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Helping diverse communities take charge of their energy

We’re partnering with Voices for Power to help improve energy literacy within culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

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AGL Energy
02 June 2021

We know that many people experience structural, technological, and language barriers when it comes to understanding energy, or being able to engage in meaningful decisions around their essential services.

That’s why we’re passionate about providing support to members of our community who may be vulnerable, and ensuring that all individuals, including those from diverse cultural backgrounds, understand how energy works.

Helping CALD communities improve energy literacy

Culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) name confidence as their biggest barrier to taking charge of their energy.

That’s why we’re proud to be partnering with not-for-profit organisation, Sydney Alliance, as well as Origin Energy, Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Jemena on the Voices for Power program – providing face-to-face energy education for leaders from CALD backgrounds in Sydney.

As part of the Voices for Power ‘Train the Trainer’ pilot program, forty-four leaders from CALD backgrounds have taken part in four focus group discussions and shared powerful insights about how they can help their communities take charge of their energy bills.

The leaders came from a range of different cultural and religious backgrounds, including the Tongan, Fijian, Korean, Filipino, Arabic-speaking, South-Asian, Chinese, and Nepalese communities.

They identified a range of topics they wanted to better understand on behalf of their communities – including rights and responsibilities as an energy consumer, how to communicate with energy companies, supports available, safety and energy tips.

The leaders also said that verbal, in-person, or video communication using simple language was the best way for their people to learn new skills and information about energy.

Glenn Waterson, General Manager, Customer Market Operations at AGL, said we’re proud to be partnering with Sydney Alliance and other leading energy companies on this important program, which will really help to improve energy literacy within these communities.

“We know how important it is for members of all our communities to access information in a culturally-specific and sensitive way,” said Glenn.

“This will help them make informed decisions about their energy needs, assess different energy offers, and access support if they need it.

“We always encourage our customers to reach out and discuss what help is available to them – whether that’s through our standard payment support options or AGL’s dedicated hardship program Staying Connected.”

Thuy Linh Nguyen, Project Lead of the Voices for Power Project at Sydney Alliance, said she was pleased with what they had discovered from the focus groups.

“By the end of this first year of the program, our aim is to have a cohort of confident and enthusiastic community energy trainers who are actively assisting their communities in a real and meaningful way,” Thuy said.

The next stage of the Voices for Power program will be the co-design of training content and workshops, which will be tested within the different communities before being rolled out more broadly.

The program is scheduled to run until December 2021. For more information, visit the Sydney Alliance website.

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Driving diversity and inclusion through AGL Cultures

At AGL, our employees identify with over 100 different cultural backgrounds. Last year, we launched our AGL Cultures employee-led network, which brings together over 300 of our culturally diverse employees and allies to connect and advocate for cultural and linguistic diversity in our workplace.

The network celebrates our rich diversity by recognising key cultural dates, like Harmony Week, Lunar New Year, Diwali, and Ramadan, through events and information sharing. Most recently, the network commemorated World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development by hosting an ‘Ask me anything’ panel with its members.