This project is supported by the Australian subsidiary of L'OCCITANE en Provence.


Australia remains the only developed country in the world to still have poverty-related eye diseases, such as trachoma. the World Health Organization, the Fred hollows Foundation and their partners seek to eliminate trachoma globally within the next 5 years. It is important to note that when a person regains sight, it not only affects the individual, but also their family and community. They have found their independance and do not need to be cared for by caregivers such as family or community members. They are thus able to practice self-determination in access to health care, and are able to re-engage or maintain their participation in their quality of life. 


Supported Project

From 2023 to 2025, the Australian subsidiary of L'OCCITANE en Provence supports the Fred Hollows Foundation, in partnership with the Alice Springs Hospital, in a project that aims to establish the Alice Springs Eye Health Hub to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and cultural safety of eye health services in Central Australia. The Hub aims to enhance service coordination, patient access, and culturally safe eye care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in Central Australia by creating a semiautonomous eye unit within the public hospital, that has increased control and management over the planning and utilization of resources to deliver services throughout the region. As a part of this eye hub, an Aboriginal Liaison Officer (ALO) position will be a core team member, and will be critical to ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients feel safe and supported when accessing services.

The ALO based at the Alice Springs Hospital works closely with the outreach ophthalmology team, visiting communities and providing information about eye health services, hospital processes, clinical treatment procedures, and support for travel and post-operative care. The team at Alice Springs Hospital provides eye health services to an area the size of Western Europe (800,000 km2), and a population of over 50,000 people.

The role of the ALO is to provide cultural, emotional, social and language support to patients when accessing eye health services - recognising that Central Australia is home to 16 main Indigenous Australian language groups and over 20 different dialects. For many Aboriginal people in the region, English is a second or third language. The ALO's assistance in language and translation is integral to ensure that patients have a strong understanding of their own health and can provide free, prior informed consent for surgical treatment. By offering holistic support and guidance, the ALO helps alleviate fears and concerns that community members may have about attending appointments with the ophthalmologist and the eye health team. The ALO's presence ensures that patients feel more comfortable and are more likely to attend their appointments, despite the potentially intimidating nature of eye procedures and the costs and challenges associated with traveling to Alice Springs.

Additionally, the ALO serves as a cultural broker, addressing negative experiences that patients may have had in hospital settings, such as having to leave their country for extended periods or encountering instances of institutional racism. The historical contexts and generational trauma, particularly prevalent in Central Australia, have contributed to a deep-rooted distrust in government and mainstream institutions. The ALO's understanding and acknowledgment of these issues are crucial in fostering trust and bridging the gap between patients and healthcare providers. By combining language support, translation services, community connection, and cultural brokerage, the ALO plays a multifaceted role in ensuring culturally safe and responsive eye health care. By building a strong and culturally competent workforce, the Alice Springs Eye Health Hub initiative aims to bridge the gap in eye health outcomes and provide equitable access to eye care services in Central Australia.

Some Figures

Budget 30,604 euros

Goal 990 beneficiaries

Historic of the partnership

In 2021-2022, L'OCCITANE Australia and the Foundation have partnered with The Fred Hollows Foundation  to support its project aimed at ensuring affordable access to quality eye care, benefiting 470 beneficiaries. For more information, see here.

In 2022-2023, L'OCCITANE Australia supports the project of the Fred Hollows Foundation  to support its project aimed at ensuring affordable access to quality eye care, benefiting 239 beneficiaries. For more information, see here.

L'OCCITANE en Provence has been the partner of the Fred Hollows Foundation for a long time. To know more about the history of the partnership, click here.