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Oaktree National Conference


I joined Oaktree after Roadtrip to organise our annual National Conference. What started off as a logistical project at first quickly transformed into an exciting weekend of sharing, learning and excitement for the year ahead.

The first day kicked off in Melbourne and was all about connecting to Oaktree’s vision.   We had  Adam and Nina from Ellen Sandell’s recent electoral campaign come in to teach us about grassroots campaigning. As part of our exciting new Youth Exchange program, we had Jerome and Seba from The Voice PNG deliver an inspiring keynote speech. It was so exciting and interesting to hear about and learn from the work of one of our overseas partners.

Friday was our first day in the beautiful Beechworth where we would spend the next three days. The day was all about strategy. It was an opportunity for each team to present their strategy for the year ahead and to explain how other volunteers could get involved. I was amazed at how many incredible things Oaktree has planned for the future. Stand outs include the LBL campaign and the Youth Exchange Program - both really exciting things to get involved with in the coming year!

Saturday was all about knowledge and training. The first session was about how to communicate the work Oaktree does overseas. We then had the chance to learn from Oaktree board member Andrew Asten on how to pitch effectively to businesses and from Oaktree Alumni Richard Williams on how to fundraise effectively. The afternoon included Nation Builder training, a session on how to effectively work in a team and a personal sustainability session.

To finish up National Conference, Sunday was our team day. This was an opportunity for all of the teams to have some time to reflect on what they had learnt over the weekend and to plan ahead.

National Conference is foremost a training and knowledge building opportunity for Oaktree volunteers. However I learnt pretty quickly during the organising process that the thing volunteers looked forward to the most about NC was learning from and meeting volunteers from other teams and from around the country. National Conference has a powerful part to play in how we communicate within Oaktree and how we can effectively work together to achieve our goal to end extreme poverty. I can’t wait for what our next National Conference has to offer!