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Faces of super

Industry Super Australia (ISA) – as the voice of the 11 Industry SuperFunds carrying the trusted symbol – undertakes joint research and advocacy programs on behalf of our funds. Everything that we do assists them in maximising the retirement savings of our members. 

ISA’s most well-known collective program is the Industry SuperFunds marketing campaign, which provides Australians with information about the superior average performance of Industry SuperFunds.

But who are the people that drive the work of Industry Super Australia, our funds, and other allies in the profit-to-member super sector? What specialties do they bring to our work, and what makes them ‘tick’?

The “Faces of Super” gives you a unique insight into exactly those questions.

Take the time to get to know our people – and better-understand how they shape and strengthen the work that ISA undertakes for the benefit of nearly 5 million Australians who trust Industry SuperFunds to deliver them choice and control over their retirement outcomes.

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Bill Watson

When it comes to strengthening the retirement outcomes of workers in the forestry industry, few stand taller than First Super CEO Bill Watson.

Learn more about Bill

Bill Watson

Bill’s involvement in super stretches back to the mid 80s. While studying law at Melbourne University, he worked as an industrial officer for a food manufacturing union and helped workers campaign for dignity in retirement.

Bill recalls: “Back then, workers on the shop floor had to wait 10 years before joining the pension fund – whereas white collar workers were given immediate access.”

That’s why Bill celebrates the progress enabled by the Super Guarantee; providing every worker with retirement income and low-cost death and TPD cover.

Bill sees the casualisation of labour and systemic disadvantages faced by working women as challenges to that progress, which is why he believes that “Industry funds have a role to play in advocating for stronger action on these issues for the benefit of their members.”

And when it comes to benefiting members, Bill’s actions speak just as loudly as his words. As CEO, his proudest achievement to date is the consistently strong rate of return that First has achieved.

Says Bill: “Consecutively finishing in the top 10 of the Your Future, Your Super performance test demonstrates the outstanding work of the First Super team in delivering real value for members.”

So what’s the ‘First’ order of business for 2023, Bill?

“We hope to work with the Government to ensure that funds are accountable for their service delivery. Every fund member should receive prompt and helpful service, and as a fund that values strong relationships with our employers and our members, customer experience is something we’ve always prioritised.”

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Elsa Greguric

Meet a Face of Super who’s smashed through plenty of glass ceilings in her time – REI Super's Marketing and Partnerships Manager Elsa Greguric!

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Elsa Greguric

Elsa’s career kicked-off in London’s Arts scene, where she was encouraged to pursue her interest in and talent for marketing. Completing her training in digital marketing, Elsa was keen to continue working in a not-for-profit, member-oriented space – but was ready for a new challenge. Her role with REI Super – an Industry SuperFund run only to benefit members – was a natural fit!

She recalls: “I had a very basic knowledge of super when I first started at REI Super, which worked to my advantage – my colleagues came to me asking to review content, if I couldn’t understand it, how could we expect others to!”

An experienced hand these days, Elsa still gets a huge kick out of turning complex content into digestible advice for members. She reflects: “Many of our members have shown remarkable resilience over decades in an industry defined by its ups and downs. Helping them to enjoy a stable and secure retirement is a real privilege.”

But when it comes to the ups and downs of retirement, it’s women that suffer disproportionate difficulty. It’s something Elsa understands, and she’s committed to making a difference.

“Through talking with members, I discerned a real drive to partner with networks and events for women in real estate, with a particular emphasis on financial literacy.

This, together with the work of Women in Super, inspired me to launch our Women and Super campaign in 2020. Expanding in scope each year, we draw on the incredible networks of our executives and board to provide women with the opportunities to develop their financial goal setting and security.” 

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Natalie Previtera

A qualified solicitor and a fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, Natalie has spent two decades working with superannuation and insurance providers in legal and governance roles - but her recent appointment as Acting CEO of NGS Super is her proudest achievement to date.

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Natalie Previtera

A qualified solicitor and a fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, Natalie has spent two decades working with superannuation and insurance providers in legal and governance roles.

But Natalie’s appointment as Acting CEO of NGS Super is her proudest achievement to date.

She reflects: “It is a privilege to work every day with people who are genuinely driven to get the best outcome for our members while investing in a way that promotes the greater good. The bold position our Board has taken to be carbon neutral by 2030 is testament to this.”

For Natalie, every day in the super industry brings with it amazing and unique opportunities to help change lives by delivering people dignity in retirement and providing support during life’s unexpected challenges.

