Hugh Evans’ passion for poverty eradication was sparked at the age of 14 whilst on a World Vision trip in the Philippines. Living with his host family in a Manila Slum, Hugh was struck by the injustice of a world in which birthplace determines your life prospects. Following a trip to South Africa in 2002 as World Vision’s inaugural Youth Ambassador, Hugh co-founded the Oaktree Foundation; Australia’s first youth run aid organization. Since 2003, Oaktree has helped fund development projects providing educational opportunities to over 40,000 young people in developing countries around the world. Oaktree’s success under Hugh’s guidance as Director led to Hugh being named Young Australian of the Year (2004) and Junior Chamber International Person of the World (2005).
Hugh then began working to grow the Make Poverty History campaign in Australia, helping run the 2006 Make Poverty History Concert and the 2007 Make Poverty History Roadtrip. The impact of these campaigns were later credited with playing a key role in the Government’s decision to increase its committed foreign aid budget from 0.3% of Gross National Income by 2015 to 0.5% of Gross National Income by 2015, resulting in an additional $4.3 billion per annum invested in the world’s poorest.
In 2008, with grants from the United Nations Millennium Campaign and AusAID, Hugh continued to build his impact in the aid and development sector, co-founding the Global Poverty Project.