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Q. What is National Conference?

A. National Conference (NC) is a three day event where our volunteers from across the country come together. We run awesome workshops to build your skills and experience, go through our strategy for the following year (and give you the chance to contribute to it!), and strengthen our wonderful Oaktree community. In 2018 it will run from 8am Friday 9th February to roughly 6pm Sunday 11th February.

Q. Why should I attend National Conference?

A. Our Health Check results show that volunteers who attend National Conference are happier in their roles. All volunteers who attend NC have a greater understanding of Oaktree’s goals and objectives for the year ahead, and their role in it. You also have the chance to receive training from some of the brightest minds in Australia. And you’ll meet and make many new friends.

Q. I’ve already attended a previous National Conference. How will NC 2018 be different?

A. Each National Conference sets the tone for that calendar year at Oaktree. NC 2018 will establish Oaktree’s Theory of Change (ToC). You will get to be immersed in the ToC whilst at National Conference, giving you better perspective of how Oaktree will be creating our impact.

Q. What do the three days of National Conference look like?

A. The first day (the 9th) will be based in Melbourne in Save the Children’s office, which is downstairs from Oaktree HQ. It will start at 8am with registration, followed by presentations from Oaktree executives and keynote speakers and training events, as well as allocated breaks for morning tea and a self-provided lunch. Then we will be shifting to Camp Marysville, where we will have a catered dinner, followed by O-Factor, Oaktree’s very own talent show!

The next two days at Camp Marysville will be filled with even more presentations, more training events and more fun activities, including a themed party on the Saturday night! We will then leave Camp Marysville at 4:30 and head back to HQ.

Q. How will we be getting to Marysville?

A. Camp Marysville is 100km away from Melbourne and will take just under 2 hours to get to. Those who are attending all three days of National Conference will either hop on the Oaktree party charter bus or in an organised car. Attendees will be randomly allocated into these two transport options.

Q. Do I have to attend all three days?

A. No, you don’t have to. However, to get the full and fabulous experience of the National Conference, we do recommend volunteers coming to all three days. In this extended amount of time, you can build stronger connections with your fellow volunteers, gain a deeper appreciation of Oaktree and your own role, as well as take part in more jolly activities! Please do let us know of any of these requirements in the sign-up form or contact us directly (contact details at the bottom of the page).

Q. Will transport arrangements be made for me if I cannot attend all three days?

A. If you only attend the day session on Friday, then no extra transport is required for you! If are unable to leave for Marysville on Friday afternoon, or need to head back to Melbourne earlier than Sunday afternoon just reach out to us and let us know - we’ll chat to you about options.

Q. What will the $180 ticket cover?

A. The ticket will cover food (meals, snacks), drinks, transport and accommodation.

Q. I might not be able to afford the $180 ticket. Are there scholarships available for me?

A. There are three different scholarships available: full, 50% off or 30% off. Answer a few simple questions in the scholarship form! The questions encompass your reasons for wanting to attend NC, your understanding of NC and what it can bring to your role at Oaktree and what would happen if you were to not get a scholarship. Take your time when answering these questions, as the quality of your answers will be a key factor in your eligibility for a scholarship.

We also have a fundraising pack available so that you can reach out for funding from your university and local community groups. It includes guidelines and an email template to give you the best chance possible to get the funding you need and ultimately attend National Conference!

Q. I live interstate. How will you help me get to the National Conference?

A. In the past, some of the state teams have organised a carpool from their capital city down to Melbourne for National Conference. If this is applicable to your state, have a chat with your team! If this is not a feasible option for you, then flying in may be an alternative. We are not yet sure if we can award flight subsidies. Instead, those who are flying in from interstate may get higher priority for scholarships for their NC ticket.

Additionally, if you plan on arriving at Melbourne prior to Friday the 9th of February, then billeting can be arranged (this is where you stay at a fellow Oaktree volunteer’s house).

Q. I have a dietary requirement. How will you cater for that?

A. Please let us know of any dietary requirements you have in the relevant form. We will pass this onto Camp Marysville for the catered dinner on the Friday evening.

Q. What are the accommodation arrangements like?

A. The accommodation is randomly allocated into cabins of 8 beds. You must bring your own linen/sleeping bag, pillow, towels and toiletries. Each cabin has their own bathroom. The cabins are separated into the gender that you identify with. There will also be a non-gendered cabin available.

Q. What do I need to bring to National Conference?

A. We will send a packing list to all attendees prior to NC. However, if you are coming to all three days of NC, then please bring your own linen/sleeping bag, pillow, towels and toiletries. Please also bring a pen and paper for our activities!

Q. What if I’m shy? What if I’m not close with anyone at Oaktree?

A. National Conference is a fantastic way of meeting and forming connections with your fellow volunteers at Oaktree, regardless of how many people you know or how long you’ve been here. This will be achieved through all of the social activities we have lined up on all three days of NC, including icebreakers, O-Factor, the party and at meals. Even if you are shy, NC will further both your inter- and intra-personal development!

Q. Do I have to go to the party on Saturday night?

A. Of course not! As much as we’d love to party with everyone on Saturday night, we want our social activities to be inclusive of everyone, including those who would prefer a quieter evening activity. We’ll arrange a quiet room with board games and reading nooks for those who do not wish to attend the Oaktree party.

Q. Who can I contact if I have anymore questions?

A. We’d love to answer any of your questions! You can contact us via

The general National Conference email nc2018@oaktree.org or

Katie, NC Coordinator on k.shumilova@oaktree.orgor 0458 003 032, or

Alex, Chief of Staff on a.mclean@oaktree.org or 0401 468 083