Les Twentyman is a prominent youth outreach worker and community activist in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Raised in Braybrook, he is one of Victoria’s best-known social campaigners on issues ranging from homelessness, drug abuse, prison reform and social welfare. In 1984, Twentyman and Ron Coleman, then owner of the Western Times, founded the 20th Man Fund to give 10 young homeless people a Christmas party. Now The Les Twentyman Foundation, the fund has grown exponentially to become a vital resource for young people, dedicated to providing positive intervention and unconditional support to thousands of Australia’s at-risk youth each year. Twentyman has been a prominent presence in the media since the 1980s, featuring in hundreds of TV, radio and print interviews, and has developed personal relationships with countless celebrities, politicians and media-insiders to promote his cause.
Les Twentyman’s work was formally recognised in 1994, when he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia; in 2004, as a finalist for Australian of the Year; and in 2006, when he was awarded Victorian of the Year. www.20thman.com.au; www.ltfoundation.com.au