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The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has posthumously awarded David Smith – a long-serving director in the profit-to-member super sector and former National Secretary of the Australian Services Union - its 2019 Trustee of the Year Award.
At different times over a 12-year period, David - who passed away in November 2019 - held directorships in the profit-to-member sector serving on the boards of Energy Super and, most recently, HESTA. He also served on the board of AIST including two years as president.
The Trustee of the Year Award – which has been sponsored by Schroders for the past ten years – recognises the crucial role that representative trustees play in Australia’s $3 trillion superannuation industry.
The Award was announced at AIST’s annual general meeting, where AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck commended David as a tireless advocate for members and a staunch supporter of the equal representation governance model.
“David was a true champion of the member. He was always thinking about ways to improve super for low income workers, women, and other vulnerable groups,” Ms Scheerlinck said.
Accepting the award, Mr Smith’s widow, Alana Smith, thanked the superannuation industry for recognising the contribution David made toward improving the retirement outcomes of Australians.
“David dedicated his working life advocating for those who were unable to advocate for themselves. He fought to improve employment conditions and to ensure that wage parity was introduced for industries that had been historically undervalued,” Ms Smith said. “As a family, we are so proud of David’s many accomplishments and we sincerely thank you for recognising his contributions.”
AIST President Catherine Bolger said David’s great strength was in simplifying the most complex of policy matters and he was also highly regarded for his generosity in mentoring many trustees and staff members across the industry.
Each year the recipient of the Trustee of the Year Award is provided with registration to AIST’s Global Dialogue conference. In recognition of David’s role in mentoring and his support for gender equality in the super sector, Ms Lisa Darmanin, trustee Director, Vision Super, has been chosen to attend the next Global Dialogue on David’s behalf.
Like David, Lisa has held various senior positions at the Australian Services Union and has previously been a director of HESTA and an alternative director of Vision Super. She is currently Deputy Chair of Vision Super.
Media contact: Tyrell Mills 0431 303 998
18 June 2020