she's got the power


HESTA member Pam draws parallels between planning for retirement and training to be a champion power lifter.


Pam is a former champion athlete who competed in javelin at the 1980 Olympics and the 1982 Commonwealth games. She held the Australian record in the sport for a number of years. Part of her training with coach Franz Stampfl – the man who coached Roger Bannister to run the first sub four-minute mile - involved weight training. This ultimately led her to also become a champion power lifter. She won the World Championship in 1983 by achieving a 190kg squat, 102kg bench and 212kg dead lift.


Pam’s athletic background offers a unique insight into her attitude to planning for retirement. “It’s like training to be a world champion: Start early, go hard and keep your eyes on the prize. It takes consistent work over a long period of time.  The early work is the base on which everything that follows is built.  If things get tough, a solid base will help you get through it,” says Pam.


Injuries and age eventually meant Pam’s focus switched towards her post-sport career which saw her become an embryologist. “In the 1990s, embryology was still a very new field and I was the first embryologist to be employed at Melbourne IVF,” says Pam. It was while she was working here that she joined HESTA. “Melbourne IVF initially used a private superannuation scheme, which had performed woefully.  A new manager appointed while I was away had the good sense to look at better options. HESTA has consistently performed well, returning very good earnings with minimal fees,” says Pam.

"Start early, go hard and keep your eyes on the prize. It takes consistent work over a long period of time. "

A few years ago, Pam started her own business transporting embryos and gametes for people who have moved overseas or are seeking cross border IVF treatment. “I was able to set up my business by switching to a HESTA Transition to Retirement Income Stream. It provided me income while I was establishing myself,” says Pam. “The business has now developed to a point that I can comfortably support myself,” says Pam. 


Pam’s sporting pursuits and her career in embryology have given her many opportunities to travel and meet people from a range of cultures. She has worked in countries as diverse Sweden, the UK, Jordan, the Philippines, Cambodia, Norway, Uganda and Zimbabwe.  “To be able to provide IVF to couples in situations where there is barely even running water and definitely not a reliable power supply is the most satisfying work of my career,” says Pam.


While she has no plans to slow down just yet, the super Pam has with HESTA means she is in a good financial position to live life on her terms. “When I am sick of sitting on airplanes I will either reduce the number of jobs I take on or stop altogether and retire,” says Pam.

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