Country Focus: Australia

09 May 2017

Our focus country this week is…Australia, surprisingly. Maybe you weren’t expecting Australia to be one of our focus countries, but it’s where Oaktree operates from. Many Australians forget that our nation is part of the Asia-Pacific. But we are part of a connected and diverse region, and here at Oaktree we focus on Australia as well as our neighbours.

Over the years Oaktree’s focus has narrowed to the Asia-Pacific region where it is believed that young Australians can help make the most positive difference through domestic political lobbying and maintaining strong international partnerships with organisations such as in Timor-Leste and in Cambodia.

The work Oaktree does in Australia is non-partisan - we support no political party. Instead we lobby all parties to engage in conversations about foreign aid, and ultimately make commitments to increasing the foreign aid budget. We align with foreign aid priorities and Sustainable Development Goals which allow us to contribute to policy discussion. We do this by submission papers and recommendations to the Australian Government based on evidence from our partner’s projects.

So why does Oaktree work in the Asia-Pacific?

  • Its proximity to Australia
  • We can feasibly make the greatest difference with the funds and resources available to us
  • Many of the countries are among the poorest in the world (including our closest neighbour, Timor-Leste)
  • Also, isn’t is nice to be neighbourly?!

Australia has a rich history within the region as well, and with a shared history we have a shared responsibility to the region.

This is the space Oaktree works in.

We believe that Australia has the capacity to ‘be a good mate’ and support our friends down the road (or across the sea). We believe it is in Australia’s best interest to do this for the future of the region as a whole. For the Asia-Pacific to continue developing and ensure long-term regional stability we need generations of empowered and educated people to take the helm. Lastly, we believe that our volunteers can contribute to sustainable change through partnerships with.

So now that you know more about Oaktree’s work, and our position in Australia, how will you become part of our movement to end poverty? Take the opportunity to be part of a movement that inspires change and empowers young people within Australia and overseas. You can join a movement whose impact will be felt for generations.

Participating in Live Below the Line is a small step that can create a big impact. Have you signed up yet? (Or, how’s your fundraising going?)

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