS AWARDED HONORARY DOCTORATE
4 April 2012
Gabi Hollows received an honorary doctorate from the University of Sydney in recognition of her tireless work in the field of blindness prevention on Friday, 30 March.
It was a special day for the Hollows family, with Gabi receiving the Doctor of Health Science at a ceremony also attended by her daughter Anna Louise, who graduated with a Master of Nursing.
"It was such a proud moment for me to be graduating alongside one of my children in front of all our family and friends," commented Gabi.
Gabi graduated with a Diploma in Orthoptics from the NSW School of Orthoptics (later the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney) in 1973 and was awarded the University of Sydney Health Sciences Alumni Award for Community Achievement last year.
Gabi Hollows has been a driving force behind The Fred Hollows Foundation since she helped set it up in 1992. She is the public face of The Foundation, a founding director, and patron of The Fred Hollows Foundation Miracle Club.
Gabi has overseen the manufacture of three million intraocular lenses and the training of hundreds of eye doctors. Her work, and that of the Foundation, has contributed immeasurably to the restoration of sight for millions and with it, the opportunity for these people to lead productive, dignified lives. The Foundation carries out successful eye programs in the Northern Territory, and initiatives designed to close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. With Gabi's support the foundation has pioneered modern techniques of cataract surgery and operates in over 30 countries worldwide, with new programs launched in places such as North Korea, Rwanda, Lao PDR and Burundi. The Foundation works with partners to develop new technology for the developing world, delivering innovative solutions through specifically designed lathes, lasers and microscopes.
Gabi has also been recognised for her work through an Advance Australia Award for Community Service and a Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International. She has been named one of Australia's 100 Living National Treasures and in 2003 was awarded a Centenary Medal by the Australian Government.
"Gabi Hollows continues to play an influential role in treating avoidable blindness both here and abroad, as well as in improving Indigenous health through her work with the Fred Hollows Foundation," said Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.
"She has made a remarkable contribution to the welfare of our society and we are delighted to take this opportunity to recognise her exemplary efforts."