Bamaga-based electricity veteran Tommy Sebasio has been appointed as First Nations Engagement Advisor at Ergon Energy.
With three decades of experience under his belt as an electrical fitter mechanic at the Bamaga power station, he has supported, advised, educated and advocated for remote communities.
He has been involved in everything from getting the power back on after a cyclone to educating remote businesses about energy efficiency and mentoring locals looking for a career path into the electricity industry.
“I have a unique understanding of the mechanics of the network along with an intimate view of the history and culture of our remote communities, and customers’ needs and wants,” Mr Sebasio said.
In his new role, he will be supporting Ergon Energy’s activities across the Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) and the Torres Strait, ensuring engagement is approached with cultural sensitivity and respect for First Nations traditions and protocols.
“There’s a lot of change on the horizon for our isolated networks and I look forward to supporting our remote communities through the transition to renewable energy, which will reduce our reliance on costly diesel generation and be a positive change for our environment,” he said.
He said this new role is an exciting opportunity to further support the community in energy usage via the PowerSavvy project, a campaign to help NPA and Torres Strait Islander residents reduce energy consumption in commercial business premises, government buildings and residential homes.
“Cost of living is a challenge everywhere, but especially in our isolated communities, so I’m looking forward to getting involved in the PowerSavvy program and educating customers on how they can save energy and money.”
Mr Sebasio’s role is part of Energy Queensland’s Reconciliation Action Plan, aimed at building strong connections, learning from First Nations peoples and cultures, centring on the aspirations of First Nations communities and working together to safely deliver secure, affordable and sustainable energy solutions.
“I think collaboration is the key to success and I look forward to continuing to work with everyone to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes, including customers, community groups, traditional landowners, councils, businesses and government agencies,” he said.