The Oaktree Foundation
|Type||International aid and development charity|
|Founded||2003 and incorporated on
13 February 2008
|Founder(s)||Hugh Evans and Nicolas Mackay|
|Area served||Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, South Africa|
|Focus(es)||General education and poverty relief|
|Method(s)||Political advocacy through partnerships driven by young people|
|Motto||Young people leading a movement to end extreme poverty.|
Oaktree is an Australian-based non-government organisation that provides aid and development to countries in need across the Asia Pacific and African regions. Founded in 2003 and incorporated in 2008, the organisation is run by young people aged 16 to 26, and overseen by an advisory board.
Internationally, Oaktree partners work with developing communities to support quality educational opportunities for young people, aged from 12 to 30 years. In Australia, Oaktree focuses on educating and training young people to be effective agents of change, as well as advocates for policy change through sustained, community-driven campaigns. The organisation claims to be Australia's largest youth-run organisation.
Oaktree was founded in Melbourne by Hugh Evans and Nicolas Mackay in 2003. After winning a World Vision contest to visit development programs in The Philippines, aged 13 years, Evans participated in a school exchange in the Himalayas in India two years later. A further trip to the rural valley communities of the KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa, where he volunteered with World Vision, saw him return to Melbourne in 2003 and join with Mackay and other young people to establish Oaktree, with the purpose of combating some of the inequalities that Evans had witnessed. In October 2013, Oaktree launched a new brand and website to mark its 10th birthday.
- raising awareness about extreme poverty in Australia to educate and inspire;
- fundraising to work with local organisations which directly tackle poverty oveseas; and
- influencing policy change at the highest levels of the Australian Government.
As of October 2013, Oaktree has an office in every Australian state and in the Australian Capital Territory. With 125,000 supporters and 350 volunteer staff as at 31 December 2011, Oaktree generated A$1.76 million in revenue.
International development projects
Oaktree supports the following international aid and development:
- Cambodia: Beacon's School Initiative by redeveloping school environments to better suit the climate and culture
- East Timor: Youth Livelihoods that provides income generation opportunities for youth groups in the Aileu districts
- East Timor: Youth Empowerment Peace Building Project that builds capacity for young people to prevent, manage and resolve violent situations peacefully and without violence
- South Africa: HIV/Aids Peer Mentorship Scheme that aims to reduce the incidence of HIV infection among high school aged students in the province of KwaZulu Natal
- Papua New Guinea: Men and Women’s Vocational Training Project that works to address issues of gender inequality, youth unemployment, low literacy rates and lack of vocational training in Port Moresby
- Papua New Guinea: Yangis Community School Teacher Training to give people in the remote location of Yangis a higher education so that a school will be re-opened in their community
Oaktree runs educational programs that aim to transform Australians into dedicated and effective agents of change in acting on extreme poverty.
Live Below the Line, run in partnership between Oaktree and the Global Poverty Project, is a 5-day extreme poverty awareness and fundraising campaign. The campaign encourages members of the general public in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom to participate in order to develop a better understanding of the daily challenges faced by the 1.4 billion people experiencing extreme poverty. For each of the five days of the campaign the participants are encouraged to limit their food expenditure to the equivalent of the extreme poverty line, set at US$1.25. The participants use their daily experiences to bring extreme poverty to the awareness of others. During 2011, this program generated A$1.4 million from 6,518 participants.
Other smaller programs include Generate and Schools 4 Schools focused on advocacy and peer-to-peer education respectively.
In 2009, Oaktree claimed that, together with World Vision and other advocacy groups, their advocacy via the End Child Slavery campaign contributed to an announcement by Cadbury Australia that it will change its milk chocolate range to fair trade sources.
Chief executive officers
- Farouque, Farah (15 March 2008). "Out to change the world". The Age (Australia). Retrieved October 2011.
- "Historical details for ABN: 39 129 680 584". ABN lookup. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "National Names Index". Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Commonwealth of Australia. 13 February 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- "Consolidated financial report for the year ended 31 December 2011" (PDF). The Oaktree Foundation Australia. 19 May 2012. p. 1. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "Our Work Overseas". Oaktree Foundation. The Oaktree Foundation. 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012.[self-published source?]
- "Annual Report 2011" (PDF). The Oak Tree Foundation Australia. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2012.[self-published source?]
- Gould, Janie (May 2011). "Live below the line". Heywire. Australia: ABC. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "Oaktree and World Vision Claim Cadbury Fairtrade Victory". Pro Bono News (Australia). 31 August 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- West, Andrew (29 August 2012). "New CEO for the Oaktree Foundation" (transcript). Religion and Ethics Report (Australia: ABC Radio National). Retrieved 13 October 2012.