“I have been humbled over the course of my career to hear the sheer relief in members’ voices when they discover they are eligible for an insurance payment. We can’t underestimate the difference the right insurance makes when our members are injured.”

Natalie’s first order of business as Acting CEO is overseeing NGS’ technology transformation strategy – with a strong focus on people-driven innovation and productivity over automation.

“By placing our team members at the heart of everything we do, we can ensure that technological innovation enhances member outcomes without detracting from the people-focused, member-focused ethos on which we pride ourselves. It’s a really exciting opportunity.”

Certainly sounds like it! Thanks for chatting Natalie – with your vision and experience, NGS members are in safe hands!

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Julie Lander

After a distinguished 35-year career in super - including 20 years at the helm of Industry SuperFund CareSuper - outgoing CEO Julie Lander reflects on some of her proudest achievements, and why super matters just as much today as it did nearly four decades ago.

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Julie Lander

For two decades, Julie Lander has tirelessly worked to guide CareSuper's members through significant changes and challenges in the retirement income space.  

Julie says one of the most meaningful things about working in super is the difference it makes to people’s lives. It’s something she’s seen personally after her father died, leaving her mother a relatively young widow and without any super, as compulsory super came after both of their working careers ended.
 
“I look at my mother and other women from her generation – who often stopped paid employment when they had children and sometimes never returned to the workforce. Even if they did, they didn’t have super. While my mother has her own home and is in good health, she’s solely reliant on the age pension with some help from her children. Super would have made such a big difference to her life.”
 
Julie says some of her proudest achievements at CareSuper include running a fund that has won numerous member-focused awards, helping to foster the careers of talented people within the organisation, and raising significant funds for breast cancer research as a loyal supporter of the Mother’s Day Classic.
 
Under Julie’s 20 years of leadership, CareSuper has grown to almost 200 staff, with $20 billion in FUM and about 220,000 members. And while Julie’s looking forward to more time to travel, she also hopes to continue contributing to the community and business. “I like to have purpose.”

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Rachael Powell

Rachael entered the financial services industry as a Communications Officer with a major Australian insurer. Ten years ago, she made the switch to superannuation industry. In that time, Rachael’s tirelessly worked to deliver campaigns that place consumer experience and education at the heart of member retention strategies.

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Rachael Powell

Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Media & Communications from the University of Melbourne, Rachael entered the financial services industry as a Communications Officer with a major Australian insurer.

Ten years ago, she made the switch to superannuation industry. In that time, Rachael’s tirelessly worked to deliver campaigns that place consumer experience and education at the heart of member retention strategies. 

It’s no wonder that when she arrived at legalsuper just over 12 months ago, Rachael’s first major project was the delivery of a whole-of-business member retention strategy. It’s a comprehensive piece of work, and now forms an indispensable component of legalsuper’s ongoing business plan.

So what’s next on the agenda, Rachael?

“Right now, I’m working on a number of projects designed to educate our members on the importance of super and simple things they can do to best set themselves up for the future.”

“People work hard their whole lives and deserve to enjoy their retirement. With the retirement income covenant now in force, I’m excited to explore the innovative ways in which member communications can help members make the most of their super.”

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Joe Hala

Kiwi-born, Joe’s family relocated to New South Wales when he was nine years old. Joe spent the next thirty years living and working in Sydney, but six years ago, jumped at an opportunity to move his young family to Newcastle and take up a Superannuation Adviser role with Spirit Super.

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Joe Hala

Kiwi-born, Joe’s family relocated to New South Wales when he was nine years old.


Joe spent the next thirty years living and working in Sydney, but six years ago, jumped at an opportunity to move his young family to Newcastle and take up a Superannuation Adviser role.

Joe’s made an enormous difference in the lives of so many members. He recalls one particularly poignant moment:
“I spoke with a member who was 65 and still working. He was tired, but had debts to pay off, and adult children to financially support. He didn’t realise he was already eligible to access his super. When I told him, he became so emotional that he gave me a big hug!”

Right now, Joe’s most energised about helping members to understand insurance in super. He observes: “A lot of members aren’t aware that they have insurance or are eligible to make a claim.”

In Joe's words, “Assisting people with insurance claims can make a huge and immediate difference. But equally, something like producing a statement of advice can substantially benefit members decades down the line. Making a difference in their lives is very rewarding.”

Joe’s member-centric mentality is the exact point of difference that Industry SuperFunds cultivate and celebrate.

