Musician and Advocate for Homeless People, 2014 Victorian Young Australian of the Year Finalist
A talented musician, Luke Owens understands the power of music to inspire change and transform lives. After years of entertaining people in pubs and on the streets of Bendigo, Luke decided to use his passion for music to make a difference to the lives of homeless young people in his town. Luke established the Bendigo for Homeless Youth campaign to address the fact that up to 700 children and young people in Bendigo have no safe place to sleep at night. Luke hoped to raise $100,000 by Christmas 2012 to contribute to a community housing project.
Harnessing a team of more than 100 volunteers, Luke staged charity fundraising dinners, concerts and pub gigs, produced a mini-album and even collected money at traffic lights. Bendigo for Homeless Youth raised $500,000 and with the support of corporate donations, charitable foundations and government funding, $6 million was raised in total. Luke’s generosity of spirit has helped to give young people in Bendigo a second chance in life.