The last week of May each year is always significant for the Aboriginal cultural calendar. It marks two key events, Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week. This year’s theme for Reconciliation Week, “In This Together” captured the essence of what the week is really about.
For me, reconciliation is about Indigenous and non-Indigenous people having a strong relationship and working together for outcomes to benefit all Australia.
This is really what has underpinned the success of our Foundation since the very beginning.
By working with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities we have managed to
- Connect 1600 people to $24m in lost super
- Have hundreds of people undertake our face-to-face financial literacy training
- Over 5,000 community members enrolled in our online financial education training.
This is something that we certainly would not have been able to achieve alone but did so with the support of community organisations, as well as corporate and government organisations.
The other key element behind reconciliation is equity and equality. We still find that Aboriginal people are lagging behind in financial literacy and engaging with financial services.
It’s great to see a number of our key partners within the financial services industry take this on board and to an executive level with a Reconciliation Action Plan. The key word being action.
The progressive organisations are taking action towards equality and equity for the Indigenous customers.
Many super funds have implemented an Indigenous hotline that is resourced by staff that are experienced in the complexity of Indigenous cultural issues.
We’ve had major finance companies purchase our online training to be donated to communities who need the service but can’t necessarily afford to pay for it.
It’s these types of initiatives that allow for better outcomes for the Indigenous community and even more powerful when it’s lead by non-Indigenous staff.
It’s sometimes easy to have the Indigenous employee deal with the Indigenous issues but what the truly progressive organisations have realised is that Indigenous customers are everybody’s customers