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Oaktree Foundation Announces New CEO

6 June 2012 at 8:58 am
Lina Caneva
The Oaktree Foundation, one of Australia’s largest youth-run organisations, has announced Viv Benjamin as its new CEO.

Lina Caneva | 6 June 2012 at 8:58 am


Oaktree Foundation Announces New CEO
6 June 2012 at 8:58 am

The Oaktree Foundation announces new CEO

The Oaktree Foundation, one of Australia’s largest youth-run organisations, has announced Viv Benjamin as its new CEO.

Benjamin, a law and politics student at Monash University, has been working in the Not for Profit Sector since she was 18. She has been involved with Oaktree for many years and was part of its Make Poverty History campaign.

“I have big hopes for the the next few years,” Benjamin said, adding that she planned to build on Oaktree's campaigns and advocacy work. 

Benjamin said she had been on the Board of Oaktree for the past four years as a non-executive director. She said she excluded herself from Board duties and commitments during the CEO application process.

Benjamin said she was delighted when she found out she’d been appointed as Oaktree’s new leader.  

As CEO Benjamin said she will continue to sit on Oaktree’s Board.

Oaktree spokesman Daniel Lewis-Toakley said outgoing CEO Tom O’Connor was “moving on to the next chapter” and wished him well in future endeavours.

“It’s been a busy and successful time at Oaktree,” said Lewis-Toakley, referring to the foundation’s recent Live Below the Line campaign. Lewis-Toakley praised O’Connor’s work and said he had been integral to Oaktree’s development over several years and as CEO for the past three.   

Volunteers who are involved in the running of the Oaktree Foundation must be under the age of 26. Former CEO Tom O’Connor was “approaching that age” so the foundation’s decision to appoint a new CEO was “timely,” Lewis-Toakley said.

And though it is a volunteer-run foundation, Benjamin said that as CEO she receives a scholarship from Oaktree to help with her tertiary studies.   

Oaktree has 125,000 supporters, focusing on international aid to the south pacific region, human rights awareness in Australia, and running volunteer campaigns to engender community cohesion, according to Lewis-Toakley.

Oaktree’s website says its major supporters are Channel Nine, The National Australia Bank, and Monash University.

Oaktree was founded in 2003 by former Australian of the Year Hugh Evans and Nicholas Mackay in Melbourne.

Oaktree Foundation's website says that “that under Benjamins’ leadership they are confident that the organisation will go from strength to strength.”

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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