Dr. Jarra Hicks [PhD Law & Built Environment; BA Dev Studies Hons I] Founding Director, Community Power Agency
Jarra is the co-founder of the Community Power Agency, a not-for-profit worker’s cooperative that supports communities to participate in the renewable energy transition. She is motivated by the power that people are engaging everyday to make real contributions to the sustainability of their communities. She has co-founded and worked for a range of community organisations and social enterprises, from food to energy, advocacy to banking.
Jarra recently completed her PhD on the potential for community energy projects to contribute positive social, economic and environmental outcomes for regional communities. Her research focuses on the development processes, social enterprise models and diverse economic arrangements that community energy projects engage. In particular, it analyses the implications of enterprise design on community participation and the flow-on impacts this has on a range of social outcomes, such as empowerment, capacity building, and sense of community. Jarra grew up between regional NSW, the Philippines and Thailand.
Her other life passions involve riding bicycles, growing food gardens, making ceramics and dancing.
WORKSHOP 1: Telling the good news stories of the energy transition
At this workshop, you will hear stories of the transition to clean energy that is being led by communities across Australia. It’s happening right now and it’s exciting! Through this workshop you will gain skills, information and confidence to be an ambassador of this good news story, to help inspire more people to hope and action.
The workshop is led by the Community Power Agency, a not for profit organisation that supports communities to participate in and benefit from renewable energy. They are joined by members of Energize Gloucester (Gloucester’s own community energy powerhouse) and Enova (Australia’s first community-owned energy retailer).
WORKSHOP 2: Cooperatives: what they are, why they are powerful and how to set one up
Have you heard about cooperatives but don’t really know what the fuss is about? This workshop will take you through what a cooperative is, why they are different and what makes them a powerful option for organising our economy. It will give you some inspiring examples of cooperatives helping communities achieve great things. It will also take you through the first steps of forming a cooperative and provide you with tips and resources.
This workshop is hosted by three people who live and breathe cooperatives. Jarra Hicks is from the Community Power Agency, a not-for-profit worker’s cooperative that supports communities to establish renewable energy projects. Ann Apps is a lecturer in the Newcastle Law School and is completing her PhD thesis by publication – titled ‘Why can’t we co-operate? The impact of law on the development and growth of co-operative enterprise in Australia. Dr. Sidsel Grimstad is a lecturer on co-operatives in the Newcastle Business School. She is currently involved in research on housing co-operatives in Australia, and on how co-operatives and commons may provide better frameworks for eco-innovation.