QLDState RecipientYoung Australian of the Year2008
Lars Olsen set off in 2004 for a stint of helping orphans in Nepal and teaching English as a volunteer. What he found was uplifting – kids facing a life of hardship and destitution yet looking on life with simplicity, love, compassion, and wisdom at such an early age. But Lars was dismayed when he discovered that the small orphanage he worked in was a quagmire of corruption, and worse. After rescuing one of the children from terrible abuse, he set up the Forget Me Not Children’s Home, with strict governance in place so that all the funds raised are used directly for the kids’ welfare. The number of orphans under care quickly reached ten, with the hope that it will one day rise to thirty. Lars is the 2007 Suncorp Young Queenslander of the Year, a timely recognition of his tireless dedication to relieving poverty, hunger, and oppression from the world.