Australian Unity has a simple purpose: We are here to help people to thrive. Ever since 1840 , when a surgeon, a policeman, a carpenter and a glazier were among just eight people to form one of Australia’s first friendly societies, Australian Unity has encouraged self-reliance and offered mutual help to members and customers. Whatever a person’s economic circumstances, we are looking to support and enable their wellbeing.
The concept of “inclusive growth” is gaining traction in broader economic thinking and Australian Unity believes it is a concept that can equally be applied at an individual and community level. Financial inclusion and financial resilience are the backbone of our service provision to our approximately 280,000 members and nearly one million customers. In service of its broader purpose mentioned above, Australian Unity offers a range of products and services, from private health insurance and healthcare programs to residential and in-home aged care through to personal financial services and investment advice. These products and services offer emotional and financial security relevant to many, and particularly the vulnerable.
Our diverse operations, supplemented by our longitudinal study into the wellbeing of Australians, known as the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index, offer us valuable perspectives on the inter-connectedness of a person’s financial resilience and their overall wellbeing. Without support, the loss of a job or an adverse health event can quickly cascade into financial exclusion and lower quality of life. And for some, economic disadvantage is entrenched from their first breath.
We have already consciously developed our business into areas that support those at risk of financial exclusion, such as providing home care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, trustee services and disability services. We are confident that formally implementing a Financial Inclusion Action Plan will drive more resources to supporting those at risk of financial exclusion.
This is an important initiative. Australian Unity recognises it has the expertise, know-how and resources to support many Australians in building financial inclusion and resilience. In committing to the Financial Inclusion Action Plan program, we are proud to be working with the FIAP Partnership Group in this national effort to make a difference.
Rohan Mead CEO & Managing Director