MEET OUR TEAM

Our Leadership

THENU HERATH | CEO

Thenu stepped up to be Oaktree's CEO in February 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.

Email: boardchair@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.

MANASI KOGEKAR | DIRECTOR

Manasi is an inclusive leader with technical expertise in the areas of gender equality and social inclusion, fundraising, mentorship, team leadership, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, program cycle management, and policy and process development. She is a member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia and volunteers her time to support and mentor young women to be our future leaders.

GEMMA COOPER | DIRECTOR

Gemma provides specialist advisory services to the non-profit, for purpose sector. She has led various advisory projects for not for profit organisations, with a particular focus on revenue diversification and agile operating model development. She has also assisted with the development of the conceptual and operational framework for the Principles for Social Investment Secretariat, A United Nations Global Compact Initiative.

Our Community Engagement Team

Isabella Thomas (She/Her) 

Director of Communications
communications@theoaktree.org

Michaela Jansens (She/Her)

Social Media Coordinator
communications@theoaktree.org
Nithigna Kanchanakuntla (She/Her)

Digital Communications Coordinator
communications@theoaktree.org
Joanna Guelas (She/Her)

Media Relations Coordinator
communications@theoaktree.org
Jack Smith (He/Him)

Director of Volunteer Development 
volunteerdevelopment@theoaktree.org 

Silvana Tomaselli (She/Her)

Volunteer Development Coordinator  
volunteerdevelopment@theoaktree.org

Ava Rego (She/Her)

Volunteer Development Coordinator
volunteerdevelopment@theoaktree.org

Thy Douglas (She/Her)

Director of Fundraising
fundraising@theoaktree.org
Grace Laird (She/Her)

Regular Gifts Coordinator
fundraising@theoaktree.org

Ru Hui Foong (She/Her)

Fundraising Events Coordinator
fundraising@theoaktree.org



Sian Kavanagh (She/Her)

Director of Live Below The Line
director.livebelowtheline@theoaktree.org 

Weijia Shen (She/Her)

Live Below the Line - Engagement Coordinator
engagement.livebelowtheline@theoaktree.org

Olivia Engelhard (She/Her)

Live Below The Line - Engagement Coordinator
engagement.livebelowtheline@theoaktree.org


Bethany Cherry (She/Her)

Live Below the Line - Communications Coordinator
comms.livebelowtheline@theoaktree.org 

Isaac Hockey (He/Him)

Logistics & Data Coordinator
data.livebelowtheline@theoaktree.org

Tishya Desai (She/Her)

Director of Product Development
productdevelopment@theoaktree.org 

Max Tanaka (He/Him)

Product Development Coordinator
productdevelopment@theoaktree.org

Meaghan Ferguson (She/Her)

Product Development Coordinator
productdevelopment@theoaktree.org