Superannuation loses a passionate champion of a dignified retirement for all
The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) and Women in Super (WIS) today paid tribute to pioneering Labor Senator, Susan Ryan AO, who died suddenly yesterday, aged 77 years.
Ms Ryan was president of AIST for seven years, from 2000 to 2007, during which time she was a passionate advocate for improving retirement outcomes for ordinary Australians, particularly women.
AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck said Ms Ryan was a true champion of the people who never lost sight of the social policy side of superannuation.
“Susan was passionate champion of a dignified retirement for all. Her work in the human rights sphere spanned women’s rights, the rights of elderly Australians and those living with a disability,” Ms Scheerlinck said. “She had genuine compassion for vulnerable people and had a great gift for communicating why policy change was needed to improve outcomes.”
WIS Chair Cate wood said Susan’s advocacy for women’s rights in the workforce was a natural segue to her role in advocating for superannuation policy change to improve retirement outcomes for women.
“Susan leaves a legacy of work that improved the rights of women and other vulnerable Australians, both during their working life and in their retirement,” Ms Wood said. “Susan had great humour and charm and encouraged and assisted other women to succeed.”
AIST’s Chief Membership Officer, Maryann Mannix-White, who was general manager of AIST during much of Susan’s tenure as President, remembers Susan as an avid supporter of trustee education and the equal representative trustee system of governance.
“She was a passionate supporter of profit-to-member super and ensuring that our governance model was underpinned by a high standard of trustee education,” Ms Mannix-White said.