Fifteen organisations supported the Big Super Day Out, a community event run by the First Nations Foundation and sponsored by AIST, AustralianSuper and Cbus to help Indigenous people connect with their superannuation.
Eight organisations provided volunteers on the day who assisted with the provision of general superannuation advice. These were AustralianSuper, Cbus, Local Government Super, HESTA, Mercer, UniSuper, Thomson Geer Lawyers, and Arrowstreet Capital.
A further five organisations were there in a supporting role. These were Legal Aid NSW, ASIC’s Indigenous Outreach Team, AIST, First Nations Foundation and the National Indigenous Centre for Excellence.
REST and Link Group attended in an observatory role to gain a better understanding of the event.
“We are very pleased to see such a strong level of support from the not-for-profit super sector. The large number of willing volunteers for the event show the passion and drive the sector has for improving retirement outcomes for First Australians,” said Tom Garcia, chief executive of AIST.
Cold weather and a protest against the destruction of community housing meant the day started slowly, but the provision of after-school activities to occupy children while parents discussed superannuation helped draw people to the event later in the day.
“The majority of advice sought by members from the community on the day was around locating and consolidating superannuation accounts – both steps that can make a big difference, come retirement time,” Garcia said.
He also thanked the First Nations Foundation for creating a fun and informative environment for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to seek assistance with their superannuation.
Amanda Young, chief executive of First Nations Foundation, was overwhelmed with the support from the superannuation industry – the event was oversubscribed with volunteers offering their time and expertise.
“We were thrilled with the event from a number of perspectives. The first one was the support and enthusiasm from the superannuation industry. We were beyond delighted at the levels of engagement and to the fact we had oversubscription of volunteers,” Young said.
“It felt like a really strong collegiate atmosphere. It had a really good vibe and that was down to the volunteers and their wonderful attitude and support.”
The next Big Super Day Out will be held in Melbourne on October 8, with the First Nation Foundation looking to extend the event to capital cities across the nation including, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Perth.
Young added that to do this they would need sponsors.
“We are looking for super funds, community partners, administrators, investors, [and] anyone who has an interest in helping Indigenous Australians have a better financial future using the superannuation,” she said.
Garcia added the Indigenous Superannuation Working Group – chaired by AIST Executive Manager, Eva Scheerlinck – has announced that a second Indigenous Superannuation Summit will be held later this year as a forum for the superannuation industry, Indigenous organisations, consumer bodies and government agencies to collaborate and debate the issues central to improving retirement outcomes for Indigenous communities.
Anyone interested in joining the Working Group can contact Eva Scheerlinck at [email protected].