Living Below the Line in 2015
Hi, my name is Kevin, and it’s an absolute privilege to be leading Live Below the Line in 2015 and beyond.
What makes working on the challenge extra special is that my first interaction with the campaign was as a participant, back in 2012. I remember day one, arriving at dinner with my old mates from high school, having eaten just a small bowl of plain pasta before arriving. Over the course of the night, my friends gorged themselves on pizza, soft drinks, and ice cream, while I sat there drinking water. The next day the challenge coincided with my boss’ birthday. Everyone in the office got a generous slice of cheesecake, except for me. That night, I made my way to a university soiree with an open bar tab. A month earlier, when I bought my ticket, I had completely forgot to consider the overlapping schedules.
The contrast between my diet and the foods consumed by my friends was perennially at the top of my mind, but this was a blessing in disguise. Day after day, people would ask me what I was doing and why, lending me a rare opportunity to speak to my friends, family, and colleagues about an issue with which I felt passionate.
While we’ve obviously got some big monetary goals in mind, the heart of this year’s campaign will ultimately be those face-to-face conversations taking place across Australia. The money we raise year to year will help Oaktree and its partners create a huge impact, but the longest term impacts may arise from the changes in perspectives and attitudes of everyday Australians. Live Below the Line is an annual opportunity to put the issue of extreme poverty at the top of Australians’ radars, and help people appreciate what this issue really means.
It’s only early days, but we’ve already scored some big wins. Our media and advertising team have secured a number of celebrity ambassadors and media partnerships, allowing the campaign to reach new audiences all over Australia. Our six state-based community partnerships teams have been busy pitching to schools, universities, and workplaces, aiming to institutionalise Live Below the Line into the culture of these organisations. Meanwhile, our communications team have been developing some world-class content, highlighted by a recent trip to Cambodia in which we collected footage for one of our projects.
This May will be my fourth time participating in Live Below the Line. Here’s hoping it’s the one I remember with the most fondness.