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.

Matthew Bakker

Matt is the Food and Land Use Project Officer 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.

Dr Jarra Hicks

Jarra is a Founding Director of the Community Power Agency, a leading organisation supporting communities to establish renewable energy projects. With 10 years’ experience in the community energy sector in both Australia and overseas, Jarra’s knowledge spans business models, community engagement, facilitation, policy development and partnership building. Jarra has a unique blend of practitioner and researcher experience and throughout her career and has led projects on the ground as well as working at sector and policy levels. Jarra completed a PhD in Law/ Built Environment at the University of New South Wales on the outcomes and impacts from community-owned wind energy projects in small regional communities. From 2014 to 2016 Jarra was an advisor to the ACT government in the design and delivery of the Community Engagement and Benefit Sharing component of their Renewable Energy Auctions. In 2017 Jarra co-authored the Victorian Government’s Community Engagement and Benefit Sharing in Renewable Energy Development A Guide for Applicants to the Victorian Renewable Energy Target Auction and worked with the Clean Energy Council to produce a comprehensive national review of current and best-practice community engagement and benefit sharing in the wind industry, titled Enhancing Positive Social Outcomes from Wind Development. Jarra was a key participant in the ARENA-funded Social Access Solar Gardens project.

Wendy Farmer

Wendy is the President of Voices of the Valley, a community advocacy group that formed during the catastrophic 2014 Hazelwood brown coal mine fire in Victoria.

Voices of the Valley’s advocacy work has led to, notably, the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiries, as well as a number of awards for Environmental Justice and for Health Equity. Over time, Wendy’s focus has shifted to supporting her community to explore how the Valley can transition to a cleaner energy economy. She is a dedicated campaigner, media spokesperson, community advocate and public speaker, and is passionate about social justice, health and just transitions for communities all around Australia.

Dr Emma Whittlesea

Emma is the Community Transitions Manager at TNE. Her professional focus has been around sustainability, community development and stakeholder dialogue, supporting community and economic transition. She has over 20 years’ experience, working with communities and public, private and not-for-profit sectors within the UK, Europe and Australia.

Emma worked as a Principal Policy Officer for the Queensland Government for over 4 years in the Department of Environment and Science, where she managed a variety of projects including a program to help Great Barrier Reef island communities transition towards a low carbon economy and increase their resilience. She is also an adjunct Senior Research Fellow with the Griffith Institute for Tourism.

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.