Community outreach

One of our roles is to promote our service to people who may need our help.

To do this, we attend community events to tell people about how we can help and learn more about issues consumers are facing with their energy and water.

See our upcoming events.

Why we do outreach

We want everyone who needs our help to know we’re here and how to connect with us.

Our community outreach activities help us:

  • tell people about our services
  • learn more about community issues
  • create networks with people and organisations in Queensland
  • give community stakeholders, consumers and scheme participants the chance to communicate with each other
  • prevent complaints or resolve them quickly, especially for vulnerable customers.

Who we help

In our outreach, we focus on Queensland customers who are vulnerable or at risk of financial difficulty.

In particular, we focus on people who may have trouble accessing our service, our scheme participants or other services.

This could include:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • seniors
  • people from various cultural and educational backgrounds
  • people on fixed or low incomes
  • people with disabilities
  • people experiencing or at risk of homelessness or domestic and family violence
  • small businesses
  • young adults (18–25 years old)
  • community workers and financial counsellors.

Types of outreach activities

We take part in various outreach activities every year, including:

  • forums and conferences
  • community events, expos and information days
  • Bring Your Bills days
  • presentations
  • workshops.

This includes events we hold ourselves and events we’re invited to.

We consider the amount of disadvantage in various locations when we plan our outreach activities (though we know that all areas have pockets of disadvantage).

Who we work with

We work with many organisations for our outreach activities, including:

  • community organisations
  • industry associations
  • government agencies
  • other ombudsmen
  • other complaint-handling organisations
  • energy and water companies.

We may work with them to:

  • co-host events
  • share information stalls
  • take outreach trips to regional and remote areas
  • partner on community outreach and educational projects
  • take part in working groups and committees.

When we visit regional areas, we also want to build relationships with local organisations and Members of Parliament.

Where we’ve been

Every year, we attend community events and speak to consumers about their energy and water bills.

During 2019–20, we went to 'Bring your bills' events in Brisbane, Cairns, Mount Isa and Rockhampton.

We also attended a number of information sessions as part of financial literacy programs and community expos.

Indigenous outreach

We want to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples become confident and informed consumers, and make sure they know their right to get help with energy and water issues.

Every year, we support the annual National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week festivities in Cairns, Rockhampton and Brisbane.

These events give us the chance to tell Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customers how our services can help them.

In November 2017, the Ombudsman travelled to the Torres Strait with our Indigenous Officer to see how card-operated metering works and how remote communities generate electricity.

They also visited isolated power stations, and met with representatives, government services and community groups.

Read more in our reconciliation action plan.

Connecting online

As well as face-to-face outreach, we connect with the community on social media.

Here we talk to Queenslanders about how we can help with their energy and water problems.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to see what we're up to and where we’ll be next.