News from Oaktree

Recently, Oaktree hosted two events at Scots Church Adelaide – an Oaktree Roadtrip information night and Masterclass on the 17th of July, and our Oaktree Staff State Retreat on Saturday the 2nd of August.

 This event engaged young people attending to learn more about the Oaktree Roadtrip, a weeklong trip that Oaktree is running in late September this year. To tell you a little more: Roadtrip will involve up to 1000 young people setting out on buses from capital cities all over Australia, travelling through towns to Canberra and engaging Australians and MPs on the issue of extreme poverty. 

We believe that our generation can be the one that ends extreme poverty. Oaktree has done Roadtrips before- they’re the kind of inspiring, unforgettable experience that change young people’s lives. The Roadtrip in 2013 changed my life- it was the catalyst to my volunteering with Oaktree today and why I’m helping pull off this next event! This year’s trip forms part of a bigger exciting campaign that also aims to engage our world’s leaders whilst they’re in Australia for the G20 summit. It’s going to be epic! 

So, back to the information night and masterclass. Our hope was to connect a bunch of potential Roadtrip-recruits with exactly how life-changing and excellent the Roadtrip experience will be, and start teaching them some facts about extreme poverty and about exactly what policies we’d be talking to Australians and MPs about (specifically, foreign aid and tax justice).  

Flyer for Oaktree tripWe also heard from the highly engaging and excellent Anne Bainbridge, Executive Director of the Youth Affairs Council of South Australia, who presented a masterclass on public speaking. Anne is an existing supporter of Oaktree SA and has a great sense of humour as well as knowing how to command the room, and her session was great. 

All in all it was an excellent afternoon and evening, and I believe all attendees left wanting to know more about the Roadtrip - great!

Scots also recently provided an excellent location recently for Oaktree South Australia’s periodic State Retreat, this time held on the 2nd  and 3rd  of August (with Scots hosting on the 2nd). 

At a time in the morning on the weekend when many people would be usually be sleeping in, around eleven Oaktree volunteers collected in McGregor Hall to reflect on the year we’d had so far as a state and prepare ourselves for the next big few months (including the aforementioned large Roadtrip campaign!). We also had the privilege of being joined by two guests: online PR professional Charlie-Helen Robinson, as well as Minto Felix, Oaktree’s Chief Operations Officer from Melbourne who is both incredibly knowledgeable and also very funny! The Saturday was spent answering some ‘big picture’ questions, learning about how to use social media effectively in campaigning and reflecting on the year that has been so far. There was brainstorming, some silly energiser activities and many in-depth discussions, with some tasty nachos for lunch. 

As a State team, we often see each other sporadically due to our differing work hours (as is the nature of being volunteers who balance volunteering with work, university etc.). Therefore it was great to have a chance to gather together as a whole team, especially in a space that wasn’t our office and therefore felt more ‘retreat-y’. Scots provided an excellent facility for such a gathering. Your ongoing support is much appreciated- thanks for enabling a great weekend all round!  

Ellen Mitchell

© Scots Church Adelaide  Ph. 08 8223 1505