The more things change the more they stay the same

Marelle Gerdes from TelstraSuper has been with the fund since the beginning and has lived through all the changes not only at the fund but also the super landscape.

I started working with the Benefits Payments team at our first offices in Southbank in 1990, and thirty years later, I'm still here! I've seen enormous changes in the Fund over this time. When we started, we weren't called TelstraSuper, of course, and we were about 25 employees. The focus in the beginning was simply on paying out member's benefits as they transferred out of the Commonwealth Super Scheme into a fund that allowed lump sum payments. Whereas now the focus is much broader including helping members to build those benefits throughout their lifetimes and to improve their financial wellbeing over the long term. Some of the biggest and most beneficial changes the fund has introduced during the last 30 years is the Financial Planning arm and the ability for family members to join. This has meant not only current and former Telstra Group employees can benefit from being in the fund but their family members can too.

When I joined the Fund, we were like a big family — with so few employees, we all knew each other well. Although we've grown in size, TelstraSuper retains a friendly, open culture where everyone still knows each others names and we have regular company wide catch ups. One of the reasons I've stayed so long is that I still enjoy coming into work. I also enjoy the member focus and working at a profit-to-members organisation where the members best interests are at the core of all that we do.

I've held many roles over the years, from Customer Service to Business Analyst, from Project Manager to Website Manager though to Marketing analysis and strategy along with managing research and most recently my current role as Manager Strategy & Planning. This has given me a wonderful understanding of so many aspects of superannuation. I've always found it possible to take on a new challenge at TelstraSuper and have loved the variety and learning opportunities this has given me. Not only have my roles changed but my work patterns have too. TelstraSuper has always been a flexible work place and this has meant I've been able to maintain my lifestyle living on a large block of land with my beloved horses and dogs.

The superannuation industry has faced so many challenges and changes over the past few years and the rate of change has accelerated. There are roles and requirements in superannuation that couldn't have even been imagined 30 years ago. It remains a very dynamic industry and I'm proud to work at a fund where the members' best interests have always come first and members can feel truly supported, through financial planning advice, to educational seminars, great service and a wonderful digital platform of communications. While the industry as a whole face many challenges, I think TelstraSuper is well positioned to continue to serve our members needs into the future.

  • Leadership essentials development program

    leadership group at graduation

    Congratulations to the 25 TelstraSuper team members who have recently completed our six month Leadership Essentials development program. This is the third cohort of the program which has seen CEO Chris Davies and other Executive General Managers at TelstraSuper share their personal leadership journeys and advice. 

    The program aims to provide a consistent approach to leadership across the company. It also provides an opportunity to get to know colleagues from other business units and enhance leadership capability and knowledge around key leadership topics.

    We’re proud to say that over the past year 65 people from across TelstraSuper have graduated from the program.

  • Mental Health awareness

    Fatimah Abbouchi an ambassador for Beyond Blue spoke to employees to share her own personal journey.

  • Celebrating mulitculturism

    Staff celebrated the diversity across their teams with morning tea delicacies from around the world! 

  • International Women's Day

    In March we celebrated International Women's Day #BeBoldForChange and sharing our bold moments.

    International womens day