Skip to main content
  1. About us
  2. A mutual company

Australian Unity is a mutual company

What is a mutual? And why is it important?

A mutual is a company that is owned by its members—typically its customers—not by shareholders looking for high returns on their investments.

Australian Unity can trace our origins to a pub in Melbourne, where on 7 December 1840, a group of eight people decided to form a friendly society with the goal of looking after the health and wellbeing of its members.

Fast forward to today, and our main focus is the same as it was over 175 years ago: to take care of our members and improve the wellbeing of Australians.

Publicly traded

Mutual

Profits

Profits are distributed to shareholders without necessarily benefiting customers

Profits are put back into the company to benefit members, customers and the community

Risk Tolerance

Can have tolerance towards higher risk to generate higher profits

Typically pursue lower-risk strategies, where long-term safety is paramount

Purpose

Dual purposes: to create profits for shareholders AND to provide services to customers

Main purpose is to provide services to members and customers

Governance

Shareholders can participate in the governance of the company (e.g. electing the board of directors)—customers don’t have this right unless they own shares in the company

Members, who are typically customers, can participate in the governance of the company (e.g. electing the board of directors)

Care

Shareholders generally care about profits and dividends

Members and customers care about cost, service, coverage and community

We provide products designed to enable customers and members to thrive

Australian Unity in the community

Australian Unity is a company founded on social values and community contribution.  Established in response to unmet community needs in 1840, we continue to identify and help solve the health and financial needs of the broader community.

Happy old man

Wellbeing index

Since 2000, we've been at the forefront of measuring the happiness and wellbeing of Australians. 
Read more about the Wellbeing Index

Financial Inclusion Action Plan

We are using our individual commitment and collective range of skills to support those facing financial exclusion

Read more about our financial inclusion action plan
Indigenous dancers

Reconciliation Action Plan

We are dedicated to driving reconciliation through employment and training outcomes.   

Read more about our reconciliation action plan