First Nations Foundations has launched a new website to help indigenous Australians learn about their superannuation, as its annual Big Super Day outreach initiative has been postponed to protect the health of vulnerable communities from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The indigenous financial literacy’s website – IndigenousSuper.com.au – had information on the benefits of super over the short and long-term, and provided users with a five-step plan to take control of their super including sections on ‘knowledge’, ‘find it’, ‘grow it’, ‘protect it’, and ‘plan it’.
First Nations Foundation chief executive, Phil Usher, said: “By clearly understanding what the benefits of interacting with super early are, and what protections are included with superannuation, we will be able to help our mob make the most of the superannuation they already have.
“…we are able to talk to indigenous Australians in a way that other institutions cannot.”
Usher said the need for financial literacy education and indigenous financial empowerment was even more relevant as the country faced a potential recession.
He told Super Review that the language and design of the website was less formal to create a more comfortable and culturally appropriate feel.
“We use simple words and the artwork on the website feels familiar and we also use photos of indigenous people,” he said.
“The opportunity if we get this right is enormous. Superannuation can act as vehicle that creates intergenerational wealth for Aboriginal people. But to have an impact on this scale we can’t do it alone. We need super funds and industry bodies to be on board.
“We can deliver the information in a culturally appropriate way that has a connection with the audience, but super funds are the product providers who can utilise our cultural expertise to provide an enhanced experience for their indigenous members.”
The website has partnered with super funds and financial services providers including AustralianSuper, Cbus, MLC Wealth, Suncorp, TelstraSuper and UniSuper.
Usher said the partners were able to showcase their services in a way that was informal including their initiatives for working with Aboriginal people.
“Super fund websites usually focus on fees, performance, and investments but this way they can highlight some of their reconciliation action plans and give more of a community feel,” he said.
Usher noted that super funds needed to understand how to communicate with indigenous Australians as often letters were quite complex.
“They need to talk to communities and work with Aboriginal organisations on how to present their information as Aboriginal financial literacy and comprehension is less than non-Aboriginals,” he said.
“Taking advice from leaders on how to tailor and talk to members through a strategic top down approach with an indigenous first mindset would help.”
He noted the website would develop over time as the superannuation industry evolved and it was the first of a number of new resources that First Nations Foundation was launching to help indigenous Australians take steps towards economic parity with the rest of the population.