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Zoe Heinrichs

Zoe graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Monash University before spending a decade in the federal political arena. It was while earlier working as a Research Associate with Justice Shane Marshall that Zoe’s interest in super was forged. Zoe's current focus is on working with the new Government to review the YFYS stapling regime to ensure that workers in hazardous occupations don't miss out on the cover they need.

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Zoe Heinrichs

Meet cbus super star and Manager of Government Relations - Zoe Heinrich!

Zoe graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Monash University before spending a decade in the federal political arena, where her experience working with Opposition, Government, and crossbench MPs in the high-stakes environment of a hung Senate gave her key insights into political process and policy development.

It was while earlier working as a Research Associate with Justice Shane Marshall that Zoe’s interest in super was forged. She recalls a case where a bobcat driver suffered TPD, but was uninsured due to their unpaid super.

Zoe notes: “Unpaid super is especially prevalent in building and construction, which is why making SG contributions part of the NES is right up there on our to-do list.”

Zoe’s already made a valuable impact for members in the building and construction industry, helping to spearhead the Dangerous Occupation Exception to the “Putting Members Interest First” reforms in 2019.
 
Freshly returned from maternity leave, Zoe’s picked up where she left-off – with her focus now on working with the new Government to review the YFYS stapling regime to ensure that workers in the top quintile of hazardous occupations do not miss out on vital cover by being stapled to an unsuitable fund.
 
Our members are lucky to have you back on-deck, Zoe. Thanks for chatting!

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Ardy Bodhiwan

Born in Indonesia, Ardy graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne before working as a Senior Auditor and Internal Audit Manager with a leading Australian consultancy firm and financial services provider. Ardy joined the team at HESTA as Risk Manager in 2012.

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Ardy Bodhiwan

Born in Indonesia, Ardy graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne before working as a Senior Auditor and Internal Audit Manager with a leading Australian consultancy firm and financial services provider.
 
Excited by super’s ability to help transform the future through responsible investments that create healthy returns, healthy people, and a healthier planet – Ardy joined the team at HESTA as Risk Manager in 2012.
 
It didn’t take him long to make a positive impact, taking on responsibility for HESTA’s original risk management framework to meet the new superannuation prudential standards (SPS220).
 
Ardy continues to help deliver retirement income stability and certainty for HESTA’s members. Right now, he’s involved in the Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) system transition, assisting the ongoing uplift of the enterprise risk management framework.
 
For Ardy, the measure of success is the value his work brings to the retirement outcomes of Australian workers – an outstanding reflection of the purpose which guides every Industry SuperFund.
 
We’re grateful for your efforts, Ardy! 

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Anne Nguyen

Anne completed a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Technology Sydney. After roles with the Department of Social Services and later with Treasury – working on nationally significant projects like the NDIS, the National Redress Scheme, the Financial Services Royal Commission, and the Australian Government’s COVID-19 response, Anne Joined the ISA team as a Policy Adviser in mid-2021.

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Anne Nguyen

Anne completed a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Technology Sydney.

Combining her finely-honed analytical skills with a desire to make a difference in the lives of others, Anne took up a role with the Department of Social Services and later with Treasury – working on nationally significant projects like the NDIS, the National Redress Scheme, the Financial Services Royal Commission, and the Australian Government’s COVID-19 response.
 
Anne Joined the ISA team as a Policy Adviser in mid-2021. She believes that “Old or young – super should matter. In a well-performing fund, your super can significantly improve your quality of life in retirement.”
 
To date, Anne is proudest of her work on ISA’s super data transformation project submission. She’s eager to use “New knowledge about the collection, publication and use of super data in many of my other projects.” Check out that full report here.
 
Next on Anne’s to-do list is ISA’s submission to the Government’s Quality of Advice Review. She thinks “It’s clear that more can be done to improve the provision of financial advice, and I'm interested to see how ambitious the Review’s recommendations will be.”
 

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Ariana Tammetta

Ariana works in ISA's modelling team. Drawing on her impressive academic qualifications (Bachelor of Economics with Honours from the University of Sydney, and a Master of Statistics and Operations Research from RMIT University), and prior professional experience as a researcher at an economic consultancy, she plays a leading role in crunching the numbers that underpin much of ISA's policy and advocacy work - delivering real value for our members.

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Ariana Tammetta

Ariana is passionate about super because of its profound impact on the lives of everyday Australians and the broader economy. Of the many reports she's co-authored, Ariana is proudest of ISA's report into unpaid super.

Check it out here: Super Scandalous: How to fix the $5 billion scourge of unpaid super

Says Ariana: "The report brought to light an issue faced by people who often have limited bargaining power, are fearful of speaking up and find it practically difficult to recover their unpaid super."

