Every Australia Day, staff at The Knight recognise a worthy recipient(s), for our ‘Australian Knight’ award, who has demonstrated qualities that personify those of a Knight.
This year, we wish to acknowledge Les Twentyman, as our Australian of the Year, our Australian Knight.
Click here to view our 2016 Australia Day Card
The Knight donated $10,000 to the 20th Man Fund.
Les Twentyman’s Bio
“Every young Australian deserves a future free of poverty, violence, isolation and discrimination”
– Les Twentyman OAM.
Les Twentyman has been on the frontline of heartbreak and hope for over 35 years. As Australia’s best-known youth advocate and social campaigner, Les developed his expert opinion the hard way – on the street.
Raised in Braybrook in Melbourne’s West, Les has devoted his life to young people doing it tough. He is widely considered the expert on a range of community issues including youth homelessness, drug abuse, prison reform and social welfare. He is the first stop for Australian media outlets for the word on “how it really is”.
Les founded the 20th Man Youth Fund in 1984 to provide Christmas lunch and gifts for a handful of local young people who had no family to speak of. The 20th Man is now a much respected agency delivering crucial services to young people in and around Melbourne.
Providing programs & services around education, sport & recreation, personal development, counseling and employment pathways – the 20th Man Fund is dedicated to seeing every Victorian child achieve their true potential.
Les believes that investing in young Australians, especially those at-risk, is an investment in a more compassionate and productive society. In order to have a cohesive community, we need to act as a cohesive community and protect our future generations.
As Les has always said –
“if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem”