an advocate for change


HESTA member Tamika is an owner, manager and educator passionate about the early childcare sector.


Just over two years ago, Tamika started up an early education centre in Melbourne. She now manages a team of 43. “Having a team that is passionate about early childhood education and are all striving for the same outcomes makes managing easy and paves the way for mentoring and leadership to take place. This takes time, but when you attract and build the right team, that's when the magic happens,” says Tamika.


Tamika first joined HESTA when she started her career in early childhood. “It was compulsory back then. As the rules changed, I did do some research and decided to stay with HESTA. I had about four super funds at that stage and combining them was an easy thing to do. If anyone hasn't done that yet, do it!” says Tamika.


“I stayed with HESTA because it’s an industry super fund and I have always found the information emailed and sent out easy to understand. When I have changed the way I invest my funds, the process has been easy.”


"I had about four super funds [at that stage] and combining them was an easy thing to do. If anyone hasn't done that yet, do it!”


Working towards better outcomes

Tamika is an advocate for early childhood and social justice issues. “We live in a world where little to no recognition is given to the importance of quality early childhood education, despite all the data, research and statistics,” says Tamika. “Investing in early childhood, combined with better family supports would create such better community outcomes.


“We have so much to offer in early childhood, and have so many combined years in services across the country that we could be tapping into to get better outcomes for children and communities.


“I get great sense of achievement knowing that I provide a space for my team to not only teach children and support families in what are the formative years of children's lives, but to also provide a working environment where my team can be free to be themselves, increase their knowledge and have ownership of what it is they do.”


Tamika also strives for better retirement outcomes for her team. “I know that when you don't earn much, the super you accrue from that isn't going to be much, so I often talk to my team about what they might like to think about when it comes to planning for retirement. What we should have versus what we are going to have just isn't going to cut it,” says Tamika.


The impact of COVID-19

Tamika describes her young business being impacted by COVID-19 feeling like ‘a freight train of fear’. She questioned the possibility of losing everything and how to keep her team in work.


The uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic led Tamika to access her super early through the Government’s early release scheme. “I accessed $10,000 of my super as a backup for the worst case scenario and to get through the first lock down. I plan to put that back in my super over the course of the next 1-2 years depending on how we come out the other end of this pandemic,” says Tamika.


Planning for the future

Tamika is forward thinking when it comes to superannuation. “The only downside to starting up your own business is that you tend to sacrifice a wage which means a sacrifice to your super. This means that I have only just started to contribute extra to my super in order to maximise the Government's incentive to boost contributions by up to $500. Once COVID-19 passes and I start actually paying myself a wage, I will definitely be putting money into my super to make up for the time where I have not had a wage or made contributions.


“If could go back and sit myself down and talk super, I'd say, 'Tamika, you've just started work, put an extra $20-30 a week into you super. You're not going to miss it and if it's in your bank account you'll just spend it. Find out more about where the best place is to invest your super. Do some research!'”

You might also like

Federal Budget 2024-25

With inflation and currently high interest rates continuing to hit household budgets, this year’s Federal Budget contained some important changes for super.

Read More

Thinking about contributing extra into your super like Tamika?