In late August 2009, after more than thirty years fighting for a specialist health centre dedicated to the indigenous community, the Wiradjuri people opened, the Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service (AWAHS).

Now, almost ten years down the track, AWAHS supports over 4,000 patients and employs over 50 staff including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, and a social wellbeing team who help close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. But providing such a comprehensive and culturally safe health service means things aren’t cheap, leaving Practise Manager, Sharryn Ward, to juggle a critical role. 

“My days consist of anything from payroll to finding new ways for us to save money because, we rely on government funding, every little bit counts. Saving helps us provide top quality practitioners who can work with the Stolen Generation, alcohol and drug services, or provide holistic therapy.” 

The downside for Sharryn is, regardless of AWAHS being a not-for-profit organisation it still operates in the business world; where rising operating costs, and energy meters, wait for no man. And, for many businesses, the last year has put their viability to the test with some energy and gas bills increasing up to thirty or fifty per cent.    

“As a business we run a huge amount of expensive machinery like electrocardiograms, spirometers, and special computers, all the time. We also have lighting on, for security reasons, 24/7 so our energy bills are really high — even with solar. We normally look at paying between $5,000 and $7,000 per quarter, it’s a massive cost, but after using the Chamber’s energy saving program we’re going to save about $2,000 annually.”

Sharryn, in her vocational pursuit to save money, found NSW Business Chamber’s Energy Comparison Service. A new program that helps members, and non-members, find the best energy deal on the market for their home or business by comparing providers. 

“It was so simple, I literally had a quote within 24hours and, in the end, our provider actually offered us the same discount in order to keep us.”

“The Chamber’s program is doing more than finding the best deal for companies and helping them save, it’s actually calling out the providers who are not willing to offer affordable energy and pressuring them to change.”

“A $2,000 saving goes straight back into our services. Everything we pursue is for the betterment of our clients and we just can’t afford to not have the best deal on the market.”      

Since March 2018 the Chamber has helped more than 1,000 businesses and residential customers wipe over a million dollars collectively from their estimated future annual electricity and gas bills. 


(Above: Brittany Wright, Aboriginal Health Worker, and Sharryn Ward, AWAHS Practice Manager.)  

Click here to find out if the Chamber can help your home or business.