Around 32,000 Indigenous adults could go blind within the next decade due to treatable eye conditions. Singer and actress, Christine Anu has joined forces with the Fred Hollows Foundation and Specsavers to raise funds and help save sight in Indigenous communities.
By
NITV News, Tara Callinan

30 Sep 2015 - 5:29 PM  UPDATED 1 Oct 2015 - 11:42 AM
TRANSCRIPT

Natalie Ahmat: It's a shocking statistic: 32,000 Indigenous adults could go blind within the next decade due to treatable eye conditions.

Now multi-award winning artist and actress, Christine Anu is using her voice, to help save people's sight.

She has joined forces with The Fred Hollows Foundation and Specsavers to launch the Langaliki Project; an initiative raising funds to close the widening health gap in our communities.

Tara Callinan has more.

Tara Callinan: Christine Anu knows all too well about the harsh reality of poor eye health in First Nations peoples. It struck frighteningly close to home, hitting her nearest and dearest.

Christine Anu, Langaliki Project Ambassador: Diabetes is prevalent in my family and along with that comes a lot of vision and eye health problems as well and my mum was suffering with cataracts and she just thought she was going blind but I took her to the doctor and she had treatment done and now she sees perfectly.

"Sight restoring cataract surgery performed by The Fred Hollows foundation can cost as little as $25 in some countries."

Gabi Hollows, Founding Director of the Fred Hollows Foundation: And to be able to get Aboriginal people to have a regular check-up is a really important thing because if you don't control your diabetes you can go blind.

Tara Callinan: Sight restoring cataract surgery performed by The Fred Hollows foundation can cost as little as $25 in some countries.

Thats why $25 from the sale of these limited edition sunglasses will be donated to the Fred Hollows foundation which is hoping to give $100,000 to Indigenous communities.

Gabi Hollows: It is the people in those communities that will decide what the funds are put towards.

"It's up there with treating your blood cholesterol and your kidneys and your liver, because without your eyes, your world closes in."

Christine Anu: The $25 should be for raising awareness for what people don't know about eye health because people don't know this but it's really got to do with your hygiene and how clean your hands are when you go to wipe your face and children weren't taught this when I was growing up.

Tara Callinan:  Last year, the Fred Hollows foundation spent $62,000 on a Trachoma Elimination Program in the Top End. But Christine hopes this years focus will be on prevention and education.

Christine Anu: It's up there with treating your blood cholesterol and your kidneys and your liver, because without your eyes, your world closes in.

Tara Callinan, NITV News.