Griffith Business School's 2020 Outstanding Alumnus

Master of Business Administration (Advanced)

Bachelor of Commerce

Lyn Melcer joined QSuper, Queensland’s oldest and largest superannuation fund, in 1981 and for nearly forty years, has worked to diligently serve all members and put their best interests first.

Now, as QSuper’s Head of Technical Advice, she is highly regarded within the superannuation industry and is often described as a champion of Indigenous super issues.

Lyn's ability to combine technical knowledge of the complex superannuation system and the interests of its members has also resulted in her being respected more broadly within the finance industry, which includes creating legislative change to address what some refer to as institutional racism.

“What is the right thing to do?” is a question that continually guides her, even when it leads to uncomfortable conversations.

In Lyn's current role, travelled with ASIC’s Indigenous Outreach Program (IOP) to the Lockhart River in far north Queensland in 2014 and to the APY Lands in South Australia in early 2018.

At the Royal Banking Commission in August 2018, she outlined to Commissioner Hayne some of the specific challenges that remote Australians face, when interacting with their superannuation, as well as some of the ways that QSuper is working to overcome these challenges.

A strong advocate for the Indigenous and remote communities, Lyn works to make sure they understand their rights and entitlements when it comes to superannuation. Many of the people she has helped were previously experiencing deep financial distress, which impacted their ability to access healthcare or housing. There are also many stories of when she has worked with QSuper members and non-members, to help reunite them with their super.

Since she started the project, QSuper has reconnected approximately 170 people with lost superannuation, totalling in excess of $3 million and paid out 45 estates valued at over $5 million.

“It’s about meeting members, listening to their stories, understanding their needs and finding practical ways to overcome obstacles which prevent members from accessing and engaging with their superannuation,” said Lyn.

Lyn's active community involvement in remote areas and ongoing efforts to establish rapport with remote community leaders has built trust between QSuper and it's Indigenous members. This trust also includes following up on promises and going the extra mile to reduce barriers such as a lack of financial literacy and technical systems that do not currently acknowledge kinship ties.

Her cumulative knowledge, expertise and community ties placed her well to testify at the Royal Banking Commission in August 2018, where she gave evidence on the difficulties Aboriginal people living in remote communities face with the superannuation system. During the proceedings, Lyn was commended and held up as an exemplar for the rest of the industry regarding Indigenous financial service.

Lyn's colleagues speak very fondly of her and she is well respected for her knowledge, values, and discernment when she advises the board at QSuper. A quiet achiever, Lyn has never sought accolades and credits ongoing learning to her success.

"Learning has been the invisible thread running through my life. It started with Griffith and was strengthened along the way.

"Griffith taught me the importance of not just established research, but also of learning from other people, the importance of questioning and thinking for yourself," Lyn said.

Reflecting on her studies, Lyn encourages all individuals, regardless of background or professional industry, to undertake an ethics course.

"Every person on this earth should do at least one course on ethics, to learn the importance of respect and to understand the road another person may be walking. They should do whatever they can, to make that other person’s road a little bit easier."

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