MEET OUR TEAM

Our Leadership

THENU HERATH | CEO

Thenu stepped up to be Oaktree's CEO in January 2021, bringing three years of experience in international and community development. Alongside her role at Oaktree, Thenu is currently completing her Juris Doctor at the University of Melbourne and working with the World Economic Forum's Global Shaper community. The proud daughter of Sri Lankan immigrants, Thenu’s belief in human rights, empathy and justice is unwavering. Thenu envisions a world where governments, civil society and the private sector can come together to provide innovative solutions to the most pressing issues of our time. In her spare time (she promises she has some), you can find her learning to Salsa Dance, re-reading Dan Brown books and defending her South Australian pronunciation of the word 'graph'.

Email: t.herath@theoaktree.org

ALAN WU | CHAIR

Alan has long worked with communities to build power to make decisions that matter. He currently serves on the boards of racial justice organisation Democracy in Colour, and LGBTQIA+ mentoring organisation Out for Australia, and recently retired as the longest-serving member of the board of Oxfam Australia, one of the nation’s largest international development organisations. He is a senior adviser with the Open Government Partnership, a multilateral project to make governments more inclusive, responsive and accountable.

 

Previously, Alan served as Chair of Australia’s peak body for young people, and as an executive and lawyer with the Australian Government.

Our Executive Team

AARUSHI DHIR | Head of Operations

Aarushi joined as the Head of Operations in October 2021. Aarushi holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Finance from Monash University and is currently finishing her Chartered Accountants (CA) qualification. Aarushi has a background in Risk Consulting and currently works at a Big 4 accounting firm. In her spare time, Aarushi likes to read, binge watch Netflix, and cuddle with her dog. Aarushi loves giving back to the community, especially through volunteering opportunities, and is always keen to get involved however she can. Aarushi is passionate about empowering young people to make a difference. 

Email: a.dhir@theoaktree.org

KERGEN ANGEL | Head of Community Engagement

Kerg (he/him, 'k-urge') joined Oaktree as the Head of Community Engagement in August 2021. Kerg holds a guiding belief that every person holds responsibility for the wellbeing of others, which drives a deep passion for global citizenship, decolonisation and justice, and the role of not-for-profits in systemic change. Outside of his role at Oaktree, Kerg is a peer-elected ambassador for young Victorians as the Youth Governor of Victoria, sits on the Board of the Foundation for Young Australians, and thinks Pitch Perfect is the defining film of this generation. 

Email: k.angel@theoaktree.org

NATHAN LINTON | Head of Impact

Nathan joined the Oaktree team as Head of Impact in May 2021 bringing experience in international development, emergency services, government and youth services. Nathan is passionate about providing young people with the opportunities and resources to drive systemic change and championing youth leadership around the world.  Nathan also sits on the Board of Concern Australia and has a Masters of International Development Practice and Bachelor of Arts from Monash University. When he’s not working or doing other serious things, you’ll either find Nathan in his garden, on a walk, hanging out with his chickens, trying to learn a new language or watching Eurovision!

Email: n.linton@theoaktree.org

WILLIAM KABIRA | Head of Finance & Technology

Will first joined Oaktree in 2020 to crunch numbers as a finance officer before stepping into the role of Head of Finance and Tech in October 2021.Will studied a Bachelor of Science (Civil Engineering) in his undergrad, before a pandemic-triggered quarter life crisis inspired him to pursue his current Masters in Accounting & Management. Prior to Oaktree, Will volunteered throughout high school and university with not-for-profits and student clubs where he discovered his interest in community empowerment, intersectionality and sustainable change. Outside of Oaktree, Will enjoys listening to audiobooks, visiting Smith Street or practicing his amateur Soundcloud DJ-ing.

Email: w.kabira@theoaktree.org

Our Board of Directors

FINBAR PIPER | Deputy Chair 

Finbar is a former Oaktree volunteer, working on campaigns and political engagement in 2016-17. He is now a government lawyer and holds a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne. He is an advocate for civic engagement and youth participation in decision-making forums, and was appointed as a Youth Commissioner for the National Youth Commission's Inquiry into Youth Employment and Transitions from 2018 to 2021.

ELYSE MCINERNEY | Director & Chair of the Development & Policy Subcommittee 

Elyse is a program manager with a key focus on gender equality and feminist development practice. Her previous portfolios have included projects on employment, gender-based violence, financial capability, women's leadership, regional and international advocacy, coalition strengthening, education, child protection and humanitarian response. She is particularly passionate about  ensuring lived experiences inform program practice and advocacy work.

MARTA ZAJAC | Director & Chair of the Fundraising Advisory Board

Marta is a fundraising and marketing specialist using her skills to grow progressive social change movements. Marta is the Experience Delivery Lead at the Australian Red Cross and a member of the Marketing and Growth Committee at Plan International. Prior to Red Cross, Marta has worked at Climate for Change, Human Rights Law Centre, United Nations and in the private sector, while holding numerous volunteer roles across the nonprofit sector. Marta has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Public Relations and Advertising from the University of Westminster in London. Originally from Poland, she has lived across three continents for the past ten years, calling Australia home for the past four - and counting.

ARI SIGGINS | Director

Ari Siggins MHRM GAICD CAHRI launched the Curiosity Company in 2018 after seeing a gap in the Human Resources support available for smaller, for-purpose business (both for and not-for-profit). She's driven by an appreciation of the importance these organisations play in our communities and a belief that great workplaces not only deliver better results, but spill over to boost the overall life satisfaction for their staff. She has sat in C-Suite roles overseeing HR and operational functions within the NFP and healthcare sectors and is a Non-Executive Director bringing expertise in People Governance to the Boards she is involved with. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Certified Professional Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute.

CAMERON MCGOWAN | Director & Chair of the Risk & Audit Subcommittee

Cameron/Cam is an Internal Audit Manager in the Risk Advisory practice at EY and works across the Non-for-profit, Health and Government practices. Cam has over 8 years of experience, having worked for EY and large multinational companies in Germany and Paris, and specialises in best in class risk management practices that add value and enable organisations to deliver on their strategic objectives.

STEVE MILLS | Director & Chair of the Financial Sustainability Subcommittee

Steven has over fifteen years’ experience in financial positions, including nearly ten in senior finance and consulting roles specialising in accounting, strategy, forecasting and change management. He has worked in the UK, US and Australia and holds a Bachelor of Business from LaTrobe University, is a Chartered Accountant (CIMA) and completed an MBA from Melbourne Business School. He enjoys mentoring and assisting young people to reach their full potential and outside of Oaktree can be found reading or out in nature.  

JACK HE | Director & Company Secretary

Jack holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and a Masters degree in Applied Finance. He has over 17 years of experience in the banking industry across Mergers & Acquisitions, Product Management, and Treasury. He is passionate about diversity and equality, and is a firm believer in empowering young people to take ownership for change