Team Spirit profile: Sare
For Newcastle-born and bred Regional Partnership Manager Sare, his interest in finance began in the family home.
‘My parents came out from Macedonia in the 70s with very little English, so it wasn’t easy for them. Seeing how hard both mum and dad worked to buy a family home, raise my two sisters and me, and save for a nest egg showed me that if you had a plan and you worked hard, you could go from having very little to having enough to live comfortably.’
Since a young age, Sare found that numbers came easily to him.
‘I grew up around family budgets and enjoyed helping my parents manage the bills. A lot of my older cousins were accountants too, so I was always around numbers. When I was deciding what to do when I left school, it made sense to go with my strengths.’
Being a people person, Sare headed down the financial planning path.
‘When I began working in financial planning, I learnt that helping people grow their money isn’t just about investments, it’s about personal circumstances. While one person might be happy to retire early with a super balance of $150,000, someone else with over a million dollars in super might find themselves working longer because they want a different lifestyle.’
Late last year, Sare joined Spirit Super as our Newcastle-based Regional Partnership Manager, a role dedicated to supporting local employers and members in the Hunter region and establishing and developing partnerships with local community organisations.
‘I came on board as Spirit Super established a new regional hub here in Newcastle’, explains Sare.
‘Initially, I hadn’t heard of Spirit Super, but I soon discovered it was an industry super fund that was the result of a merger between MTAA Super and Tasplan. I was over the moon that Spirit Super had chosen Newcastle to further expand its focus on regional communities.’
The more Sare learnt about the fund and the role, the more he knew it was for him.
‘Something that really impressed me was that they wanted a local for the role, not someone who would commute from Sydney when needed.’
The hub is part of a regional-focused program and the start of Spirit Super’s expansion in its support of regional communities, Newcastle being the first.
‘My role is to lead the business-to-business function and to build regional and community partnerships across the region. Our presence here is an opportunity for Spirit Super to help hard-working Australians connect with their super.’
Having spent his whole life in Newcastle, proud Novocastrian Sare has seen a lot of change in the region over the years.
‘Before the mining boom, we were very much a steel city up until about 2001. Things have changed a lot since then. Although the place looks quite different now, Newcastle still has that quintessential hard-working, Australian spirit.’
Sare recognises some parallels between Spirit Super and Newcastle.
‘Like Newcastle, we’re not the biggest kid on the block. But like Newcastle, we’re big enough to make a difference and small enough to care. We have heart and pride ourselves on being easy to deal with, approachable, and everywhere.’
Sare explains that Spirit Super has a strong desire to embed itself in the regional community fabric.
‘A lot of larger funds overlook regional areas, but this is where we know our members are. By positioning ourselves here in the Newcastle Hunter region, we’re perfectly located to offer excellent service and support to members where they need it most – close to home.’