Daniel and William Clarke share a passion to save the orangutan in Borneo and Sumatra. Their desire to help the orangutan happened after a series of events helped shape Daniels decision to take a stand (read more about it here).
Daniel has cerebral palsy and is mostly confined to a wheelchair however this doesn’t stop him from doing what he believes is right.
So far the boys have raised over $917,500 (Nov, 2020) to save the orangutan, sponsored 111,000 acres of orangutan habitat and and have been actively promoting the orangutan’s plight throughout the media.
Over time, Daniel and William have grown to understand the issues facing the orangutan regarding deforestation of their habitat due to illegal logging, establishment of palm oil plantations and the illegal pet trade.
When they started their quest in 2006 at just 8 and 10 years old the boys set out to raise just $10,000. This was achieved quickly with the help of family and friends. Soon after the Orangutan Project made Daniel their National Youth Ambassador and their enthusiasm grew from there. Over the next 10 years they have journeyed to the jungles of Borneo twice, written two best-selling books, have had their literary work incorporated into the NSW Department of Education curriculum, been recognised by US Presidents, Prime Ministers, Royalty as well as Eco-Royalty such as Dame Jane Goodall and Sir David Attenborough. They have also been recently recognised by the Australia Day Council as the 2021 Queensland Young Australians of the Year.
Their first book Tears In The Jungle: A Children’s Adventure to Save the Orangutan was created as a result of their first journey into the jungles of Borneo in 2008 while their new book “Fight for Survival“ details their return to Borneo four years later to see where the funds they have raised have been invested and update everyone on the progress made for orangutan conservation.
While the boys have received significant media exposure in regards to their quest, some of their other achievements are;
- Presented at many schools (80,000+ students) regarding their trips to Borneo and the plight of the orangutan.
Met with the Duchess of Cambridge on their tour of Sydney Opera House and presented the Duchess with a copy of their book.
- Awarded the 2012 NSW Pride of Australia Medal (Environment Category), 2012 National Pride of Australia Medal (Environment Category) and the Pride of Australia Medal People’s Choice Award
- Recognised by US President Barack Obama for their conservation efforts in a personally signed letter
- They received a personally signed letter from the Honorable John Howard pledging $500,000 towards the conservation of orangutans in Indonesia as a result of meeting Daniel.
- Organised a major fund raising event (Orang-a-thon) with their School in April 2008 and raised $5,500.
- At her request, met with Primatologist Jane Goodall on her Australian visit in October, 2008 and again in May, 2011
- Recognised by the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA) for their conservation and fund raising efforts (Award presented by their regional director)
Recognised by the National Australia Day Council as the 2021 Queensland Young Australians of the Year