Aboriginal people succeeding through ability, opportunity and reward for effort
Wunan Blog News & Updates from the field
Jul 26 2019

BSDO Volunteers helping people in Kununurra track down and claim their superannuation

Wunan’s Financial Wellbeing team recently worked with a dedicated team of superannuation industry volunteers and the First Nations Foundation‘s Big Super Day out team to bring the first event of its kind to the East Kimberley.

The First Nations Foundation is dedicated to achieving economic freedom for Aboriginal people across Australia. They have been hosting Big Super Day Out events since 2014, predominantly in the Eastern states.

Wunan’s Financial Counsellor initially discussed the idea of hosting a Big Super Day Out in Kununurra when they were attending an ATSI Network function in 2017 at a Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) conference. Wunan’s Financial Counsellors were excited and initially hoped to host the event in Kununurra in 2018, however, the logistics and funds required pushed the timeline out to 2019.

Wunan’s Financial Wellbeing Hub focussed on working with community partners Ngnowar Aerwah in Wyndham, Warmun Arts Centre and Kalumburu’s EKJP team to ensure that Aboriginal people who were 55 or over in these communities had the opportunity to learn about superannuation and to prepare them for the event as well as getting the word out into communities in the East Kimberley.

ATO and Super industry experts worked to identify people and their superannuation throughout the day

‘There’s a bit of a process that people need to go through, specifically, ensuring their identification is adequate for the AT0 and DHS staff to confirm their identity on the day of the event,” said Wunan Financial Counsellor, Tevita Naroba.  The follow-up support Wunan is providing to those who have successfully located unknown super is a critical component of the Financial Wellbeing Hub and ties in with Wunan’s and First Nations Foundation’s objectives to grow financial capability and resilience in Aboriginal people throughout Australia.

The Big Super Day Out event in Kununurra was the second in a ‘Top End Roadshow’ series of Big Super Days Out, which saw them stopping in the Territory and the Kimberley for the first time since the inaugural event in Sydney in 2014.

Wunan’s Financial Wellbeing and Housing Services Manager, Tanya Hill said it was great to have such a fantastic turn out at the family-friendly Kununurra event, “There was an energetic and happy vibe around the park and it was very rewarding seeing the families who found their super, so happy.”

The BSDO events are funded through sponsorship from superannuation industry partners and grant funding sourced by the small but dedicated team at First Nations Foundation and their local partners, such as Wunan and the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley’s Quick Grants, in the communities they visit.  The team of 27 descended on White Gum Park to help people through the process, they were all representatives from various industry partners supporting the BSDO and are experts in the superannuation field, thus giving people the best information and support from people working in the industry.

BSDO helped Kununurra man George Smith locate his superannuation.

The staggering fact that there was up to $1.78 billion worth of lost or unclaimed superannuation in Western Australia alone, $14 million of which is believed to belong to Kimberley people, speaks to the importance of services the Financial Wellbeing Hub provides in equipping and supporting Aboriginal people to build their financial literacy and better position them to accept opportunities that their non-Aboriginal counterparts often take for granted.

Read more on other media coverage about how the Big Super Day Out has reached people in the Kimberley!

ABC Kimberley

The Kimberley Echo

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