Hugh Evans is one of the first of a new breed of young leaders with an enviable reputation as an international humanitarian.
He began his humanitarian work when at just 14 years old he traveled to the Philippines as an ambassador for World Vision.
Sleeping in the slums of the Manila ignited Hugh's passion for helping to serve the world's poor, a passion he felt all the more forcibly the following year while studying in India. The abject poverty he was exposed to strengthened Hugh's resolve to make a difference to those struggling for survival in the developing world.
After completing high school in 2001, Hugh deferred University becoming World Vision's inaugural Youth Ambassador travelling to South Africa. On the ground, Hugh implemented building projects while caring for a number of orphaned children affected by aids.
Returning to Australia, Hugh become founder and director of the Oaktree Foundation. It remains Australia's first youth run aid organisation with a mission to empower young people in the developing world through education in a way that is sustainable.
Hugh set up the first Oaktree project in South Africa's Kwa-Zulu-Natal province: a community resource centre that now provides more than a thousand people with the opportunity to receive education for the first time in their lives.
In Ghana, West Africa, Hugh helped develop a project focussing on releasing young women from slavery and providing them with educational opportunities in partnership with International Needs.
Since 2003 development projects funded by Oaktree have also been established in The Philippines, Papua New Guinea, India and East Timor, providing educational opportunities to more than 40,000 young people.
When the Boxing Day tsunami struck in 2004, Hugh quickly travelled to the epicentre in Banda Aech. Together with other NGO's Hugh helped co-ordinate an emergency relief operation.
He returned and soon became one of the key leaders behind the successful Make Poverty History campaign. Hugh led a team around the country throwing the spotlight on the importance of Australia boosting its foreign aid commitment to 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income - in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals of ending extreme poverty by 2015.
The campaign included illuminating the sails of Sydney's famous Opera House for several days with faces of poverty. Hugh and close friend Dan Adams ran the Make Poverty History concert involving major Australian artists as well as U2 frontman, Bono.
The Rudd Government has formally acknowledged Hugh's contribution and the impact the campaign had by giving them the confidence that the Australian electorate would accept significantly boosting Australia's foreign aid commitment, in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Hugh has received many other accolades and awards including the 2004 Young Australian of the Year, the 2005 Junior Chamber Young Person of the World Award; and the 2006 'Free Your Mind' Award (a title he shares with Burmese human rights activist Ang San SuShi).
Hugh chalked up these achievements while undertaking a Science/Law degree at Melbourne's Monash University, which he completed with First Class Honours.
In 2008 Hugh stepped down from Oaktree and was soon charged with the responsibility of becoming the Co-Chair of the inaugural Youth 2020 Summit in Canberra.
He is the recipient of the Sir John Monash Award and scholarship from the British Council allowing him to read a Masters of International Relations at Cambridge in the United Kingdom, which he is currently undertaking.
He is an exceptional public speaker, at once inspirational and enormously credible.
Client Comments for Hugh Evans
- Hugh was very topical given his connection with Make Poverty History concert which occurred 4 days after our event. He was passionate and spoke a real issue. He was exactly what I wanted in his presentation.
Geelong Grammar School
- He was engaging and the audience loved his authentic and heartfelt approach.
- Hugh deeply impacted our students. He gave a wonderful and articulate presentation. The media he used to illustrate his talk was interesting, relevant and very useful. A measure of his engagement with the students was the large number who crowded around him at the end of the presentation to talk to him; usually we may see a very small number of students doing this.
Geelong High School
- Hugh Evans gave the concluding lecture at the Cambridge Univerisity International Development Course on December 6th 2008. He successfully captivated the participants, who were weary from a whole day of lectures and workshops, and he ensured the continued involvement of many in the issues around international development, as evidenced by the number of people who crowded around him at the end of his presentation. A truly inspiring lecture!
Helen W. Pallett, Cambridge University
- Achieving the Vision - the Critical Need for Recruiting the Right People
- Building a Successful Team
- Business Principles
- Engaging Young People into the World Around Them
- Global Significance - Engaging Young People With the World Around Them
- How to Structure a Business
- Recruiting the Right People for the Vision
- Shaping Australia: Our New Generation of Young Leaders
- The Internationally Focussed Curriculum
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