World Changers

We girls have often looked to Hollywood for examples of what we should be looking for in a guy, so Bella thinks it’s about time Hollywood started to look at some good-value guys instead of selfish fellas! We went looking for some real-life, impacting, sacrificial guys who make a difference with their lives. Here are some real men – Spielberg, take note! 

Rick Newnham
Meet 26-year-old Rick Newnham, the founder of Australia’s first independent organisation dedicated to embracing the ideas of young minds. In just three years Rick has managed to expand ‘Left Right Think-Tank’ into five Australian cities and build a team of more than seventy young and dedicated staff. His mission is to get teens involved in politics. When Rick started the group, he said, 

“We do get criticised for not being more ‘youthy’ – presumably because we don’t go to skate parks and eat pizza. When I go to meetings I wear a suit.”

Whatever you make of his approach, Rick is being noticed – he was recognised as the Young Western Australian Citizen of the Year 2011, named by Triple J as one of Australia’s ‘25 Under 25 & Smashin It’ amazing young Aussies, and he has even met the Queen! He chatted with her about the cultural relevance of the Commonwealth and found the experience ‘pretty surreal’!

Glen Vollebregt
Glen Vollebregt is a man who means business! This 27-year-old entrepreneur is not only the owner of two successful real estate businesses, but he’s also the director of an organisation called ‘Brightest Young Minds’. 

Through this initiative, Glen aims to inspire young people who, like many of you, are eager to put an end to the problems confronting society, using innovative solutions, such as better financial literacy training, connecting migrants and refugees with mainstream society and creating a political party for a youth voice. 

His dedication and passion for achieving these goals is inspiring and led to him being awarded runner-up in the 2012 South Australian Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Dan Sercombe
We’re proud to call our next hero one of our very own. He’s a Bella contributor, successful TV journalist / documentary filmmaker, and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. You may recognise Daniel Sercombe from Toowoomba’s WIN News station, where he’s worked for almost five years.

“Media production is a big interest of mine. I’ve wanted to work in TV since I was 14. I love the challenge of creative production and my passion is to produce quality documentaries and films for TV in Australia. There’s so much trash on TV these days, and I want to try and change that.”

While Dan has just returned from shooting a documentary in Egypt, Turkey and Israel, it’s the 2010-2011 Queensland flood disaster that has undoubtedly been his most challenging opportunity.

“It was a full-on time for me to be up close and personal with the devastation of that disaster. It was very confronting spending time with people who had lost loved ones, homes and possessions.” 

Dan’s dedication to altering lives occurs off-screen as well – volunteering his time each year to help teens.“I love being involved in these because I have the opportunity to invest in the lives of young people and be an encouragement, because this world is a pretty full-on place to navigate.” 

Hugh Evans
Our final hero is well-known. Hugh Evans is co-founder of two remarkable charity organisations. This 29-year-old became concerned about world poverty when he participated in World Vision’s 40 Hour Famine as a child. As a teenager, Hugh visited the Philippines and India where he was inspired further by his encounters with poverty and devastation. 

A pivotal moment came not in India, but on his return, when he noticed how desperate Australians are to get the latest mobile phone, and contrasted it with “walking through the market of India and seeing a man with no legs, simply a piece of rubber tied to his waist to stop the skin on his pelvis from scraping away, begging for the equivalent of 20 cents”. 

After several more trips Hugh graduated from uni with a law and science degree, while remaining dedicated to bringing about social change. In 2003 he established the Oaktree Foundation, an organisation aimed at helping countries in need across Africa and the Asia Pacific. Five years later he helped set up The Global Poverty Project, aimed at fighting extreme poverty. These initiatives have earned Hugh many accolades such as Young Australian of the Year 2004, Outstanding Young Person of the World 2004, and being named by Who magazine as one of the Most Beautiful People of 2009. 

These four men are real heroes who have achieved so much in their lives and have inspired those around them to be better people. But there are many teenagers out there who feel just as passionate about making a change, and are every bit as capable – so what are you waiting for?

Jasmin Quarman.

Photo by Javarman/