Fred Hollows on the Fiver Campaign Gains Traction
4 February 2016 at 10:11 am
A campaign to have iconic Australian doctor and aid worker, Fred Hollows, featured on the $5 note has been supported by more than 20,000 people.
Celebrities have joined the Not for Profit founded by Hollows in calling on the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to remake the $5 with the opthamologist’s face on it.
The campaign has been launched to coincide with the 25 year anniversary of Hollow’s Australian of the Year award.
The Fred Hollows Foundation CEO, Brian Doolan, said that Fred Hollows left a lasting legacy that was still felt in Australia and around the world – with his Foundation restoring sight to more than two million people.
“Famously, during his lifetime, Fred asked Australians to donate $5 towards his work. Today, we want to mark the legacy of this great Australian by seeing him recognised on the five dollar note,” Doolan said.
The Fred Hollows Foundation is not asking for their founder’s face to replace that of Queen Elizabeth II, rather it would appear on the opposite side, which is currently occupied by a picture of Parliament House.
Doolan said he believed the time was right to add Hollows to the $5 note given that the RBA was working on a new generation of Australian banknotes, due to be released by next year..
The new banknotes will include a tactile feature to assist vision impaired people to differentiate between different denominations.
“What better time to recognise a champion of vision? Given the RBA has said it’s starting with the first two denominations, the $5 and $10 in the next two years, we think it’s an ideal time for them to consider this change,” Doolan said.
The campaign to get Hollows on the $5 note has similarities with a famous fundraising initiative that the man himself ran many years ago.
Hollows is remembered for organising labs that build intra-ocular lenses (IOLs) that cost $5. Before he did this, IOLs used to cost over $150. This placed the lenses out of reach for many in developing countries which often meant a life of blindness.
At the time Hollows developed the Give Fred a Fiver campaign to raise money and awareness for eye health.
A petition calling for Hollows to be added to the $5 note can be signed here.