Jayson Forrest is the managing editor of Money & Life Magazine.
Geoff Rogers talks to Money & Life about MLC’s support of the 2019 Future2 Challenges and the Future2 Celebration at this year’s Congress.
How important is it for the profession to be involved in community initiatives, like Future2?
It’s very important, and for three reasons.
Firstly, it’s about helping disadvantaged Australians who are doing it tough. Since the Future2 Foundation was established in 2007, there have been many individuals and not-for-profit organisations who have benefitted from receiving Future2 grants. It has been a real credit to all those who have been involved in Future2 and who have generously supported it.
Secondly, community initiatives bring the profession and industry together. Participants in Future2 activities, like the Wheel Classicand Hiking Challenge, also involve their own networks and communities to help raise money. I’m very proud to see a whole community that is united behind a worthwhile cause.
And thirdly, it’s important for the profession to have a social conscience, where it freely gives back its time and expertise to the wider community from which it draws its livelihood.
Why did MLC decide to be the gold sponsor for the 2019 Future2 Challenges (and the Future2 Celebration) for a second consecutive year?
It’s in part due to our sense of community. Last year, MLC’s CEO, Geoff Lloyd, made the call that we should get involved with the Future2 Challenges, as it provided us with an opportunity to help the FPA and support these Future2 initiatives.
But our involvement was also holistically-based. As an organisation, we are currently preparing our business to separate from NAB, and we have categorically said that our business is going to stand for advice. So, if we are going to say that, then we need to do it holistically. And an important aspect of standing for advice and supporting planners, is also being involved in community activities.
That’s one of the reasons why MLC is keen to be involved again with the Future2 Challenges and the Future2 Celebrationat Congress. Not only are we demonstrating our commitment to the profession, but we’re also demonstrating our commitment to the wider community.
Will MLC staff be involved in the two Challenges?
This year, we’re aiming to have more riders and hikers involved in these Challenges, which is exciting to be part of.
Last year was my first Future2 Wheel Classic and although it was truly challenging, it was also an incredibly rewarding experience.
So, I’ve signed up again to take on this year’s six-day ride. Both Future2 Challenges are demanding, that’s why I’m well into my training program to prepare myself for the 819km that I’ll be cycling.
For the Wheel Classic, we currently have three MLC staff confirmed for the full six-day ride, with possibly another two doing the shorter ride. And with the Hiking Challenge, we have three team members confirmed, but I’m expecting more.
MLC is getting behind this year’s events, with the MLC marketing team already generating excitement around the Future2 Challenges. We’re advertising these challenges on our internal networks, as well as using social media, like Facebook and Twitter. We’ll also be promoting the events in different head office locations, to help create interest in the important work the Future2 Foundation does.
We will also be reaching out to our own planner networks. We will encourage them to share our excitement about the Future2 Challenges with their client networks and their wider communities that they are involved in.
How does MLC’s support of these two Future2 Challenges align with its approach to social giving and social responsibility within the wider community?
As you would expect from any large organisation, paying attention to the community and community expectations, is something you build into your culture. We’re still part of NAB, so we have the NAB Foundation, which does a lot of community work.
One of the things that I think is so important about Future2 is that it’s an initiative of the FPA that has been embraced by all levels of the profession and wider industry. Planners can be part of it, staff can be part of it, product providers can be part of it. It has truly become a community initiative, and that’s what makes Future2 so special. It’s also one of the reasons why MLC was keen to be involved in the Future2 Challenges for a second consecutive year as the gold sponsor.
And during these challenging times for the profession, as we deal with FASEA and the fallout from the Royal Commission, it’s especially important that all of us in the profession and industry are active within the wider community, showcasing the good work planners do with their clients every day. And what better way of demonstrating than by raising funds for worthy causes that help disadvantaged young Australians.
How can the wider profession embrace social responsibility?
If you look at what the financial planning profession does, it’s all about helping people with their finances to realise their dreams and lifestyle aspirations. So, the profession already has the capacity and capability to give back to the wider community as part of its social responsibility.
Future2 has been running for 12 years, so it has a solid track record of giving back to the community. During that time, it has committed over $1 million in grants to grassroots community programs, ranging from skills training, to work experience, mentoring, education, financial literacy and more.
In 2018-19, Future2 was able to help 19 community not-for-profit organisations with grants totalling $181,000. That’s truly inspiring.
But social responsibility doesn’t mean you have to strap on your helmet and join us on the Future2 Wheel Classic. It can include raising awareness within your own networks about the work Future2 does in the community; it can be doing pro bono; it can be supporting the participants in this year’s Future2 Challenges; it can be volunteering your time and expertise to community groups. There’s so many different ways we can embrace social responsibility.
It’s been wonderful to see the profession and industry unite in helping the broader community as part of its collective social responsibility.
Rise to the Challenge
In the lead up to the 2019 FPA Professionals Congress (27-29 November), the Future2 Foundation will be running two fundraising challenges.
The annual Future2 Wheel Classic departs from Melbourne’s Federation Square on 22 November. The six-day ride will cover a distance of 819km, before finishing back in Melbourne on 27 November. The route will take in the picturesque Daylesford Ranges, before cycling through the goldfields of Ballarat and then the rolling hills around Apollo Bay.
Riders will cycle the famous Amy Gillett Fondo route before heading along the Great Ocean Road. There will be an overnight stay in Queenscliff, before a ferry ride across to Sorrento and a final ride along the Portsea beaches around Port Phillip Bay back to Melbourne.
And for those preferring to keep their feet firmly on the ground, Future2 has organised a four-day hiking challenge. Now in its third year, participants in the Future2 Hiking Challenge will head to the Grampians National Park on 23 November. Over the next four days, participants will hike the spectacular sandstone ridges, peaks and valleys of the Grampians, before heading back to Melbourne on 26 November.
Future2 is grateful for the support of the following Future2 Challenge sponsors: MLC, IRESSand Pickles.
For more information or to register your interest, click hereor email.