Job opening: Community Campaigner

About Community Power Agency

Community Power Agency is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to drive a faster and fairer transition to clean energy. We believe all Australians, regardless of where they live or what they earn, should have the right and the opportunity to participate in the clean energy transition, and by involving them we build the strong groundswell of support needed to facilitate a rapid transition to a clean energy future. 

Our small dynamic team delivers advocacy, innovation, advice and capacity building to achieve our mission. We are a unique organisation as a workers co-operative with both advocacy and fee-for-service work streams. We specialise in supporting community energy groups navigate the complex process of developing their own clean energy projects and focus on building the capacity within communities and fostering collaboration. We also work to address the systemic barriers facing the sector as a whole and play an active role in bringing socially-responsible, community beneficial business models into the Australian energy market.

The Role

  • Position: Community Campaigner, 
  • Salary (FTE): $74,100 per annum pro-rata plus 10% superannuation
  • Location: ideally Sydney (Gadigal Country), however Community Power Agency has a flexible approach to working, with most staff working remotely and for the right candidate will consider candidates outside of this area.
  • Time commitment: Part-time 3 days/week (22.5hrs) flexibility is possible according to your needs
  • Contract period: 12-month position, with view to extend 
  • Travel: National when required

We are looking for a Community Campaigner to work on the Repower Our Communities campaign with the support of our Community Engagement Manager. 

Currently we are campaigning to win community energy policy or programs at a national scale to enable the sector to thrive. This campaign is leveraging the community and media awareness from Federal Independent MP Helen Haines’ Australian Local Power Agency Bill, that we helped to design and launch. 

Here’s what your role might look like week to week:

  • Mobilising existing supporters. You craft a compelling email to encourage community energy enthusiasts to take action. You instigate phone calls and video calls to maintain relationships in the stakeholder network.
  • Facilitate an online training. You draft an agenda for community energy groups to learn advocacy skills and to brainstorm the next tactic. You ring around to confirm who is coming from each group. 
  • Deliver presentations. You design a google slides presentation about the campaign and present via an online webinar to 50-100 attendees. You answer questions from the audience.  
  • Drumming up media interest. With the support of the Climate Media Centre you write a media release or op ed for traditional and online media outlets.
  • Meet with politicians. After organising a meeting with a key Federal MP, you attend a meeting to gauge their views on the campaign, identifying potential opportunities for influence and persuade them that community energy is something they should be supporting.

Responsibilities

  • Work collaboratively with the Community Engagement Manager to run the Repower Our Communities campaign, develop advocacy strategies to build public and political support for national level community energy policy.
  • Design and deliver campaign tactics and moments that deliver on campaign objectives across the country.
  • Identify and engage trusted messengers to reach target audiences and influence decision makers.
  • Proactively identify and respond to strategic external opportunities to further the campaign.
  • Undertake relevant research, co-development of funding proposals and meeting reporting requirements.
  • Support the smooth functioning of Community Power Agency with other tasks as required.

The CPA team work on a diverse range of projects, so while these tasks will be your primary responsibility there may be times we need you to help out on our other projects. These could involve contributing to designing or assessing social licence strategy or community benefit schemes for government energy programs, researching the energy profile of a council area and suggesting appropriate community energy models or actively supporting community groups and councils to deliver community energy projects. 

Selection Criteria

  • Passionate about climate and energy justice: You care about the planet and are committed to realising a fairer future where everyone can access and benefit from renewables. Ideally, you have experience of community energy and/or community engagement in the renewables sector.
  • Strategic thinker: astute to political opportunities and threats and demonstrated ability to respond to external opportunities to further campaign objectives. 
  • Great at managing projects: comfortable connecting with people from any background, delivering tasks efficiently and effectively, planning meetings and reporting to funders for projects varying in size and complexity. 
  • Excellent communicator and collaborator: you can get your point across clearly and concisely, you are adept at using social media, a confident public speaker and skilled at writing reports and campaign plans. You enjoy networking and connecting with a range of stakeholders, including donors, community groups, government and the CPA team both in person and online. You value working collaboratively in partnership with others to achieve shared goals.
  • Experienced facilitator: you know how to design and facilitate inclusive and dynamic meetings and workshops to maximise outcomes and enjoyment, both online and in person sessions from 2 hours to 2 days. Strong ability to adapt plans and processes. 
  • Proactive & can do attitude: you show initiative and direction, solve roadblocks and successfully manage competing demands. You are excellent at self-management and working remotely. We are a small, dynamic and remote team with minimal resources and need our staff to be Jill/Jack of all trades, good at staying on top of your responsibilities, being organised, and getting things done efficiently.
  • Authentic and reflective: You value belonging to an organisation that fosters personal and professional growth in its members. You have experience working within a co-op, the non-profit or social enterprise sector and are comfortable with a flat management structure where everyone contributes and holds responsibilities.

