Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
Engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people prefer to access services through an Aboriginal person who is culturally aware of, and sensitive to, their history and traditions. Having an Aboriginal Community Engagement Officer has helped us build and strengthen our links with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and services. This assists us to:
- increase cross cultural awareness amongst our staff so that we are aware of what is culturally appropriate
- develop more effective and practical ways of working together
- work with community services to develop programs and projects that cater for our Aboriginal customers
The Ombudsman accompanies the Aboriginal Community Engagement Officer on at least two regional and remote outreach visits each year to share information firsthand and hear from community about the issues they face living so that we can better understand how EWON can assist them.
We are committed to making our services accessible to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Over the years we have developed resources and put processes in place to help us assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as effectively as possible, including:
- employing a dedicated Aboriginal Community Engagement Officer who visits communities and talks to them about our services
- having Investigations Officers dedicated to handling enquires from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- developing resources specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
How we help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people come to EWON for assistance with many issues, including:
- high bills or disputed accounts
- poor customer service failure of providers to respond to problems
- opening and closing an accounts
- difficulties paying bills
- being disconnected or were facing disconnection
- facing debt collection.
If you let us know that you’re Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, we can put you in contact with an Investigations Officer who has experience working with Indigenous people or with our Aboriginal Community Engagement Officer.
Good Service Mob
EWON is part of the Good Service Mob, a collaboration of Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff from complaint-handling agencies who help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers in NSW.
The Good Service Mob was set up in 2005 to help ensure all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are aware of their rights as consumers, and the free services available to help them. The Good Service Mob has visited many communities since its inception. Some of those communities include Armidale, Tamworth, Quirindi, Wyong, and Umina. Visit the Good Service Mob's website for information about upcoming events.
We work with Legal Aid through their Money Counts program to help resolve energy issues for their clients. Some of the main issues we come across through the program are large electricity debt, high bills and disconnection.
We welcome advice about other opportunities we can be involved in.