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The Movement Against Poverty

I Want To Be Part Of It

By Erin Arnett
Oaktree Email Team
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My involvement in the movement to end poverty is probably a little left-of-field. I was never one of those uni students who did international studies or followed politics.

If I’m being honest, I didn’t even know that much about Oaktree before I applied to volunteer here. I had heard of it only in passing when one of my Facebook friends, Jen, did Live Below the Line in 2016. Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, my eyes fell upon her photos, which mostly featured pumpkin-based rice dishes. When I saw these photos, my vegan tastebuds tingled and I contemplated the great cause that was Oaktree's fight against poverty.


One of Jen’s Live Below the Line concoctions.

Following my first glimpse into the movement to end poverty, I found myself about a month later slumped before my laptop, trolling through indeed.com.au on the lookout for jobs containing the keywords ‘writer’ or ‘copywriter’ (and, when you really look at it, nothing much has changed at all!). I had graduated over a year ago, I had just turned 25 and things were looking a bit bleak. Then I spotted a copywriting opportunity at Oaktree.

I’m not gonna lie and say that Oaktree changed my life and gave me an entirely new purpose or anything. But when I got that call, I can’t deny that I hung up and then maybe did a bit of a victory dance.

The thing is, I knew it was going to be scary. I was electing to join a group of very dynamic and very passionate young people, and for someone as socially anxious as myself, the prospect was slightly terrifying.

But I knew I had to do it. I knew it would be good for me. The only way I was going to better myself as a human was to associate with other humans; to be part of the great cause that Oaktree is fighting for.

So I joined the Communications Team. I bonded with Chloe, who had also applied for the copywriting role and succeeded. I soon fell into sync with my manager, Skye, and the Comms Team eventually became a tight-knit ensemble of five (well, until Chloe and Truc left, but that’s another story). Until this year, Chloe and I were churning out heaps of those emails you would have definitely received if you’re on Oaktree’s mailing list. We probably spoke the Oaktree voice in our sleep.


The comms team hard at work at Oaktree HQ

But we were doing more than just copywriting (even though it didn’t feel like it at times). We were becoming part of the solution to end (or at least fight) poverty. When I applied for a copywriting role, I didn’t expect I would be hitting up Hawthorn residents on National Day of Doorknocking. I didn’t expect I would be ringing people up, fingers trembling as I encouraged them to take part in campaigns. I didn’t expect I would learn so much about poverty and climate change and how this all interacts with our current political climate.

But here I am, better for the experience. I get the weekly privilege of working alongside passionate young people: the group of uni friends I never had (because Arts student). Every week, I learn more and more about Oaktree’s impact and why it matters. And I feel more at ease to open up and meet new people, something that pre-Oaktree Erin always struggled with. 

Maybe I have more purpose than I realised.


Want to join Oaktree in the fight against poverty? Check out our Current Opportunities page!