Fred Hollows was born in 1929 on the South Island of New Zealand. He had three brothers: Colin, John and Maurice (Monty).
For the first seven years of his life, Fred lived with his family in Dunedin, where his father worked as a train driver for the railways and grew chrysanthemums in his garden for a hobby.
When the family later moved to Palmerston North, still on the South Island, he was enrolled in the North East Valley Primary School. At the age of thirteen, he graduated from primary school and attended Palmerston North Boys’ High School.
Dr Fred Hollows is well known in Australia and in many other countries for his work in eye health, particularly with remote and disadvantaged communities. ‘Aussie Heroes: Fred Hollows’ introduces the man as a child and follows his education and life from birth to death. But Fred Hollows, like so many others, was only able to do the work he did because of other passionate and caring people around him. So it is that the reader also meets Fred’s family and others he inspired. He was a practical man as well as a skilled one and developed programs that would provide services and products in many countries. His second wife continues the work of the foundation that bears his name.
‘Aussie Heroes: Fred Hollows’ is a new offering in the non fiction series from New Frontier Publishing. Other titles include ‘Weary Dunlop’ and ‘Dame Nellie Melba’. Each title looks at the life of a well known Australian, and their legacy. The series is pitched at primary-aged readers and includes a timeline and a list of contents. Chapters are short and colour illustrations are included throughout. ‘Aussie Heroes: Fred Hollows’ introduces the child, then the man who became a hero. By presenting the childhood that precedes the ‘heroism’, there’s a suggestion that anyone can become a hero. Recommended for mid-primary readers.
Aussie Heroes: Professor Fred Hollows , Hazel Edwards Pat Reynolds
New Frontier Publishing 2012
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author