Fred Hollows enters service on Sydney Harbour
A little bit of history was created on Sydney Harbour when the Fred Hollows became the first of six new Inner Harbour Ferries to enter service.
Starting his inaugural voyage at Circular Quay, the Fred Hollows carried around 200 passengers to the opening of the new ferry wharf at Barangaroo before continuing his journey across the inner harbour.
The vessel celebrates the life and career of the respected ophthalmologist, social justice activist and former Australian of the Year, who devoted his lift to making critical eye care available to communities in Australia and overseas.
He developed the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program in the 1970s, established factories in developing nations to produce affordable intraocular lenses and helped to train eye surgeons around the world.
This work is continued today through the work of The Fred Hollows Foundation.
The new Inner Harbour Ferries are deliberately similar in appearance to the First Fleet ferries, which are a popular feature on the harbour with Sydney siders and visitors.
Aside from its ‘new ferry smell’, customers would’ve noticed a number of differences, including an additional wide, walk-around on the upper level deck for improved viewing.
There is also Wi-Fi access, luggage and bicycle storage areas, real time journey information and charging stations for electronic devices.
Most importantly, the new ferries provide improved accessibility for people with disabilities with specially allocated places for wheelchairs inside the ferries and on the exterior deck.
The name was chosen by the public through the Name Your Ferry competition.
More than 15,000 suggestions were made and presented to a specially selected panel of Australian community leaders, which then selected 12 names from each of the three categories for the final public vote.
Over 60,000 votes were cast on the final list of names, with the Science, Environment and Innovation category receiving the most votes. The six most popular names within this category were then declared the winners.