Our work 

Get access to our latest reports and resources published by our team. Use the Work Areas buttons on the left or filter by type of resource.

Angela Heck

Angela is Energy Program Director at The Next Economy, and has extensive experience in communications and awareness in the energy sector and across mitigation and adaptation strategies in the face of climate change.

For the past five years, Angela has facilitated multiple programs to reduce household carbon emissions, including working in household energy reduction across regional Queensland. She conducted communication consultations for Energy Networks nationally on demand tariff reform, and supported the development of a climate adaptive homes pilot with a national insurer.

Angela has prior experience at WWF-New Zealand and WWF-Australia contributing to the launch of the first WWF Earth Hour/ Lights Out initiative which decreased participants’ power use by 5%. This campaign still runs globally. Angela has an MBA specialising in sustainable environmental marketing and consumer behaviour and is passionate about improving sustainability and liveability outcomes for regional communities. She became a Climate Reality Leader in June 2019 and recently mentored the 2021 Brisbane trainees.

Jai Allison

Jai is the Engagement Director at The Next Economy. As a reformed environmental engineer his expertise ranges from delivering sustainable infrastructure projects to building socio-economic resilience.

Jai’s ability to support communities confronting change is underpinned by a nous to facilitate win-win outcomes and a humility to learn in public. He’s been doing this for over twenty years in diverse contexts with communities and their stakeholders from civil society, industry, and government. His experience of training leaders in how to make the most of disruption is being put to use in two programs: Building the Next Economy and the National Facilitators Network.   

He’s finishing off an action-research PhD in community resilience at the University of Newcastle, where he also teaches in a range of fields. Along with his growing family, Jai is regenerating the site of an old timber mill where he grew up, in the hinterland of Biripi country, at the Northern edge of the Hunter region of NSW.

Lisa Lumsden

Lisa is a Project Officer at The Next Economy. She is energetic and practical with a passion for supporting a zero emissions transition in a way that delivers real social, economic and environmental benefits to regional Australia.

She brings a background in community and regional development, local government, project and event management, social research and small business ownership. In addition to her role at The Next Economy, Lisa works with the Climate Justice Research Centre at the University of Technology Sydney on the trans-national ‘Decarbonising Electricity’ project.

Lisa was a Port Augusta City Councillor during the surprise closure of the Playford and Northern coal power stations and knows first hand what this means for regional communities. She was also a key community leader in the well-known ‘Repower Port Augusta’ campaign that sought a ‘just’ energy transition for the town. In 2017 she was co-winner of the Jill Hudson Award for Environmental Protection by the Conservation Council of South Australia.

Matthew Bakker

Matt is the Food and Land Use Program Director at The Next Economy and has a diverse background in agriculture and the land use sector.

Matt has experience working with landholders and communities over a range of environmental, social and economic issues around Australia. He has extensive land use experience, having worked on some of the largest agricultural stations in Australia, and working directly with landholders on restoration projects throughout South East Queensland.

For the past eight years he has worked with Traditional Owners ensuring traditional lands are respected and sites protected during mining and agricultural activities. He also runs a small-scale farm in Brisbane called Neighbourhood Farm where they grow and sell vegetables directly to the public and provide educational programs for people within the community.

Debbie Gibson

Debbie is a solution focussed, proactive & results driven Office Manager and Executive Assistant with experience in public, private & not for profit sectors in Australia, the United Kingdom & South Africa.

In addition to over 30 years’ experience in business support, she has also gained an Advanced Diploma of Management (HR), Diplomas of both Business and Management, a Certificate IV in Front Line Management and is a Rehabilitation & Return to Work Co-ordinator.

Debbie’s expertise lies in her ability to streamline and manage business processes. She is passionate about HR and business innovation.

Emma-Kate Rose

Emma-Kate is the Operations Director at The Next Economy, drawing on over 30 years’ experience working in business, social enterprise development, environmental sustainability, food justice and bottom-up economic development.

In addition to her role at The Next Economy, she also leads Food Connect, an award-winning social enterprise which has led the way in transforming the local food system, using principles of ecological agriculture to engage ethically with family farms and local communities.

Emma-Kate is a past Fellow of the Yunus Centre for Social Business at Griffith University. She is currently a Special Advisor to the Board of the Queensland Social Enterprise Council, where she was previously President from 2017-2020. During her time there, she helped secure philanthropic and government funding to coordinate a sector-wide strategy to scale impact across Queensland, as well as winning the bid to bring the World Social Enterprise Forum to Brisbane in 2022.

Dr Amanda Cahill

Amanda is the CEO of The Next Economy. She has spent over two decades working with inspiring people across Australia, Asia and the Pacific to create positive change on issues as diverse as economic development, public health, gender equality and climate adaptation.

The focus of her work at The Next Economy is to support communities, government, industry and others to develop a more resilient, just and regenerative economy. Most of this work involves supporting regional communities in Australia to strengthen their economies by embracing the transition to zero emissions. She is also widely sought after as a presenter and media commentator and has appeared in a number of books and films including the film 2040.

Amanda completed her PhD at the Australian National University on participatory action research approaches to economic development in the Philippines. She is an Adjunct Lecturer at The University of Queensland, an Industry Fellow at the Sydney Policy Lab at the University of Sydney, and a 2020 Churchill Fellow.

We work with communities, governments and industry to build regional economies that are climate safe, regenerative and socially just.

We rely on contributions from generous foundations and individuals to do what we do. If you like to contribute to a fair and resilient Australia, support our work today.

We are a registered charity with the ACNC and accept tax deductible donations through the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.