Community Survey & Yarns with Alan Oliver: Cairns

15 July 2019

Community Survey & Yarns with Alan Oliver: Cairns

Youpla surveyed over 400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members attending NAIDOC Week (7-14 July 2019) celebrations at Caboolture and the Gold Coast regarding their understanding of how to pay for a funeral and the options available.

Executive Director of Youpla, proud Worimi man Isaac Simon, said over 58 per cent were unaware of the costs associated with a funeral and only 25 per cent had planned for the cost of a funeral.

“What this shows is our community really isn’t discussing with family what will happen when they pass and who will take the financial burden. We are dying a lot younger than non-Indigenous Australians and really need to start the conversation around sad news and sorry business amongst our communities,”

Isaac said.

“Traditionally our people were not faced with the burden of a western burial but now community members are having to pay up to $15,000 for an average funeral and even more if they live in a capital city.”

59 per cent also indicated they were unaware of products available to help pay the cost for a funeral, yet 89 per cent believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders would benefit from a funeral related expenses product to give peace of mind and remove the burden from family members.

Former NRL Star and Youpla Ambassador, Jamal Idris, has recently been travelling across Far North Queensland and to Palm Island to meet with Youpla customers, and encourage the important conversation around ‘Sad News’ and ‘Sorry Business’.

Cairns Traditional Owner, Alan Oliver, shared his experience with Jamal. 

Alan Oliver from Cairns (right) pictured with Youpla Ambassador Jamal Idris

“When my dad passed away, he had nothing and it was a struggle for the family to try get money to simply have him at peace."

Alan said.

“It’s important all of us around this area consider a plan as a lot of us are not flash or rich people and that little bit of a helping hand from the funeral mob goes a long way to helping the family when someone passes. It makes it easier on the family and lighter for the family to get on with life instead of struggling,”

At Youpla, we believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kinship ties, identity and language keep our families strong and healthy, both physically and spiritually.

Youpla Ambassador Jamal Idris standing with a family from Cairns

Relatives from Cairns showcase their strong identity and love for each other through generations. Many last names – one family.

This story and others like it are featured in our community newsletter – the Youpla Yarns. You can read the Youpla Yarns by visiting the community newsletter section of our website.