Closing the eye-health gap

Singer Christine Anu was in the city last month to raise funds to improve the eyesight of indigenous Australians.

Christine explained that Aboriginals were six times as likely to go blind as other Australians and 12 times more likely to develop cataracts.

She said she was right behind an initiative of Specsavers, which is donating $25 from the sale of each limited edition “Fred Hollows” frames.  The sunglasses are available in two different styles and feature artwork painted by Indigenous artist, Langaliki Langaliki.

Ms Anu said $25 was enough in some countries to fund sight-saving cataract surgery.

“It’s an avoidable problem that is sitting right here on our first-world doorstep,” she said.

She said the prevalent dust in remote communities was a major contributor to poor indigenous eyesight.  Her younger sister was eight years old before having her poor eyesight checked.

“There are no Specsavers in remote communities,” she said.

The inaugural Fred Hollows limited edition frame launched in 2014, used Langaliki’s artwork Nyinnga and sold out in record time, raising $62,500 for The Foundation’s Trachoma Elimination Program in the Northern Territory.

To date, Specsavers has raised more than $1.5 million for The Foundation through various initiatives, including the Specsavers

Community Program and hope to raise over $100,000 from the launch of the new Fred Hollows limited edition sunglasses.

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