A member of the Federation of Australian State and Territory Day Associations and the British and Commonwealth Societies Association. Patron in Chief: Sir James Gobbo AC CVO KStJ QC.

  2007 Young Victorian of the Year

Tom O'Connor
 


Photo: Jason South (The Age)
Having studied the International Baccalaureate at Pembroke School in Adelaide until 2004, Tom graduated with a perfect score of 45/45, one of only 12 students to achieve this nation-wide. He subsequently received a National Scholarship to study Law, Politics and Philosophy at the University of Melbourne and since then has been three times named an Ormond College Scholar for achieving a High Distinction average in his studies.

Tom has developed significantly in his leadership abilities and dedication to a vision that sees young people as crucial ingredients in social change.

After being selected to represent Australia at a 2005 international United Nations Youth Conference in The Hague, Tom became involved in the UN Youth Association of Australia (UNYA). In various leadership capacities, Tom convened the first Regional Youth Summit, providing young people in Albury-Wodonga with the opportunity to educate and empower themselves about challenges and opportunities facing our world and the United Nations. Tom also convened the Evatt Trophy, UNYA’s National UN Security Council Competition for over 50 of Australia’s brightest young minds.

Since early 2006, Tom has brought much greater focus and maturity to his leadership by working with the Oaktree Foundation. After working with Oaktree’s Universities team, Tom stepped up to the Victorian leadership team in June 2006 as a director of the Oaktree Foundation.

Since then, Tom has played a leadership role in implementing the fundraising campaigns that have provided over 25,000 young people with access to education in the developing world, and the MakePovertyHistory Concert that reached out to 1.5 million Victorians with a call to action against extreme poverty.

As Oaktree grows exponentially, Tom is one of a new generation of leaders who are providing focus and direction to this energy, Under Tom’s leadership, Oaktree’s Victorian team has grown by over 100%, from 60 volunteers in November 2006 to over 120 volunteers at present.

In Victoria, Oaktree is currently implementing its three largest and most significant campaigns yet.

Schools 4 Schools, a revolutionary school engagement program, is connecting Australian schools with partner schools in South Africa.

The Zero Seven Road Trip is capturing the hearts and minds of Victorians with the message that our generation can end extreme poverty.

Finally, Oaktree is also coordinating one day, the biggest reconstruction effort led by young Australians, as Oaktree seeks to rebuild schools and libraries in East Timor.

Tom is a great example to Victorians of all ages.