Thenu Herath

As CEO of Oaktree, Thenu Herath has the opportunity to work with and empower young people around the world as they work to have a social impact – a role that perfectly suits her passion for big-picture policy and courage to break from the status quo.

After a scholarship supported her to come from Adelaide to the University of Melbourne, Thenu's career path was solidified when her studies took her on an overseas internship with an NGO.

Thinking about uni

I did a wide range of subjects, from physics to chemistry to drama to English studies … that's what really led me initially to study a Bachelor of Science. During that process, though, what I realised was that I was interested in big-picture policy and the macro-level issues that lead to a lot of the challenges that I was passionate about.

Starting Arts

I actually undertook an overseas subject called Community Volunteering for Change. This gave me an opportunity to travel to Cambodia with a group of University of Melbourne students, and we had the opportunity to contribute to some policy changes at an NGO.

Launching my career

Oaktree is a youth-run international development agency … The wide array of issues that I get to see in this role makes me have a really clear belief that this generation of young people are the key to solving the issues that we're seeing in the world today.