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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 Cambodian girls are forced to sacrifice their dreams because they can’t afford school fees. Or when our government shuts down aid programs that save lives.

We are hundreds of volunteers, alumni, campaigners, student ambassadors donors, and thousands of everyday Australians who believe in a world where all people have the opportunity to thrive.

We are young people leading, demanding and creating a more 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.

  • 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: s.cain@theoaktree.org

Shani commenced in February 2019 and has formerly worked as the Multicultural Youth Worker and Case Manager (UHM) in the Ballarat office for the Centre of Multicultural Youth (CMY). She has also worked for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, World Vision and has gone on placement to a number of countries. Shani has also recently completed her Masters of Humanitarian Assistance with Deakin University and has a passion for working in direct crises response 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 and actively seeks opportunities to do so".


Claire Neo

Head of Community Engagement
Contact: c.neo@theoaktree.org

Claire founded the Community Engagement portfolio in October 2018: a fusion of campaigns, communications, fundraising, marketing, operations and recruitment. Claire started volunteering in Oaktree in 2017 while studying her Juris Doctor, previously completing her Bachelors in Commerce (majoring in Marketing and Management). She's passionate about collaboration, taking chances, and engaging young people with politics. Claire explains that taking on the right role is all about finding "where your skills and passions align". Combining her experience in community engagement with a genuine devotion to youth empowerment, Claire is transforming Oaktree's relationship with its supporters.


Christine Deng

Head of International Engagement
Contact: c.deng@theoaktree.org Christine

Christine first joined Oaktree in 2015, volunteering in various roles before stepping in as Head of International Engagement. She knows that young people are a passionate and capable bunch, and play a crucial role in creating a fairer, more equitable world. Christine loves working alongside our partners in the Asia-Pacific region, and is most excited about work that shifts power structures and challenges the status quo. When not at Oaktree, you can find Christine studying a Master of Public Health, eating delicious, locally grown food, and roller-skating by the beach.


Dhanush Girish

Chief Financial Officer 
Contact: d.girish@theoaktree.org Dhanush

Dhanush joined Oaktree in November 2017 with a passion to provide all young people with the opportunity to thrive.  Prior to Oaktree, he worked as a Tax Consultant at Ernst and Young as part of their Private Client Services practice and had worked there for two years whilst studying a Bachelors of Commerce degree at The University of Melbourne. He has been volunteering as the Director of Finance and executive board member of the Strive Student Health Initiative and as a Project Consultant at the Global Consulting Group.


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