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Featured Volunteer: Meet Lauren!

Featured Volunteer: Meet Lauren!

Meet Lauren. Lauren’s 26, has graduated from University, works part time in retail, volunteers at the International Women’s Development Agency, and is Oaktree’s Partnership Manager for Baptist Union PNG. Last month, you read about Oaktree’s recent Monitoring and Evaluation trip to PNG. Geordie spoke of the incredible impact that the Yangis Community School has had on peace in the area, and the community support for education.

The part you didn’t read about was how we came to learn about the change the school has experienced.

Over the past year, Lauren has been building a relationship with the staff at BUPNG (via Skype!). In an average month, Lauren will speak to our partners twice, hearing about the challenges and successes related to the projects Oaktree funds. She’ll also prepare and submit a report to the International Engagement team regarding the projects, update the Executive team, and ensure that payments are being processed on time.

By February this year, Lauren had begun planning for the Monitoring & Evaluation trip to be held in May. Countless hours were put into planning sessions that she would facilitate in Yangis and Kumbareta, with young children, teachers, parents and members of the Board. She took on board feedback from team members and her manager, constantly seeking to improve the sessions. By April, she had worked with her manager to prepare the logistics of the trip, coordinating with our partners who would be hosting us.

In her week, she still managed to find time to put aside her work, pick up the phone and speak to young Australians who would soon be undertaking Live Below the Line, encouraging them to raise funds.

When we think of Oaktree, we often jump straight to the social and political impact, and the international engagement work it does through our partners. We don’t think of Lauren, and the 170 others, who come into Oaktree offices around the country every week and dedicate their time, passion and energy to Oaktree’s mission.

At the beginning of 2015, People and Culture joined the Oaktree Executive Team. This was an exciting and courageous decision that saw Oaktree’s people, and the health of the organisation, become a priority. This decision has meant that time and resources can be dedicated to supporting, training and developing people like Lauren, volunteers who make Oaktree tick.

For an organisation who is passionate about the potential of young people, prioritising People and Culture will mean that the people who come through Oaktree’s doors leave with the skills, knowledge and capabilities required to lead us into the future.

Hanna McCreath, Head of People & Culture