Making poverty history 


Young Australian of the Year Hugh Evans will visit the Charles Darwin University on Friday as part of his campaign to help eradicate world poverty.

Mr Evans will speak about his international work in humanitarian aid projects in a lecture on the Casuarina campus organised by Social Work and Welfare Studies.

Recognised for his humanitarian work, which began at the age of 12, the 24-year-old was Young Australian of the Year in 2004.

He is the co-founder of The Oaktree Foundation, Australia’s first youth-run international aid organisation.

His commitment to aid work began as a 12-year-old when he began fund-raising for World Vision’s 40-Hour Famine appeal.

At the age of 14 he went on a World Vision-sponsored trip to the Philippines, where his experiences at first-hand of the poverty in developing nations led him to establish The Oaktree Foundation for young people.

The Foundation has about 7500 members across Australia – with branches in every State except the Northern Territory.

‘Our vision is to provide opportunities for people in developing countries,’ he says.

‘One of the reasons I am coming to Darwin is because university students there have expressed an interest in founding a branch of Oaktree.’

His CDU lecture will explain the origins of the Foundation, and its current project Make Poverty History, a follow-up from rock singer Bono’s campaign last year to urge the Federal Government to commit more money to foreign aid.

Mr Evans will also explain Oaktree’s new campaign Zeroseven, which will see volunteers fanning out across the country from July 1 to raise awareness of the need for international aid.

The campaign title comes from the goal of persuading the Federal Government to commit 0.7 per cent of the country’s total wealth to its foreign aid budget by 2015.

Entry to the lecture at noon on Friday, April 16, is free (Building 24, Room 01).

Mr Evans is currently completing his degree in law and science at Monash University.