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Sean Choolburra encourages mob to keep energy bills down

29 April 2020

Comedian Sean Choolburra teamed up with the Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON) to raise awareness of energy and water issues among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in NSW.

"I know from going out to community that the mob is really doing it tough when it comes to energy bills. I decided to do the campaign with EWON because I wanted the mob to deal with energy issues, especially really high bills,” Sean explained.

The #Mobmatters campaign provides tips on how to save electricity, gas and water around the home and talks about the support available for people having trouble paying their bills. It also explains how EWON can help people who have trouble solving issues with their energy or water provider.

The campaign is particularly relevant during COVID-19 as household incomes fall and energy use increases as a result of families working and schooling from home and winter setting in.

Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW, Janine Young, said EWON’s Aboriginal Community Engagement Officer came up with the idea of asking a well-known Aboriginal person to act as an ‘ambassador’ for EWON.

“We saw how well Sean was received in community when he was an MC for events we were doing in rural and remote areas. We also thought humour would help get our messages across to communities, so Sean seemed like the perfect person,” Ms Young explained.

#Mobmatters campaign material includes postcards featuring Sean and key messages about energy and water, which community organisations can order online and distribute to their clients. Sean also recorded Community Service Announcements aired by community and Indigenous radio stations around the state. The announcements and postcards are available at ewon.com.au/mobmatters.

Campaign messages include:

  • rug up in winter to reduce heating costs
  • use energy saving lights bulbs and turn lights off when you leave a room
  • consider using fans instead of air conditioning to save energy and money
  • avoid large debt and disconnection by making regular payments on energy and water accounts
  • there is a range of support available to help with energy bills, including government rebates and payment assistance and provider payment plans.

“Hopefully if the mob hears the messages, they’ll make changes in the home or contact EWON for help,” Sean said.

To request an interview with the Ombudsman, contact Mia Lauzé – mial@ewon.com.au or Phone 0408 602 503.