Desirable

  • Strong understanding of federal politics and parliamentary process.
  • Fundraising or business development skills: demonstrated experience in donor relations or grant writing. Good at finding, evaluating, and seizing business development opportunities.
  • Research experience.
  • Digitally savvy: experience running acquisitions or advertising using social media tools

We encourage you to apply even if you don’t have all of the above characteristics. A passion for the work and an eagerness to learn are the most important things.

Our Values and how we work

Community Power Agency values and holds a strong vision for an energy future that is grassroots, democratic and participatory. This vision informs our structure as a workers cooperative where all members have a right to participate in key decisions of the cooperative. The Community Power Agency workers cooperative is owned and controlled by the people who work in it and as a result the organisation is directed by the employees – their shared values, hopes and visions – as well as by a mutual responsibility and care for the cooperative.

Community Power Agency adopts an egalitarian structure including a policy of pay parity and strategies to actively share responsibility for the organisation by all members playing a role in planning, business development, administration and organisational oversight. We do not have a typical line of management, instead we consciously try to work in ways that build people’s capacity, skills and confidence through mentoring and working collaboratively. 

Community Power Agency is values-driven and we keep our ethics at the heart of the way we work. We strive to be a supportive and understanding organisation that seeks to nurture our members. We are a lean and dynamic organisation with a small, dispersed and  powerful team. While our office is in central Sydney we support remote and flexible working. We put energy into remaining connected and invest in meeting as a team face-to-face twice a year (where at all possible), to evaluate, strategise and connect. We are continuously improving our way of operating by implementing strategies and using online technologies in ways that help us to remain connected and accountable.

This position is an ideal opportunity for a self-starter excited to work in a workers cooperative and with a passion for driving positive social change, who has a strong knowledge of community energy, community engagement and/or organising. 

How to apply

We are trying something new to our organisation so we can assess people on merit and values alignment. To avoid bias we are not asking for your CV or a cover letter, rather we ask all applicants to respond to the questions below. 

We are an equal opportunity employer. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, LGBTIQ people, and people with a disability are encouraged to apply.

  • To be considered for this position, applicants should have current working rights for Australia.
  • Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted for interview.
  • We respectfully request that recruitment agencies do not submit applications for this position.

 Applications close at 9am Monday 11th October 2021.
Want to have a chat before you click submit? You can contact Kristy Walters, Community Engagement Manager, on 0490 505 802 with any questions you might have. 

Our chance to turbocharge community energy

Right now we have an opportunity for communities across Australia to harness renewable energy to revitalise their communities, increase their energy resilience and share in the benefits of the renewables boom.

We have to ensure that everyone, especially in regional Australia where the investment and construction of renewable energy is happening, sees the long term benefits. The Australian Local Power Agency Bill provides a blueprint to do this.

It is currently being scrutinised by a Federal Parliament Committee and we need to show that regional people and community energy enthusiasts want a community-led renewable energy future. Will you join us and make a submission today?

This Bill, if passed, would establish a $467 million agency to support regional communities to develop and invest in their own renewable energy projects. This would include 50 new Local Power Hubs across regional Australia to help communities develop their own renewable energy projects.

It would also implement a new requirement for all large-scale renewable projects to offer local residents a chance to invest in them, instead of profits draining offshore.

This is our chance to ensure communities are supported to benefit from this clean energy transition. Follow this link to make a submission — it’s easy and will only take a few minutes.

Communities are already leading. I look at towns like Denmark in WA or Yackandandah in VIC and see communities that are getting on with harnessing renewable energy to tackle climate change and revitalise their communities.

This Bill would support communities right across regional Australia to join in. Please make a submission today and let’s repower our communities with renewable energy!

Here’s to a turbo-charged community energy sector.

June Newsletter

Community Batteries Info Session – 30 June

Yarra Energy Foundation’s Chris Wallan and Greg Hannan from Citipower/United Energy will outline this new approach to energy storage that will also help smooth the way to a higher level of clean energy in the grid, including Yarra Energy Foundation and Citipower’s new “shovel ready” community battery initiative.

