An Indigenous-led financial outreach initiative has toured across two states and visited seven communities helping First Nations people in Western Australia and the Northern Territory find their lost superannuation.
First Nations Foundation’s (FNF) ‘Big Super Day Out’ helped around 500 Indigenous people over seven days in July and August, reconnecting communities with more than $9.5 million in super.
Launched in 2014, this year the program travelled to Broome, Kununurra, Darwin and four remote communities in East Arnhem Land for Big Super Day Out 2019.
FNF's chief executive Amanda Young said many Indigenous communities are excluded by financial institutions and the community finds it hard to engage and trust them.
“It is telling that Indigenous people respond to Indigenous-led initiatives and trust our motives," she said.
Ms Young said understanding how super works can be a challenge for some Indigenous communities due to the low levels of financial literacy, the amount of paperwork required, and language and identification barriers.
"This is a national program waiting to happen," Ms Young said in a written statement. "We have developed it, validated it and now we only need the investment to create the kind of economic outcome hard-working First Nations people deserve.”
On the East Arnhem Land leg, $4.9 million in super was reconnected and 285 people were assisted, however, FNF said it believed 75 people were unable to be reached due to the initiative still requiring additional resourcing.
The outreach program has visited 21 communities across six states since its launch five years ago. In that period it has assisted 1636 people and recovered $24.04 million in lost super.
According to the Australian Taxation Office, $17.5 billion in super was unclaimed and lost in the last financial year.