Re-engage and Renew Forum Orange

As NSW deals with ongoing COVID-19 related challenges, and energy affordability becomes a pressing issue for vulnerable consumers, we warmly invite community workers and advocates in Orange to attend our annual forum, as part of Anti-Poverty Week.

We want to re-engage with community workers after a difficult year and renew how we reach vulnerable communities in a world that has been dramatically altered by the pandemic. The Forum will include sessions on energy affordability and rebates, with speakers from Financial Counselling Australia, Australian Energy Regulator and energy providers. The Ombudsman, Janine Young will round off the Forum by hosting the ‘You Can’t Ask That! Yes, You Can’ session. The full program will be announced in September, however we're excited to announce our guest speakers.

Shane Fitzsimmons, Commissioner of Resilience NSW
In his former role as NSW Fire Commissioner, Shane guided a 74,000-strong crew of mostly volunteers through one of Australia’s worst fire seasons. In 2020, he was named Australian Father of the Year by The Shepherd Centre and then 2021 NSW Australian of the Year. The Commissioner will explain how Resilience NSW ensures communities devastated by drought, bushfires, floods and now COVID-19 are getting the help they need to rebuild and recover.

When: Wednesday 13 October 2021, 9.30am-1pm
Where: Online - a link will be sent to registered participants
Register: register now via EventBrite


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