Fiona Hawthorne is a Senior Policy Officer working in energy and water literacy. She believes everyone should have access to essential services, and has worked tirelessly advocating for change throughout her career.
“QCOSS is uniquely positioned in Queensland to be that vital conduit between community, industry and government,” she says. “Connecting decision-makers with the people affected by those decisions can be very effective in changing minds and policies. At QCOSS there is always an important conversation underway.”
Prior to QCOSS, Fiona worked to improve energy literacy for refugees and people seeking asylum, and performed energy audits for people experience payment difficulties.
“Understanding how to manage utility services and learning what assistance is out there is important for families in Queensland to stay connected,” she says.
Fiona says one of her proudest moments was when the ACCC released their report on electricity prices and recommended QCOSS’s “Switched On Communities” program as the ideal national model for energy literacy.
“It showed that communities hold the solutions – they just need the tools and opportunity to develop them. I was proud to be part of the QCOSS team facilitating that opportunity.”
Fiona has also been in community development roles, a Community Recovery team member, then leader in seven Queensland disasters, and coordinated two community centres.
A keen explorer of land and sea country, Fiona is now also a Life Member of her local Coastcare group after 22 years of involvement. Last year the group discovered 37 previously unknown species of spider, and a prehistoric moth.
“I just know there is still so much more we don’t yet know about where we live and I find that an exciting challenge.”