By Hanna Hoffman
We work pretty hard at Oaktree. We know some things about development and aid. We’ve seen poverty. We have some answers. We have lots of questions. But we’re pretty passionate. Turns out we’re not alone.
- Pablo and Rusty’s cafe in Sydney has been one of the incredible ‘stories’ we’ve found, who work tirelessly to ensure their cafe is sustainable, ethical, and carbon neutral.
These last 6 weeks, I’ve met some extraordinary people. They don’t work for NGO’s, they’re not in a political party. They’re mums, baristas, business owners, school students, uni students, office workers, tradies. And they’re pretty passionate too. After getting to know some people in the federal electorate of Bennelong, I’ve come to realise something pretty important – we’re not alone in our fight for justice. There are people, who, alongside their regular jobs/homelife/schooling, are writing letters to their MP, ensuring their business is ethical and carbon neutral, sponsoring children, volunteering abroad, choosing fair trade, living simply, avoid over consumption and joining local social justice groups. They are humble, beautiful people who don’t presume to know the answers. Who recognise our over entitlement in Australia. Who get to personally know the names and faces of the poor. Who feel a certain sense of responsibility to take action.
Its Starts At Home has been a learning curve, for sure. It’s been the kind of campaign that Oaktree hasn’t done before, and it’s not been without its hitches. Trying to find people in a collection of suburbs we’ve never heard of let alone been to, following up endless email trails and locking in MP’s. But, we have found some gems in amongst all our networking and emails. I’ve had what feels like several hundred coffees with people who once were strangers, yet have become people who have willingly share their stories with me, their passions and their concerns. The impression that this has left on us as a team has been incredible. It is so encouraging when we hear the work that others are doing, because no matter the wins or mistakes we make, there are others who keep the fight afloat.