An in person event for those in Melbourne, otherwise tune into Lighter Footprint’s Facebook live at 7:40pm.


Opportunity for Community Energy in Yea

Community Power Agency and 2030Yea -a budding community energy group from the Hume region in Victoria- recently launched a new report highlighting the local opportunities for community energy. The group has ambitious plans to achieve 100% renewable energy that is more accessible and affordable for their town over the next decade.

They have already begun a solar PV installation at the local recreation reserve and recently partnered with CPA to explore the next steps around community engagement and providing options such as solar bulk buys and energy education to achieve their vision.
You can learn more about 2030Yea and read the report here.

Image: John Anderson, Clare Daly and Elaine Furniss form 2030Yea being interviewed by Win news


Funds to Install Solar for Your Community Group

If you’re a community group (or know of one) that has a rooftop in need of solar panels there’s a number of opportunities to access funds to make it happen.

1. Revolving Funds – these are generally no interest loans to cover the up-front cost of solar installations. There are many groups around Australia offering these programs:

  • CORENA – Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia – any project in Australia can apply.
  • COREM – Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby – for projects around Mullumbimby in the far north coast of NSW.
  • Energy Innovation Co-op– Southern CORE Fund for south eastern Victorian based projects.
  • And a recent addition with the tasty looking partnership between Ben&Jerry’s, 4 Pines Brewery and Enova.

Grant Opportunities

Each newsletter we’ll be featuring a few grant opportunities that could apply for community energy projects. Get in touch if you want to talk through your project idea.  

Here’s the opportunities at the moment in order of due date:

1. Stronger Country Communities Fund
Regional NSW focus, grants up to $1 million. Due 25 June.

2.IMB Bank Community Foundation
NSW & Melbourne specific due 30th June.

3. NSW Infrastructure Grants
Up to $200,000, due 26 July.

4. Tackling Tough Times Together via Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal
Grants up to $150,000, due 12th August.

5. Powering your community
Australia-wide, $12,000 due 20 September. Get in touch with your MP to be invited to apply.


Donation Portal Launched

Community Power Agency supports the passion and diligence of thousands of community volunteers and enable hundreds of tangible real world projects to emerge in communities across Australia.

We’ve got big plans to make community energy policy and programs more supportive and bigger right around the country. But we need your help to make them happen.

You can donate here via our website.

Donate to power community energy

Until next time 🙂

Community Power Hubs WIN

Huge news for Victoria – Community Power Hubs

A quick email in light of the recent announcement to expand the government funded Community Power Hubs program in Victoria. What a win!

Exciting times are ahead for community energy projects with this boost of funds and capacity potentially across all regions of the state. We are keen to connect with community energy groups and supportive organisations to ensure these hubs are the best they can be.

We have a lot of experience in the governance space and are happy to offer pro bono group facilitation advice and networking to develop successful collaborations to apply for these Victorian Hubs. Next Thursday we are running a free online session about good collaborative governance, email us for the details.

If you’re a community energy group or other organisation that would like to be involved in one of the Hubs – either to be a Lead Partner, offer your organisation’s support or to add your implementation ready project to a Hub application – please get in touch. See other community energy groups on our community energy map here.

For everyone else not in Victoria – join the campaign to Repower Our Communities – to win Community Power Hubs in every state and territory of Australia!

Here’s to taking the power into our own hands,

Kristy

For the whole Community Power Agency team – Kim, Ella, Elizabeth, Fran and Jarra.

https://www.repowerourcommunities.org.au/

Webinar recording: How community energy builds resilience and renewables

It’s been a busy few weeks for our team, with a trip to Parliament House and regional Victoria since this webinar two weeks ago. Apologies for the delay in getting this recording of the webinar out to all of you.

The webinar recording can be found on the Community Power Agency website on our webinars page here: How Community Energy builds resilience and renewables.

For those interested in further resources and guides, there are many options:

  • Community Power Agency resources section
    We offer workshops, training and other services to help you to develop your community energy project in line with the vision and context of your community. We regularly work with councils and non-profits also.
  • Coalition for Community Energy knowledge hub
    The C4CE has good resources for various projects on their website. We encourage community energy groups to become members of C4CE.

Thanks again to those who attended the webinar and our presenters: Taryn, Lawrie and Rob. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need support or connections for progressing your own energy projects.

Sunny regards,

Kristy for the Community Power Agency team

PS. Check out our latest campaign that we launched in Parliament House last week to ensure the renewables boom benefits everyone and can Repower Our Communities.