Meet our Board
Phil is a Consultant with The Boston Consulting Group. Phil has a Masters in Public Policy and Certificate in Management, Leadership, and Decision Sciences from the Harvard Kennedy School, and degrees in law and arts from the University of Melbourne. Phil has worked on behavioural economics for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, social impact bonds for the UK Cabinet Office, and on indigenous welfare reform in the East Kimberley. Working with Oaktree since 2008, Phil was the first International Director of Oaktree’s Schools4Schools program, and is passionate about effective, high-impact efforts to tackle extreme poverty and develop youth leadership.
Kate is a Senior Associate at global law firm King & Wood Mallesons. Kate has a Masters in law from the University of Cambridge, and degrees in law and arts (French) from the University of Melbourne. Kate worked at the financial services and markets regulator in London for 18 months following the global financial crisis of 2009. Kate is passionate about the power of young people, and the value of education.
Outgoing CEO and Director
Chris commenced as Outgoing CEO in January 2015. He was actually at the launch of Oaktree, 13 years ago as a fresh-faced year 7 student. Since then, he's done a variety of things: working alongside refugees, leading youth groups, selling bikes, finishing uni and working in an inner city law firm. He loves variety, mountain bikes, good coffee and is passionate about education, righting the injustice that is extreme poverty, and the impact we (young people) can have on the issues we're passionate about!
CFO and Director
Esther commenced as the Chief Financial Officer of Oaktree in June 2015. Prior to that, she worked as a Senior Accountant at KPMG, in the Audit division. She graduated with a double degree in Commerce and Business Information Systems, and is a provisional member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. Esther is passionate about ending extreme poverty. She volunteers her time at another not-for-profit, The Village School Project, as a Leadership Team Member and a Board Member.
Liz is the Head of Growth for PROJECT ROCKIT, Australia's youth-driven movement against bullying. She is passionate about realising the potential in young people, particularly those who are vulnerable. Liz volunteered at Oaktree for 5 years in South Australia and Victoria in advocacy and fundraising, and believes that Oaktree is one of the most innovative organisations who are working to eradicate poverty.
Mark is the Innovation Lead for Good Shepherd Microfinance, where he is responsible for the development of innovative products designed to improve financial services inclusion in Australia. He has tertiary quzalifications in the arts, adult learning and change management and has worked at a senior level for Australian financial services organisations in innovation, strategic risk management, procurement, corporate services and information technology. Mark worked as a musician and music teacher in his 20’s and remains active in Melbourne as a performing artist and composer.
Tanya Simpson is the Integration & Marketing Director for Nova 100 and smoothfm 91.5 – NOVA Entertainment – in Melbourne. Her role encompasses brand strategy, audience engagement, strategic planning and execution of ideas for the stations and clients. Tanya has had 20 years experience in marketing, brand engagement, promotions and integration across a number of radio stations and formats. She has a passion for charity and the community and works with several organisations including Fare Share, Bowel Cancer Australia and Oaktree.
Mat is the Director of Policy & Public Affairs at Save the Children Australia, a global child rights organisation. In this role Mat is responsible for ensuring Save the Children is a strong voice for vulnerable children with government policy makers, in the media and the Australian community through policy, advocacy and campaigns. Previously, Mat has worked as a Chief of Staff to a senior Cabinet Minister with the Federal Government, overseeing a diverse range of portfolios covering taxation law; superannuation and financial services regulation; consumer credit; charity and not-for-profit regulation; insurance reforms; workplace relations and disability reform. Prior to this role he was acting executive director for the Public Law Clearing House, an organisation that focuses on providing legal services to the most disadvantaged Australians. Mat began his career as a corporate lawyer at Minter Ellison.
Jan Cossar has worked in the international aid and development sector in the Asia Pacific and Africa regions for more than twenty five years. Jan runs a small consulting company, Strategy Matters, that specialising in program design and monitoring and evaluation. She has a Masters in the Social Sciences is regularly engaged as a facilitator and trainer throughout the sector. She is a Board member of the EcoCentre and an adviser to the Marninwarntikura Women's Resource Centre in Fitzroy Crossing in WA.
Manager in the Assurance practice of PwC Melbourne. Previously senior accountant in the Assurance practice of PwC Milan. BA Business and Management - Anglia Ruskin University - Cambridge
Sashenka commenced as CEO in January 2017. Born and raised in war torn Sri Lanka, Sashenka has an unwavering passion and desire to lead young people in creating a world where equality, justice and peace are common place. Having completed a double degree in Law and International Studies, Sashenka has worked in development, peace building, youth leadership, community campaigning and most recently worked for World Vision as the National Director of their Youth Movement – VGen.