Like our namesake tree, we had humble beginnings. 


In 2003, we had no office, no budget and only a small team. We met in living rooms, cafes and school classrooms with one goal in mind: end extreme poverty. Since then, we have grown to realise that poverty is a mere symptom of greater injustices, notably a lack of opportunities and decision-making power for young people. Today, Oaktree is the largest youth-run development agency in Australia, supporting youth empowerment, education and leadership projects across the asia pacific. 

Our mission is simple. We want to create a world where all people have the opportunity to thrive, regardless of their circumstances. We exist so that we can ensure that young people can stamp their voices across the policies and decisions that affect them; and create innovative solutions that will impact our collective future.


At Oaktree, it’s no question that our wonderful volunteers are the backbone of our organisation. We’re created from hundreds of alumni, campaigners, student ambassadors, donors and thousands of everyday Australians who share in our mission and values.

Oaktree represents what young people are capable of when given the time, space and resources to be heard (it’s no wonder everyone at Oaktree are under 27!). We do real work and offer real-life experiences that young people can take with them in their future careers.


We’re a non-profit organisation that runs solely on people power. Did you know Oaktree works both domestically and internationally to arm young people with the skills to create change in their communities?

We collaborate with local organisations in Cambodia and Timor-Leste to implement workshops and programs that empower their youth. But most of our campaigning and fundraising actually happens in-house on Aussie soil. This is us talking long-term. We’re realistic - we know that our international partners are better equipped to lead development in their own contexts. This is why we work in-house, offering support and advocating for policy shifts locally because we believe this model is the best route to facilitating long-lasting and sustainable change.