Gloria Simpson: a lifetime of super
04 November 2022
Gloria Simpson has been a QSuper account holder for 71 years, joining the fund back in 1951 when she was just 16 years of age. And she still pays tribute to a ground-breaking female super pioneer who kept her firmly focused on her super through the years.
QSuper is now a part of Australian Retirement Trust, the superannuation fund formed through the merger with Sunsuper. We’re proud to take care of over $200 billion in retirement savings for more than two million members.
Gloria admits she was “very young’’ when she joined the workforce as a State Government employee and in her first role worked as a female assistant in the Main Roads Commission.
“My dad had to ask me to go to work so I couldn’t finish my senior year,” said Gloria.
I didn’t get paid very much – not as much as the male clerks – but I started superannuation very early on,” she said.
She later married her husband Mick but had to resign under the Australian public service’s “marriage bar”, which required women to give up their jobs once they married.
In 1966, when women in the Australian public service won the right to remain employed after marriage, Gloria applied for reinstatement and returned to work.
Big transformation: from paper to digital
During her time at Main Roads, Gloria worked in a section called Registration Records and back then a separate, paper file was created for every motor vehicle, motorcycle and even tractor.
“Everything registered for the road had to have a separate file, which was stored in these huge filing cabinets,” Gloria said.
Eventually, as the digital age spread through the public service, those files were destroyed and replaced with digital files, and a significant portion of office space was reassigned to computers. “This is back in the days when computers used to fill entire rooms,” she said.
Chance meeting with a ‘super’ woman
After a few years of working, Gloria attended night school to earn her senior certificate.
“It improved my superannuation, pay and whole working experience,” she said.
Gloria said in the early days she “didn’t know much at all” about superannuation, but that changed when she met former QSuper board member Karen Peut.
Ms Peut is an Executive Director of the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads and was the first woman to be appointed to the State Service Superannuation Board. She was appointed to the QSuper Board in May 1985.
“My loyalty to QSuper is most likely due to Karen,” Gloria said. “At some point she became my boss, and I learned a lot from her because she was so enthusiastic about super and women investing in super.”
Gloria retired in 1992 when she was 63, at a time that most women retired at 60.
At the end of my career, I could see the amount that had built up in my super. It was at that time I appreciated the compounding interest, so I stayed on a few more years for that benefit.”
A night to remember
As our longest-serving female QSuper account holder Gloria and Mick were invited to join the Australian Retirement Trust Riverfire celebrations as our VIP guests in September.
“We’ve gone to Riverfire over the years when we could - I can remember the F111s were just amazing - however, the vantage spots we’d been to in the past never let us see what was happening on the Story Bridge,” Gloria said.
“This year, we were front and centre and had the most magnificent, uninterrupted view of the Bridge - the fireworks were just incredible.”
Gloria said there was “such a sense of community” on the night - even before they got to the event.
“When we arrived, some young people came over to us and helped us get Mick’s wheelie walker out of the car,” she said. “They even went out onto the road and stopped the traffic so we could get across the road safely. It was a lovely start to the most wonderful night.”
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