Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in remote communities face unique challenges with super. Language barriers, limited phone coverage and missing or mismatched identification can make it tricky for people even to find their super accounts, let alone start growing them.
That’s why our current Reconciliation Action Plan aims to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians’ make the most of their super. To do that, we need to walk beside people to find a path to a better financial future.
In May 2018, HESTA employees Dee Eldridge and Husna Jamal travelled to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in the South Australia with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s Indigenous Outreach Program. Joining peers from other super funds, they set out to learn from the APY communities and offer practical help to get their super on track.
“Dee and I sat down with members of the community [including Ernabella Elder Graham Kulyura, pictured above] to help them understand what super actually is and how to find and access it,” says Husna. “We were lucky enough to touch base with some HESTA members, including Darlene, which was great. We helped Darlene ensure her legacy could be passed on to her daughter through super. We also listened to our other members talk about respect for the land; passion to grow and give back to their community; about ensuring the next generation is educated to do this, and how super could help them on this path.”
“It was hard sometimes to believe that we had made a difference due to the complexity of the Anangu’s situations,” says Dee.
The experience was deeply moving, but more than that: the group is now working hard on how HESTA and the super industry can better support members whenever, and wherever, they need us.