By Jannah Lam
Oaktree, Australia’s largest youth-led anti-poverty organisation, is leading a movement known as the ‘End Poverty Campaign’.
In a one week period ending earlier this month, more than 400 volunteers between the ages of 16 and 26 travelled from around the country to Canberra to take part in a road trip.
On their way, the volunteers campaigned across Australia on the issues of foreign aid and tax justice.
In particular, the volunteers talked to Australians about the issue of extreme poverty, collecting the signatures of more than 10,000 people on the End Poverty petition.
“Poverty is an injustice that is at the core of many other social issues that exist across the world and so that is why the young people who are part of Oaktree are very passionate about ensuring an end to extreme poverty and we believe that it can be ended,” said Fiona Canny, head of campaigns for Oaktree.
Sixty WA volunteers kicked off their journey in Fremantle, where Brad Pettitt, Mayor of Fremantle, and Oxfam’s Campaign Coordinator Paddy Cullen gave speeches.
The WA volunteers caught a flight on the 1st of October to Canberra to meet with the community leaders from other parts of Australia.
The day after, the volunteers spent their time on the lawns near Parliament House where there were skills sessions, and a panel with politicians.
“It’s inspiring to be around these leaders and I know that these leaders will go on to do amazing things and make a massive difference,” said Sophia van Gent, WA End Poverty Road Trip media/grants officer.
According to van Gent, the road trip is just one of the three things that was planned for the End Poverty Campaign.
Oaktree has planned Eradication of Poverty Day on October 17th and will be showing a documentary called ‘Within Our Reach: Stories of the Movement to End Poverty’. (www.oaktree.org/WithinOurReach).
On the eve of the G20 summit in November, Oaktree will also be publishing an open letter to the government calling on them to show leadership and act on tax justice.