Some of our Oaktree volunteers had the opportunity to attend Progress Conference a couple of weeks ago and we caught up with four of them to debrief their experience at Australia’s biggest and boldest social change conference.
A few things that struck us from the final session of the conference which was about the millennial revolution and the young change makers and activists that are setting the course for the future. Witnessing the importance that young people have in affecting change reinforced the value that we all have in making a positive difference in our world.
Our volunteers in attendance all felt a deep sense of empowerment from these presentations. Maria spoke about how inspiring it was listening to young people on the forefront of social change and movements. Tayla echoed this with how inspiring she found the youth session and it reminded her of the role that Oaktree plays and the valuable stuff we do.
This year, Progress Conference held a major focus on First Nations justice, and the realisation that everything we do is on indigenous land and in indigenous space. Edie found the emphasis on these issues through incorporating into organisations a valuable addition to the conference. Drawing from this, Kieu’s biggest takeaway was the importance of being uncomfortable with what you think you know and what your beliefs are. Always being open to learn and to question widely accepted knowledge and striving to be better was the main thing.
Overall the biggest takeaways were about the vast array of learning and new awareness about development, social change and advocacy. Progress highlighted the fact that we as young people have the most impact for the future. Recognising that social issues are interconnected is very powerful as we discover that working together is key. Keep up to date on these issues with Oaktree.