Supporting our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members

Super Informed
27 Jul 2020
4 min read

Our aim is to provide greater retirement outcomes for all members, including our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members. We’re committed to working together to help them better engage with their super and recognise their retirement needs.

Rickiesha Deegan's Shaping our future  represents the beginning of UniSuper's journey in reconciliation.

Understanding super and financial literacy in general, helps our members achieve better financial outcomes. Our aim is to help all our members get there, regardless of gaps in education, wage disparities and increased health challenges – issues experienced by many in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

To help us achieve this, UniSuper has developed a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). A RAP is a formal plan that documents our commitment to implementing practical actions that are respectful of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members. This plan helps keep us accountable to deliver on initiatives that better educate our staff and increase engagement with our First Nations community.

Our RAP was recently formally endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. This is a significant event for UniSuper and an important step in supporting our First Nations members.

Download our Reconciliation Action Plan (PDF, 3.1 MB)

We’ve introduced several initiatives to prepare us for our RAP’s implementation

Delivered cultural awareness training

Many UniSuper employees (including frontline member and employer-facing employees) have undertaken cultural awareness training with a First Nations training provider. These workshops helped increase our employees’ knowledge of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and understand the inherent challenges in the way Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members engage with financial services providers.

Established a Reconciliation Working Group

A dedicated working group has been essential in bringing organisation-wide awareness to the challenges faced by many First Nations peoples, as well as supporting the ongoing initiatives documented within our RAP.

Introduced an Acknowledgement of Country at events

We’ve introduced an Acknowledgment of Country at all internal and external company events, including events and roadshows held at universities nationwide.

Engaged a First Nations Consultant

We’ve engaged a First Nations Consultant to provide guidance and cultural insights to our Steering Committee and UniSuper more broadly.

Sponsored an event to register birth certificates

We’ve also sponsored a joint initiative with the University of New England and Rotary Australia to raise funds to register the births of vulnerable Australians through not-for-profit organisation, the Minimbah Project. In sponsoring this event, UniSuper helped to register the births of more than 150 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders, ensuring that proof of identity doesn’t become an issue when they need to engage with the super system.

There’s still more work to be done

We’re committed to our continued education and understanding of the histories and culture of the First Nations people. But more than that, we want to drive meaningful outcomes that positively impact the lives of our members. Earlier this year, we conducted deep dive interviews with some of our First Nations members to understand how we can better support and engage them with their super. The insights from this research have been shared with UniSuper employees, with work currently underway to address the suggestions and feedback raised.

To learn more about reconciliation in Australia and how you can get involved, visit Reconciliation Australia.

 

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