Australian Catholic Superannuation’s Reconciliation Action Plan

Today, we interview Leah Bennett, our Indigenous Liaison Officer about reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and what Australian Catholic Superannuation is doing to help in this area.

What is reconciliation?

“Reconciliation is about acknowledging the past and traditional custodians of the land, understanding the disadvantages they face on a daily basis, and finding ways to improve that situation.”

Why pursue reconciliation?

“We’re doing this because we believe it’s important to participate in the greater reconciliation journey to improve the lives of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of this nation. It’s not up to just one organisation; we all need to own a part of it.”

Why is Australian Catholic Super involved in reconciliation?

“The core mission of Australian Catholic Super is to help enable our members to live their best possible retirement, but importantly being a Catholic organisation we do this in a way which is consistent with Catholic Social Teachings.

As we have many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members and one of the core components of Catholic Social Teaching is upholding the dignity of the human person it is only natural that we would focus on reconciliation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

I believe that compassion, understanding and trust will enable more meaningful conversations, and drive better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members (and non-members) around Australia.”

What is a Reconciliation Action Plan?

“A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a plan to help achieve our vision for reconciliation. The vision is to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to better understand their finances, and empower them to have a financial plan, both today and for their future.”

How does it work within Australian Catholic Super?

“We’ve put together a team of people from across the business to address these issues. We’ve intentionally found people who work in many different areas of our business, like our administration team and call centre, who have experience providing services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members. It was important for us to have the process be organic to foster growth and change, and we’ve had fantastic support from all levels of our organisation.”

What are the next steps?

“Some organisations focus on specific goals or targets for employment or getting involved in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Because we’re a financial services organisation with many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members, we want to improve how we serve that community and focus on expanding financial literacy. We have set some goals. They don’t all have to change the world. Some can be small, like starting meetings with an Acknowledgement of Country to pay respect to the Traditional Owners and custodians of the land.”

We encourage members with any comments or ideas to get in touch with the fund.