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    Kathy Rankin
    Policy Director – Rural Affairs & Business Economics & Trade @ NSW Farmers Association

    Kathy is a Policy Director at NSW Farmers' Association with responsibility for the Rural Affairs and Business, Economics and Trade portfolios.

    Kathy has extensive experience as an educator and in developing and implementing policy. Building on an early career as a teacher, she has increasingly focused on skills for the economy, workplace inclusion, building community resilience, and regional sustainability.

    She has worked as a senior policy manager with the NSW Business Chamber, and led a state wide curriculum support team at TAFE NSW. Before joining NSW Farmers' Association Kathy worked on social policy in the NSW Premier's office before being appointed as Chief of Staff for the NSW Minister for Mental Health and then the Minister for Early Childhood Education and Aboriginal Affairs.

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    Andrew Richards
    CEO @ Energy Users Association of Australia
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    Hilton Naden
    Senior Manager, Aboriginal Culture and Connections @ Pathfinders

    Yamandhu marang mudjyi (How are you friend / greetings in Wiradjuri) – For those who don’t know me, I’m a Proud descendant of the Wiradjuri people from Central Western NSW, Gilgandra. I have been living on the mid north coast since 1997, however have connections across the whole of NSW, having worked for the Department of Community Services, Department of Juvenile Justice, TAFE NSW and National Parks and Wildlife Services. I maintain this connection today with my continued work for Pathfinders Ltd, in my role as “Cultural Advisor”.  I present before you today to speak Proudly about my Culture, 

    “I respectfully acknowledge the past and present traditional custodians of this land on which we are or will be meeting. It is a privilege to be standing on local country. I recognise the strength, resilience and capacity of our Aboriginal community and have the utmost respect for their Elders past, present and emerging.”

    I see my Purpose on this, The Essential Energy Customer Advocacy Group as an opportunity to provide cultural information on:

    • Exploring the complexity and importance of connectedness to Country for Aboriginal peoples, Inform the Members about my cultural heritage, continue to Support Members and Young People whilst being a positive Role Model and Mentor to them, in a Culturally appropriate and Friendly manner.
    • Acknowledge our lives are enhanced through developing, understanding of, Respect for, and involvement with, aspects of the oldest living culture, through consultation on matters relating to the supply of electricity and associated services.
    • Identified Aboriginal Traineeships and apprenticeships; advocating for the vulnerable and disadvantaged to be meaningfully employed at all levels within the many services represented by the Customer Advocacy Group.

    I am honoured to be part of the Essential Energy Customer Advocacy Group and look forward to working with the Mob.

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    Iain Maitland
    Energy Advocate @ Ethnic Communities Council of NSW

    I have worked as the Energy Advocate for the Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW (ECCNSW) since 2014 supporting culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) domestic and small business consumers in the complex National energy market, mainly around research, communication and policy areas. I have also worked in the education sector, youth employment and housing services and academic and scientific research. 

    I will consider myself to be out of work when CALD consumers have at least the same opportunities and experiences as most others when engaging with the energy market.

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    Thea Bray
    Policy OfficerEnergy and Water Consumers’ Advocacy Program @ Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
    (+61 2) 8898 6550

    Along with the rest of the energy and water team, I work with and advocate to businesses, regulators and the government for the interests of NSW consumers. We work to develop a system that delivers affordable and sustainable energy for all households – both now and into the future.


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    Simon Moore
    Policy Manager, Infrastructure @ Business NSW

    Simon Moore is responsible for issues relating to the infrastructure businesses depend on to function, including energy, transport, telecoms and water. Prior to joining Business NSW, Simon has worked on energy and environmental policy for organisations in the UK and Canada.

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    Jennifer Brown
    Policy @ Cotton Australia
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    Margaret Breust
    Community representative and CWA committee member @ Country Women's Association NSW (CWA)

    CWA of NSW State Honorary Secretary

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    Marie Russell AM
    Community representative @ Representing rural and remote customers

    Marie is well known in the Western Region and across NSW for her services to rural communities.  She owns and manages Old Budda Station in partnership with her children at Tilpa on the Darling River.  In 2006 Marie was acknowledged in the Queen's Birthday Honours list (AM) for her services to NSW rural communities through a range of organisations involved in environmental, conservation, mental health and drought assistance. 

    Marie is Chairperson of the NSW Centre of Rural and Remote Mental Health.

    Director Local Land Services Western Region.

    Member, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council (NPAC);

    NPAC Chairperson Management Planning sub committee

    Current Director, Mount Grenfell Historic Site Management Board;

    Member, National Parks and Wildlife Western Rivers Regional Advisory Committee

    Marie was the team leader for NSW (as the Co-Chair of the NSW DPI Rural Women’s Network) on the high level delegation to the 3rd International Women in Agriculture Congress in Madrid (2002) and DLWC bursary winner to represent NSW at the 2nd International Women in Agriculture Conference, Washington DC 1998.

    Marie was also one of fourteen from the Pacific invited (7 from Australia) to attend the Bangladesh First Peoples Health Assembly 2000.


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