Ariana's next report is on childcare, looking at the relationship between childcare, workforce participation, and retirement outcomes: an important conversation given super is not yet paid on the Commonwealth's Parental Leave Pay scheme.

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Kara Keys

Coming to WIS with experience as a Cbus and AIST Board member, and a background in developing and leading strategic campaigns, policy development and stakeholder engagement with the ACTU, Kara's passion for justice, gender equality and building and empowering communities for a better Australia has made her the perfect fit for WIS as she has stepped up to advocate for women's greater financial security in retirement.

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Kara Keys

Kara Keys stepped into her role as National Chair of Women in Super at the end of 2020 but has been limited by COVID in her opportunities to travel and meet as many members and industry leaders as she would have liked.
 
Coming to WIS with experience as a Cbus and AIST Board member, and a background in developing and leading strategic campaigns, policy development and stakeholder engagement with the ACTU, Kara's passion for justice, gender equality and building and empowering communities for a better Australia has made her the perfect fit for WIS as she has stepped up to advocate for women's greater financial security in retirement.
 
Kara has welcomed the removal of the $450 threshold from 1 July this year – one of Women in Super’s policy priorities in their long running ‘Make Super Fair’ campaign.
 
She is vocal in her support for ensuring super is paid on the Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave scheme, declaring this omission a glaring inequity of the super system. Kara stresses that WIS takes a holistic view that the only way to fix the gender super gap is for multiple initiatives to be brought forward.
 
"We are also advocating for inequalities in our superannuation tax structures to be addressed, for there to be a national conversation on a Carer's Credit system and for a gender lens to be applied to all future policies to ensure women are not unfairly disadvantaged."
 
Over almost 30 years WIS has driven many positive changes in the industry to improve women's financial security. They play a key role in collaborating with their industry partners and other women’s organisations to see greater steps taken to close the gender super gap and create a fairer super system.

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Helen Avramidis

Helen graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Majoring in Marketing) from RMIT University and spent several years working across some of Australia’s most recognised retail brands before joining ISA in late-2021. As a Campaign Officer in our Marketing team, Helen plays an important role in helping ISA communicate the advantages of being with a fund that carries the trusted symbol.

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Helen Avramidis

In fact, in just her first six months, Helen helped launch the latest chapter in our famous long-running symbol campaign: ‘I’m with One’.
This campaign explains that Industry SuperFunds which carry the trusted diamond hands ‘symbol’ are run to only benefit members, and prompts Australians to think about whether their current super fund is helping their money to work just as hard as they are.
With the end of FY21/22 in sight, Helen’s hard at work on the Super Guarantee awareness campaign – reminding Australians that the SG will increase to 10.5% on 1 July, and eventually, to 12% by 2025.
Says Helen, “This campaign really matters. Staying on top of your super is an easy way to build your retirement savings – no matter your age.”
“It’s also a great way to help build our country’s future. With significant exposure to long-term, nation-building assets, Industry SuperFunds create real value and opportunity for Australian workers long before they retire.”

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Tina Samardzija

Tina is ISA's Senior Economics Policy Adviser. She holds a Bachelor of Economics and Laws from Monash University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Economics from the University of Melbourne, and a Master’s degree from the The Australian National University. Having previously worked across state and federal government, Tina still serves her local community as Deputy Mayor of the City of Monash.

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Tina Samardzija

Tina graduated with a Bachelor of Economics and Laws from Monash University before completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Economics from the University of Melbourne and a Master’s degree from the The Australian National University.

Tina combined her economic and legal expertise in work across state and federal government on major legal, economic, and social reforms concerning workplace relations, the NDIS, and housing. She also serves her local community as Deputy Mayor of the City Of Monash.

In fact, it’s Tina’s community-mindedness that made her move to ISA an easy decision. She reflects: “Super empowers everyday workers to grow and enjoy more wealth in retirement, whilst creating investment opportunities that build real economic prosperity.”

Tina’s currently hard at work researching this exact subject – namely super’s contribution to stabilising, decarbonising, and fuelling investment in Australia’s economy. You can check out an earlier report which Tina co-authored on Super’s role in building and protecting household wealth, entitled "Millions of Australians Own Big Super".

But to date, Tina’s proudest ISA achievement was the launch of ISA’s Australian-first research demonstrating how making childcare more affordable would significantly improve women’s workforce participation and retirement outcomes. Read more about this important issue here.

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