Originally from the beachside city of Newcastle, Australia, Kate was lucky enough to travel with her family at a young age. This exposure to the world and different ways of living gave Kate a taste for exploration and instilled within her an ambition to help others who had not won the “lottery of birth”. At 18 she moved to Melbourne to study a Bachelor of International Relations at La Trobe University. Learning about development methods that empowered women and the burgeoning ‘grass-roots’ movement inspired Kate to embark on a year-long journey through Eastern Africa and India. She spent three months volunteering for an organisation that operated an adult education centre in Moshi, Tanzania. As well as teaching computer studies, Kate also met past students who had established small businesses after graduating. It was in Tanzania that she witnessed first-hand the opportunities that came from education and financial inclusion. Back in Australia, Kate worked in local government where she developed her skills in project coordination and administration. She continued to travel and volunteer internationally, developing a deep connection to South-East Asia. Kate first heard of Kiva after reading ‘Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity’. Kate is looking forward to returning to South East Asia as a Kiva Fellow and eagerly anticipates being part of Kiva’s work in Cambodia and Indonesia.

Fellows Blog Posts by Kate O'brien

Aug 31, 2015 KH Cambodia

In Australia (where I'm from), we start learning about money early. From lessons about compound interest in mathematics to budgeting for a meal in home economics, financial "know-how" is considered a survival skill. The hope, it seems, is that when we start earning money we’ll be able to spend it wisely, save it and even invest it.   Some of us are more successful than others.  The point is that handling personal finances is not intuitive. It’s a skill that we learn. In rural Cambodia, the stakes couldn't be higher when it comes to managing your money. ... Continue Reading >>