This year we launched our Christian Super Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which formalises our commitment to working towards reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. As part of this our team has been investigating ways in which impact investing can benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. Our team continues to target and develop impact investments that deliver improved outcomes for Indigenous communities.
We have placed a priority on identifying and researching impact investment opportunities that meet these criteria, while still providing a strong return for our members. Below are two key Christian Super impact investments which are having a positive impact on indigenous communities in Australia.
Churches of Christ in Queensland’s Youth CONNECT program, a Christian Super Impact Investment, is dedicated to supporting 15 to 25-year-olds who are at risk of homelessness upon exiting statutory care. Youth CONNECT works extensively with Indigenous youth in Queensland leaving statutory care; building resilience, reducing their risk of homelessness and breaking the cycle of dependence on state care. Currently, 71% of the young people enrolled in the Youth CONNECT program are from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.
The program focuses on a holistic approach, which includes education, employment, health, life skills and community connection. Participating young people have access to safe and affordable accommodation.
Given the high percentage of Indigenous youth involved in the program, Youth CONNECT engage in cultural ways with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and their families. One example of this cultural engagement is the use of yarning circles as a case management tool.
Yarning circles have been used by Indigenous peoples for centuries to learn from a collective group, build respectful relationships, and to preserve and pass on cultural knowledge. Youth CONNECT use yarning circles to engage with young people, their families and networks, which is enhancing our understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Through this, the program empowers young Indigenous and helps to build respectful relationships.
The Newpin Queensland Social Impact Bond
The Newpin Queensland Social Impact Bond, created in partnership by Uniting, the New South Wales Government, and Social Ventures Australia is an impact investment of Christian Super. This innovative bond provides intensive therapeutic support to help parents address the issues which have led to the removal of their children, and teaches them to be effective parents.
While the Newpin Queensland is designed to benefit the broader Queensland community, it is recognised that indigenous children are roughly nine times more likely to be removed from families through a protective order. Approximately 25% of Newpin beneficiaries are expected to be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, with indigenous families prioritised for entry into the program. In addition, Newpin Queensland has partnered with Wuchopperen, an Aboriginal Health Provider, to deliver therapeutic play sessions.
Learn more about how your super is having a positive impact in Australia and beyond
Image: “Come Together” by Glenny Naden