Big Super Day Out gets into the festival vibe in Melbourne

Dan Purves

By

10/01/2017

The Big Super Day Out is extending its reach. Now in its third year, the event designed to encourage Indigenous Australians to get engaged with their superannuation will hitch its wagon to major cultural festivals, in a bid to reach a larger audience.

Big Super Day Out aims to address the shocking superannuation outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders communities by bridging the gap between them and financial institutions.

The event is organised by financial literacy charity First Nations Foundation, with financial support from the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST). HESTA has signed up as a financial supporter of the event in 2017, alongside existing sponsors AustralianSuper and Cbus Super.

“We are delighted not only to have the two-year support of AIST and AustralianSuper, to roll out this event to different locations in Australia, and to have support again from Cbus Super, but also to welcome HESTA to the family,” First Nations Foundation chief executive Amanda Young said.

In 2015 and 2016, the event was a standalone happening in Sydney’s Redfern. The first year, 170 people attended, with more than 60 receiving direct advice. In 2016, turnout was lower amid poor weather and a nearby protest.

This year, Big Super Day Out will take place in Melbourne and Brisbane, where it will coincide with bigger events, instead of in Sydney.

On Saturday, January 14, staff from HESTA, AustralianSuper and Cbus will join representatives from AIST and First Nations Foundation at the Wominjeka Festival at the Footscray Community Arts Centre, Melbourne. Up to 2000 people are expected to visit the festival.

Young said she hoped embedding the financial literacy and education event within a broader cultural and community festival would help extend its reach.

If the event can help just 50 of those people who come along to the festival understand their superannuation better, then it will have made a difference, Young said.

HESTA Super chief executive Debby Blakey said sponsoring Big Super Day Out in Melbourne aligned with the objectives of the $36 billion super fund’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

“We are committed to increasing confidence and awareness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples when it comes to the choices they have with super,” Blakey said in a statement.

HESTA was the first industry super fund in the country to launch a RAP.

On July 7, 2017, Big Super Day Out will travel to Brisbane, for one of the largest Indigenous cultural festivals in the country; up to 20,000 people are expected to attend.

“This is a great opportunity for funds to access a large market,” Young said.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly those living in remote communities, are a cohort of members who have traditionally had low levels of engagement with the super system.

For those who are interested in finding out more about future Big Super Day Out events, the First Nations Foundation can be reached at [email protected].