investing in reconciliation


Our super system was created to benefit all Australians. However, the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are often overlooked by superannuation policymakers and the industry itself, which means super balances are significantly lower for First Nations peoples compared to the overall Australian population1.

The health and community services sector is the largest employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationwide2. As a national organisation and a fund dedicated to the provision of superannuation to the sector, HESTA has a unique role to play to increase equity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

As part of our commitment to better support, engage and partner with First Nations peoples, we were among the first super funds to launch a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) almost 10 years ago.


What is a RAP?

RAPs provide a framework for organisations to support the national reconciliation movement.

Following the publication of its first RAP in 2015 and a subsequent RAP in 2017, HESTA launched its current Innovate RAP (pdf) in 2023.

This is our next step in a long journey to:

  • build respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through understanding and shared learnings
  • increase confidence and choice in retirement for all members, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • achieve equity between the treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

A year on, we’re pleased to report on some of our achievements and take the opportunity to look ahead to the significant work that is still to be done.


Dhawura Ngilan Business and Investor initiative

HESTA is a founding supporter of this historic First Nations-led project that provides resources to enable investors and businesses to proactively protect and conserve First Nations cultural heritage.


Industry initiatives

HESTA has joined industry initiatives such as the ASIC Financial Services Industry Workshop and the First Nations Super Summit to hear first-hand about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences of the superannuation system and commit to systemic improvements in partnership with other funds, regulators, and community.


Sharing stories

Through our HESTA Awards, we continue to shine a spotlight on stories from First Nations peoples, and workers who support First Nations organisations, such as Rachel Phillips from Birrelee Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s Service and Rebecca Martin from Sesame Lane Care & Kindergarten.


Training and education

HESTA has incorporated The Seven Steps to Reconciliation and Allyship training into our core learning requirements, so that every single member of our team can have an increased understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, history, and continuing traditions.


What’s next for reconciliation at HESTA?

In the second year of our Innovate RAP, HESTA has committed to a range of actions in partnership with Indigenous organisations aimed at:

  • developing and delivering education and information materials for the specific cultural needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members
  • increasing supplier diversity, including partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to review some of our procurement practices
  • joining in outreach events including in remote communities as part of First Nation Foundation’s Financial Wellness Weeks.


Learn more about reconciliation at HESTA >




1 The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia Limited (ASFA), Developments in account balances - Superannuation account balances for various demographic groups, March 2022, p.19.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework - Summary report, March 2024. 

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