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    Event description

    Let's Talk: Transition to a stronger regional economy - emerging opportunities in the energy sector 

    The Next Economy is hosting a series of public forums to explore the impact that changes to the energy system are having on regional communities across Queensland. Join with others in your community to explore these questions and more:

    • How are changes to the energy system being experienced in your area?
    • What strategies can support the long-term wellbeing of workers, communities and local businesses?
    • How are other regions across Australia managing the energy transition to create new jobs and business opportunities?
    • What local initiatives are taking advantage of changes to the energy system to create a stronger regional economy?
    • What are your ideas on how to diversify and strengthen the regional economy?

    Workshop Format and Schedule

    10am - 12pm: Webinar 1 

    Webinar 1 will set the scene in terms of the local context and what people are thinking relating to changes in the energy sector (both concerns and opportunities). We will also explore the types of energy projects that are happening locally, and what’s needed to ensure a secure, affordable and accessible energy supply.

    12pm - 1pm: Break for Lunch

    1pm - 3.30pm: Webinar 2

    In Webinar 2, we’ll explore the opportunities to diversify the regional economy by taking advantage of changes to the energy sector. A mapping exercise will be facilitated through groups in a separate break out session to explore new opportunities for their region.

    Both webinars will provide opportunities for questions and dialogue through breakout rooms, live Q&A, and through the chat function.

    Your facilitator

    Dr Amanda Cahill, The Next Economy

    Amanda is the CEO of The Next Economy. She has spent over two decades supporting communities to manage economic change across Asia, the Pacific and regional Australia. The focus of her work at The Next Economy is to support communities to develop more resilient, just and sustainable regional economies.

    Most of this work involves supporting regional communities in Australia to manage the current energy transition. She has worked successfully to support all levels of government, industry, workers and community groups across Queensland, the Hunter Valley, and the Latrobe Valley. Amanda has a PhD in Human Geography from the Australian National University and is an Adjunct Lecturer at The University of Queensland and an Industry Fellow at the Sydney Policy Lab at the University of Sydney.


    Andre Grant, Centre for Appropriate Technology

    Andre has been working for the Centre for Appropriate Technology with indigenous communities across North and Far North QLD since June 2007. He’s a community engagement, development and sustainability practitioner with broad experience in working with indigenous communities, stakeholder engagement, participatory processes, planning and education for sustainability. Andre has broad technical expertise in remote infrastructure development, appropriate technology, sustainable livelihoods, renewable energy and conservation and land management planning.

    He has been awarded an international Kinship Conservation Fellowship (leadership and market mechanisms for conservation), an Ian Potter international travel scholarship (First Nations communities and Comprehensive Community Planning in Canada) and won a reconciliation award for one of his projects (indigenous ranger base design and construct in partnership with Engineers Without Borders).

    Julie Lyford, Groundswell Gloucester

    As a former mayor, local councillor and registered nurse in the Upper Hunter Valley, Julie is committed to the core values that build progressive and resilient societies. Her priorities are sustainable, liveable communities with fair, transparent and trustworthy political processes. These values and her concerns about climate change led to her co-founding the Gloucester Environment Group in 1989. 

    Since then, Julie has had board and decision-making experience with Hunter Councils, Regional Development Australia (Hunter), Mid Coast Water, Upper Hunter Arts, tourism, youth and economic development committees. Transitioning communities towards inclusive educational, economic and renewable energy opportunities remains her long-term goal. In 2015, Julie was awarded an OAM for services to the environment, community and local government.

    Kristy Walters, Community Power Agency

    Kristy is a facilitator, educator and environmental campaigner. Since 2006 she has worked and volunteered on campaigns including renewable energy, climate change and protecting prime agricultural farmland in Queensland, at Friends of the Earth Brisbane and most recently at Solar Citizens. While in Brisbane she led the education program at a permaculture farm, designed and facilitated activist education programs for students and was involved in the food sovereignty movement.

    Kristy is passionate about community inclusion, supporting volunteers and cycling. She holds a degree in Environmental Management (Sustainable Development focus) and has experience working in social enterprises, cooperatives and the private sector.

    Verity Morgan-Schmidt, Farmers for Climate Action

    Verity is the Stakeholder Relations Director of Farmers for Climate Action and is passionate about supporting farmers to understand the opportunities for acting on climate change while strengthening the agricultural sector. Originally a farm girl from the sheep and wheat country of Western Australia, Verity is a former Executive Officer for Western Australian Farmers Federation.

    Verity previously worked for Elders Ltd, including a stint at the National Wool Selling Centre in Victoria. She is the former Executive Officer for Country Noosa, an organisation linking hinterland producers to coastal communities in South East Queensland. Verity holds a Master of Arts (Politics) in Sustainability and Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Politics and Global Studies.

    Further Info

    This is a free event and everyone is welcome!

    Members of government, energy industry community, environment, union, Traditional Owner, student, social service and business groups are encouraged to attend.

    Registrations essential.

    Organised by The Next Economy.

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    Refund policy

    No refund policy specified.