Forum pack: Re-engage and Renew Orange

As NSW comes out of lockdown, energy affordability will become a pressing issue for many consumers. We’re looking forward to re-engaging with community workers to discuss how we can reach vulnerable communities in a world that has been dramatically altered by the pandemic.

Here is your Re-engage and Renew Forum pack which contains all the information you’ll need to get to know our speakers and connect with us on the day. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the Forum. 

Date and time

Wednesday 13 October 2021
9:30 AM - 1:00 PM

How to join the Forum

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 856 5572 6075
Passcode: 686742

Connecting with EWON on the day

If you are having any difficulties joining the forum on the day, please email We will be regularly monitoring this inbox to ensure you get connected as soon as possible. 

If you have a question or comments during the Forum, please use the chat function and direct your question to EWON Chat. All questions will be collated and put to the presenters at the appropriate time. 


9.30 Housekeeping Helen Ford, Deputy Ombudsman, EWON
9.35 EWON Update: complaint trends and current issues Janine Young, Ombudsman, EWON
10.15 Pandemic, floods and bushfires: building resilience and re-engaging with communities Shane Fitzsimmons, Resilience NSW Commissioner
10.55 EAPA in regional NSW  Maggie Ingham, Doorways Regional Manager Sydney Central Area, Salvation Army
11.10 First Nations experiences in our current climate Lynda Edwards, Coordinator Financial Capability, Financial Counselling Australia
11.40 Break   
11.50 Panel: Energy affordability, disconnection and debt collection
  • Kathie Standen, Executive General Manager, Australian Energy Regulator: Affordability programs – the obstacles and the challenges 
  • Rory Campbell, Manager Policy, EWON: Spotlight on the National Energy Affordability Framework 
  • Rob Benton, Financial Counsellor, The National Debt Helpline: Energy affordability and what NSW regional consumers are facing 
12.20 Retailers' response: Energy affordability, debt collection post COVID-19 
  • Michael Burnside, Manager Customer Care, Red Energy
  • Mel Homes-Allen, Customer Advocacy Manager, Origin Energy
  • Guru Pradhan, Affordability Manager, AGL
12.35 You can’t ask that – yes you can Janine Young, Ombudsman, EWON
12.50 Final remarks and close  Janine Young, Ombudsman, EWON

Customer resources

Please see EWON’s customer resources page for additional resources to help you and your clients with energy and water issues. There is a range of factsheets, information on payment assistance, high bills, saving energy and water around the home and what to do if your client has been threatened with disconnection. You can also find information translated into 40 languages.

Our speakers

Janine Young, Ombudsman, EWON


Janine Young was appointed Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW in November 2014, having gained extensive experience providing independent dispute resolution service as the Victorian Public Transport Ombudsman (2010-14) and Deputy Ombudsman at the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) (2003-2010).

Janine is passionate about social justice and ensuring essential services are accessible, especially for those experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, vulnerability. Across her career, Janine has focused on improving social inclusion and community connectedness and delivering innovative, accessible, and equitable services.

Janine is Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Ombudsman Association (ANZOA) and a member of Chief Executive Women. Janine holds undergraduate qualifications in Marketing and Management, an MBA and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Janine is also on the Standards Australia QR015, the Committee responsible for reviewing/maintaining the Guidelines for Complaint Handling in Organisations (AS10002).

Shane Fitzsimmons, Resilience NSW Commissioner

Shane Fitzsimmons was appointed as the inaugural Commissioner for Resilience NSW and Deputy Secretary, Emergency Management with the Department of Premier and Cabinet in May 2020. He is currently the chair of the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC), the State Recovery Committee (SRC), Board of Commissioners (BOC) and the National Emergency Medal Committee (NEMC). This appointment followed a distinguished career with the NSW Rural Fire Service of over 35 years, serving as both a volunteer and salaried member. 

From September 2007 - April 2020 Shane was the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service, Chair of the NSW RFS Bushfire Coordinating Committee and the Rural Fire Service Advisory Council. 

Additionally, he is a patron of two charities – Kids Xpress and Coffee 4 Kids. Commissioner Fitzsimmons has been awarded the Rural Fire Service Long-Service Medal for more than 30 years, the National Medal in recognition of more than 35 years, and the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM). He has also been acknowledged with a Paul Harris Fellow and a Paul Harris Fellow Sapphire through Rotary Clubs of Berowra and Sydney. He has most recently been announced as the 2021 NSW Australian of the Year, and the Australian Father of the Year 2020 through The Shepherd Centre.

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