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Energy Sector Program Director

The Next Economy
  • Location: Brisbane preferred
  • Position Type: 12 month contract
  • Hours /week: 30.4 – 38 hrs

About The Next Economy - We support regions to thrive in the next economy

The Next Economy is an independent, not-for-profit entity that partners with communities and regions that are facing disruption due to the changing climate and the decarbonisation of Australia's economy. Our aim is to assist them to develop economic strategies that are mutually beneficial for people and the planet on which we all depend.

The Next Economy team works with stakeholders across government, industry, civil society, and communities to tackle changes across the energy, land-use and other economic sectors. We facilitate collaboration on economic transition opportunities, support region-led action, and build the capacity of decision and policymakers to manage change.

Over the past five years, we have worked in regions with significant economic ties to fossil fuels including Central Queensland, the Latrobe Valley, the Hunter Valley and the Northern Territory. A recent example of this work involved partnering with the Gladstone Regional Council to develop their 10-year Economic Transition Roadmap, which was awarded the 2023 Local Government Managers Australia (Queensland) Award for Excellence.

Our growing team comprises of a passionate group of individuals who are committed to effecting positive change in the various systems that underpin our economy. We bring expertise from across a range of disciplines including economic and community development; energy sector and low carbon transition strategies; social sciences; environmental sustainability; social innovation and enterprise development; transformative leadership training; and change management.

The Next Economy is broadening our focus and influence in the energy sector, through a range of new opportunities and partnerships that are at the forefront of demonstrating leading practice in the transition towards a net zero future.  We’re seeking a driven and experienced individual who can lead this work and collaborate with our partners and team to foster opportunities that will reduce emissions in the energy sector, while simultaneously sustaining people and regenerating our natural environment.

Purpose of the Role

You will be responsible for leading our work to transform the energy sector so that the way it operates is climate safe, regenerative and socially just.

This includes:

  • Supporting regional communities to develop plans and strategies to manage the transition to a zero-emissions and socially just energy system
  • Working with decision makers across government and industry to develop appropriate policies and programs to transform the energy sector
  • Building a network of progressive thinkers and practitioners and work with them to develop ambitious plans and strategies to transform the sector
  • Sharing what we learn across social and mainstream media platforms to inspire the public to take meaningful action
  • Building the capacity of other civil society actors (eg: environment, union, social service and community groups) to engage productively with communities to facilitate positive change

Key relationships

Internal: CEO, Operations Director, Staff & Contractors

External: Clients, Key Partners.

Hours of Work

  • A minimum 7.6 hour working day Monday to Friday between the hours of 08.30am - 5:30pm.
  • As directed outside the above hours to ensure completion of duties identified within this Position Description

Essential Skills and Experience


  • Leadership: The ability to inspire and mobilise people from a diverse range of backgrounds to achieve shared goals.
  • Project Management: Demonstrated ability to successfully design and deliver projects, manage teams and budgets, monitor progress and report on outcomes.
  • Stakeholder Management: Ability to work effectively with diverse stakeholders, including with people who may hold very different values and world views.
  • Policy Design: Experienced in working effectively with government and industry to analyse complex systems and develop ambitious policies and strategies with the potential to contribute to systems change.
  • Community Engagement: Ability to facilitate both small and large groups of people, both in-person and using online tools.
  • Revenue Generation: Ability to generate income (fundraising and fee-for-service work) to support project activities and the program budget.
  • Research: Ability to gather and analyse primary data (qualitative and quantitative), as well as stay informed of latest research findings relevant to the sector.
  • Communication and presentation skills: Advanced ability to communicate positively and clearly (both verbally and in writing), including the ability to deliver presentations, engage with social and mainstream media, and compile reports and articles in a timely manner.

Experience & Knowledge

  • At least five years’ experience working in a program director / senior management role, including experience in managing a small team or organisation. 
  • At least two years’ experience developing policies and managing government relations.
  • At least 10 years’ experience in facilitating community development, community engagement and/or community organising processes to support groups through periods of significant change.
  • Media experience, particularly in communicating sensitive issues.
  • Previous success in generating income to support similar programs.
  • Strong networks across the energy sector in Australia (and ideally the climate movement).
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse stakeholders, including people who may hold very different values and world views.

Desired Qualifications and Experience

  • Relevant undergraduate or post graduate degree in a field related to The Next Economy.
  • Previous experience in a not-for-profit organisation / community group / social enterprise.

Attitudes and Behaviours Crucial for this Role

  • Solutions-focussed approach
  • Whole of Systems approach
  • Embraces diversity and able to work with people from a range of different backgrounds
  • Attention to detail & accuracy
  • Requires minimal supervision
  • Shows initiative, creativity, and innovation
  • Maintains a positive attitude
  • A strong commitment to and enthusiasm for the purpose of TNE and its role in transforming the economy
  • Understand and comply with TNE values / vision & objectives
  • Sensitive to professional and personal confidentialities

Key Responsibility Areas

The Energy Program Director will be responsible for working with other TNE staff to:

  • Develop and implement The Next Economy’s Energy Program Strategy.
  • Develop, train and manage a small team to deliver the Energy Program Strategy.
  • Identify, design and deliver new TNE Energy Sector initiatives that support regional communities to develop plans and strategies to manage the transition to a zero-emissions, climate resilient and socially just economy. 
  • Identify, design and manage partnerships and collaborations with key sector stakeholders in the generation, transmission, distribution and storage of energy, including energy companies, workers, Traditional Owners, farmers, environmental organisations, government, community members and other related industries (e.g. manufacturing).
  • Develop evidence-based reports on key elements relating to the transition to a zero emissions future. 
  • Co-design policies and strategies to assist decision makers across government, industry, unions, the environment sector, First Nations organisations and other key groups to manage the transition to a zero emissions economy in ways that achieve socially just and regenerative outcomes.
  • Build the capacity of civil society actors (eg: environment, union, social service and community groups) to engage effectively and productively with communities to facilitate positive change.
  • Facilitate activities with key stakeholders, including forums, roundtables, interviews and workshops.
  • Deliver public presentations, engage with media and develop training materials to shape the national discourse regarding how we manage the transformation of the energy sector.

As a Program Director, you will also work closely with TNE’s CEO and the broader team to:

  • Identify and secure new funding and income generating opportunities.
  • Share what we learn across social and mainstream media platforms to inspire the public and other organisations to take meaningful action.
  • Manage program finances, reporting and other compliance requirements.
  • Support the smooth functioning of the organisation.

To successfully fulfil their job requirements, the successful candidate will be sometimes required to travel within Australia and work outside normal work hours.

We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates.

  • To be considered for this position, applicants should have current working rights for Australia.
  • Only Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for interview
  • We respectfully request that recruitment agencies do not submit applications for this position

A position description is attached.

How to apply

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