Hugh Evans is a young man who devotes himself to improving the lives of the underprivileged. Through his involvement with World Vision and as a beneficiary of a scholarship, he had the opportunity to spend time in the Philippines, India and South Africa doing humanitarian work. Evans has argued with world leaders, slept in rubbish dumps and had guns pointed at him while working to help people in underdeveloped countries.
Evans’ commitment to social justice was first demonstrated when, as a Year 7 student, he organised his school’s involvement in the 40-Hour Famine, and raised one of the largest sums of money of any participating school. In 2003, following his experience as a volunteer in a home for orphaned children with AIDS, Evans established the Oak Tree Foundation, Australia’s only development agency run and staffed by volunteers under 26 years of age. In its first year, the Foundation raised $100,000 and attracted over 300 volunteers.
After being named as Young Australian of the Year in 2004, Evans used that recognition to increase awareness among Australian school students about developing countries, visiting dozens of schools and recruiting many students as volunteers for the Oak Tree Foundation. He set a fundraising target of $500,000, which was to be achieved through the ‘Thousand Dinners of Hope Campaign’, organised by volunteers.
As further recognition of his inspirational work, Evans was named as one of 12 Outstanding Young Persons of the World for 2004. He was also central in establishing World Vision’s Youth Ambassador Program, which sponsors young Australians working in developing communities. In 2006 he became one of the key leaders behind the successful Make Poverty History campaign.
Evans is in constant demand as a guest speaker. He has completed a Science/Law degree at Melbourne’s Monash University.