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Who We Are

With over 250,000 supporters, we are Australia's largest youth-run international development organisation.

You are here because you believe what we believe: that it's not okay when young people are shut out of decisions that threaten a just future. When our government shuts down aid programs that save lives. Or when young people are left out of decision-making processes that ultimately impacts their future.

We are hundreds of volunteers, alumni, campaigners, student ambassadors, donors, and thousands of everyday Australians who have the same fundamental beliefs as Oaktree.

Our mission is to facilitate young people leading, demanding and creating a more just world.

Our Vision

A world where all people have the opportunity to thrive.

Injustice and poverty exists when people are unable to have their
capabilities, rights and potential realised. We envision a world
where all people have the opportunity to thrive, regardless of their
economic, social or political circumstances.

Oaktree exists to ensure that we, as young people, have our
voices heard and are viewed as important stakeholders in the
decision-making processes that govern our country and the
Asia-Pacific region more broadly. Our work is derived from the
deep understanding that young people are powerful agents
of change and are essential in creating a more sustainable
and just world.

Our values

Our values guide the work that we do.  They reflect who we are, who want to be and what we strive to achieve.

  • Human rights 
  • Long term solutions
  • Impact
  • Integrity
  • Humility
  • Diversity

Our Behaviours

  • We think big
  • We put the impact of our movement first
  • We embrace change
  • We're humble
  • We're relentless
  • We build our community with passion and energy
  • We're hungry to learn

Meet our leadership team

Our leadership team have a wealth of experience and are skilled speakers.


Not only are these young leaders passionate about ending poverty, but they have incredible (and moving, and hilarious) stories to share about change, movement building and the power of young people. All are leaders within the organisation, and have a wealth of leadership and facilitation training.

Here's the best bit - all speaker fees go directly toward enabling Oaktree's impact both domestically and abroad!

Meet our Board of Directors

Shani Cain

Chief Executive Officer
Contact: [email protected]

Shani commenced in February 2019 and has formerly worked in international development, refugee settlement and the climate crises for organisations such as CMY, AYCC and the Red Cross. She has a double degree and a Masters of Humanitarian Assistance from Deakin University. Shani is dedicated to working in direct crisis response and sector innovation to help society’s most vulnerable people. She is passionate about female and youth empowerment, sustainability, and equality. In her own words, she is "someone who loves life and believes in the ability to change the world". Outside the four walls of Oaktree, Shani teaches yoga, walks her dogs Obi and Finn and attempts to camp and hike her way around Australia.


Liam Jackson

Head of Finance and Operations

Contact: [email protected]

Liam first joined Oaktree in 2019 as a spreadsheet jockey in the finance team, before stepping up to the Head of Finance and Operations role in early 2020. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne, and previously strived to empower youth through various roles at UN Youth Australia. When he’s not poring over financial reports, Liam can be found watching baseball documentaries, attempting to learn Spanish and annoying Kurt.

Kieu Gavin

Head of International Engagement
Contact: [email protected]

Kieu first joined Oaktree in 2018, volunteering in the Policy and Advocacy team before stepping in as Head of International Engagement. She has championed youth empowerment in the aid program through policy, political engagement and sector advocacy. Kieu loves working alongside inspiring young people in the Asia-Pacific region to bolster meaningful youth leadership, and believes that young people are key to enacting sustainable visions for a more equitable world. When not at Oaktree, Kieu can be found studying a Bachelor of Arts (Politics) at the University of Melbourne, reading the ever-growing stack of books on her bedside table, and waiting for the Bombers to finally win another Premiership


Kurt Callaghan

Head of Community Engagement 
Contact: [email protected] 

Before Kurt stepped in his current role of Head of Community Engagement, he was Oaktree’s longest-running volunteer. At 18 years old, Kurt started volunteering at Oaktree in 2014 as a Community Leader on the End Poverty Road Trip. Six years and six roles later, he’s still here because of his passion and commitment to seeing a world where all young people thrive. When he’s not working hard at creating meaningful opportunities for young people across Australia, Kurt can be found elegantly rollerskating, working on his yearly Survivor application, and annoying Liam. 

Our partners make our work possible, and strengthen our impact.

Each of these organisations help to enable and grow our work.



The work of the following photographers is featured throughout our site:

Woodrow Wilson

Sarah Pannell

Lewis Best

Kieran Peek

UC Photography