Expertise that enables

Our team

Nicky Ison, Founding Director

[B. Eng (Environ) Hons; BA Envtl Studies]

Nicky_website_resized In 2011, Nicky Ison and Jarra Hicks formed Community Power Agency to help grow a vibrant community energy sector in Australia.  Through Community Power Agency, Nicky has worked with and visited over 40 community energy projects in Australia and Europe.  Nicky is also the founder of the new Coalition for Community Energy, which is working to address the barriers to the development of a wider Australian community energy sector. Nicky is an experienced facilitator, having designed and run workshops for government agencies, community groups and private sector organisations in both Australia and the UK. As well as Directing the Community Power Agency, Nicky is on the board of the Solar Citizens Community Campaign and works as a Senior Research Consultant at the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology, Sydney.  Through ISF, Nicky was the lead author of the ARENA funded National Community Energy Strategy and lead organiser of the inaugural Community Energy Congress held in Canberra in June 2014. Nicky holds a double degree in Environmental Engineering and Arts (Environmental Studies) and has spent more than a decade working and volunteering in the community climate sector.

Jarra Hicks, Founding Director

[BA Dev Studies Hons]

Jarra_Hicks_Portrait Jarra has a professional background in community development, campaigning and renewable energy. She studied Development Studies at the University of Newcastle and in 2009 completed Honors research that focused on grassroots renewable energy projects as effective responses to climate change using innovative economic practices.  She is a co-founder and Director of the Community Power Agency, motivated by the power that everyday people are engaging to make real contributions to the sustainability of their communities.  Jarra spent two years as the Project Coordinator of Mount Alexander Community Wind in Central Victoria.  She has also co-founded and worked for a range of community organisations and social enterprises, from food to energy, advocacy to banking and, most recently, helped to found the Coalition for Community Energy. In 2010, 2012 and 2015 Jarra completed study tours of community renewable energy initiatives in North America and Europe and spent time as a volunteer renewable energy policy advisor in Delhi, India.
Jarra is also currently a PhD Candidate at the University of New South Wales.  She is researching the potential for community energy projects to contribute positive social, economic and environmental outcomes for regional communities in Australia. Her research focuses on community engagement, social enterprise models and diverse economic arrangements that community energy projects use.
Jarra grew up between regional NSW, the Philippines and Thailand.  Her other life passions involve riding bicycles, growing food gardens, making ceramics and dancing.

Manny Pasqualini, Director

[BA Soc.Sc (Hons); BA Environment; Cert IV SBM]

Manny_Pasqualini_Portrait_resized Manny is an experienced and passionate sustainability strategist and change maker, specialising in community-owned renewable energy, which he sees as a perfect blend of community building, social enterprise and sustainable energy development. Over the past 10 years Manny has worked on diverse projects across the sustainability field; namely conservation, climate, water and environmental management projects in Europe and Latin America. On returning to Melbourne in 2009, he attained bachelor degrees in Environment (Soc.Sc), Social Science (Hons 1), and Cert IV in Small Business Management, all at RMIT University. As Director of Advocacy and Capacity Building, Manny has over the past 12 months played a leading role in advocating for strong and innovative State and Federal government policy support for community energy and other innovative clean energy models, most recently through the Renewables For All project, while overseeing the incorporation and organisational setup of Community Power Agency as a non-distributing co-operative. In his own backyard, Manny is working to drive community solar development at the heart of his hometown as founder of Melbourne Community Power.

Franziska Mey, Director

[Dipl. Political Science, MA Sustainable Regional Development]

Franziska_Mey_Portrait_resized Franziska has a double degree in Political Science (Diploma) and Regional Development (MASc.) from German Universities. Her studies focused on environmental policies and regional sustainable development strategies in European countries. While working at WWF Germany she gained extensive work experience, where she coordinated European and international projects on sustainable regional development.
In 2011 Franziska came to Australia and worked as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) consultant for a private company helping to develop social and environmental initiatives. In 2013 she successfully applied for a PhD programme of the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living and became a PhD candidate at UNSW at the Institute of Environmental Studies. Her PhD thesis is about the institutional factors determining community owned renewable energy in Denmark, Germany and Australia. Part of her thesis also covers the role of councils as one of the key institutions for supporting community owned renewable energy projects in Australia. In her current role at CPA she has delivered different research projects e.g. for parts of the National Community Energy Strategy and facilitated community workshops e.g. a business development workshop for Repower Coffs and the South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance to set up new community energy models.

Tom Nockolds, Director

Tom_Nockolds_Portrait_resized Tom has a vision of a future where people share the benefits and the burdens of the world more fairly. He left his corporate career in 2012 to pursue this vision in the community energy sector. Tom has an extensive work history and a strong track record of success in various roles and, prior to his career change, Tom held positions as diverse as business development manager, project manager and operations manager and has university qualifications in project management and a background in engineering. As one of the founding members of Sydney group, Pingala, Tom has helped oversee the continued commitment of a core group of volunteers working to bring community energy projects to the wider Sydney community. Tom has a strong knowledge of the different business models being adopted or considered by community energy groups in Australia and has helped groups navigate their way through the complex technical and regulatory environment.  Tom fundamentally believes in sharing and collaboration and has become an enthusiastic participant in the Coalition for Community Energy – the sector-wide collaboration for the community energy sector in Australia.

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