Coolibah Pty Ltd is an energy communications and issues management consultancy based in Sydney, Australia. It provides advisory services to government, industry associations, management consultancies and companies engaged in a wide range of energy activities and services.
Its principal is Keith Orchison, who has been involved in resources and energy industry policy issues management and communications for more than 32 years.
He has been a communicator in one way or another for 53 years, starting as a sports writer in South Africa in the 1950s.
During his time as a journalist he was editor of a large specialist magazine at 24, national news editor of a daily newspaper at 26 and editor of one of South Africa’s best-known current affairs magazines at 28.
In Australia in the 1970s he worked briefly for Rupert Murdoch before moving in to business communications and becoming PR head of Associated Pulp & Mills in 1974 and of La Trobe University in 1977.
In 1980 he was head-hunted to be chief executive of the upstream petroleum industry association, now the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), a position he held until 1991. He holds APPEA’s gold medal for services to the petroleum industry.
In 1991 he was headhunted to be chief executive of the Electricity Supply Association of Australia, a post he held until retiring in 2003.
He served on CSIRO energy advisory committees for six years and chaired its Energy Technology sector advisory committee in 1999-2001. He was a member of the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, an association of 14 energy, mining and manufacturing associations, for 10 years and was chairman of the AIGN in 2002.
From 2003 to 2007 he was a member of the Howard Government’s Critical Infrastructure Advisory Council and chaired its energy committee.
He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2004 for service to the petroleum and electricity industries through fostering co-operation between energy producers and government agencies and through the development the development of policies to benefit Australia in the long term.
Today, apart from consulting activities, he writes regularly for “Business Spectator” and has had almost 200 commentaries published on the site in four years. He also writes from time to time for “The Australian,” often in its special reports on energy.
He is the editorial director of “Powering Australia” yearbook, now in its sixth year.
On this Coolibah website, he publishes a monthly newsletter and a blog called “This is Power,” which are widely read by members of the energy industry, politicians, public servants, analysts and other journalists.
He is a trustee of the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia and was a member of the Federal Government’s energy white paper reference group in 2011.
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