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Behind every real business, there's a real person with a real story. We'd like to share our story with you.

We share this story in the service of others.

We believe that investing in the future health and well-being of another is an act of service greater than ourselves — and in many cases, it's what makes us human. Drew Browne Founder Unusual Risks Insured Australia

The drive behind Unusual Risks really began over twenty years ago, in a big city hospital waiting room.

In 1991 I sat in the waiting room of St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney after discovering that I couldn’t work 60 hours a week and keep my health as well. I’d just received the news that I needed to be admitted for urgent surgery the next day, to remove a growth from my throat.

As I sat there, surrounded by a seemingly endless supply of vintage editions of the National Geographic Magazine, and people in varying states of ill health and unhappiness...

...a simple black and white postcard caught my eye with a photo of Mother Teresa, who became known for her work with the extreme poor in the slums of India’s Calcutta. The caption read, ‘You don’t have to be a saint to do something good’

It was a brochure asking for people who’d be prepared to volunteer their time, to serve people living with HIV in palliative care situations at a hospital clinic.

I folded a copy of the postcard into my back pocket to read it another time. Weeks later, after my surgery and a great deal of personal loss, I remembered that simple black and white postcard from the waiting room, and so began my journey of doing something good.

After months of training, I began regular weekly volunteering at a hospital with a newly opened HIV/AIDS ward. A year later, after so many deaths, many lessons and a new-found level of respect for the resilience of people labouring under stigma and suffering terrible discrimination, I was asked to spend some time at a newly-opened Day Centre for positive people in the western suburbs of Sydney.

Our friend Mrs Patricia Kennedy, OAM

It was at this centre that I met and began my friendship with an HIV Disability Advocate, Mrs. Patricia Kennedy, and her wonderful team of volunteers. Patricia was later to be officially recognised and awarded the Australian government's OAM honour in 2003 for her services to people living with disabilities and HIV.

In 2013, she inspired us to create Unusual Risks Insured Australia.


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Listen to a 5 Part Radio Interview Podcast

Hear more about this inspirational community leaders' story.

  • The Story of Patricia - How one Australian Scottish-born Grandmother remembers the 1980's and the arrival of HIV & AIDS in Australia.

The early days of HIV & AIDS In Australia

In the 1990s, the world was just waking up to the reality of HIV & AIDS.

It was the social leprosy of its time.

Because of people’s fear, discrimination, intolerance and unfair judgments, working with affected people meant anonymity and confidentiality were paramount — so no one knew what I did, who I supported and who I was honoured to care for.

Things began to change

Five turbulent years passed. I've watched amazing breakthroughs in medical treatments. People diagnosed with HIV, when treated early, began to live long and fulfilling lives again. The HIV hospice moved a number of times and later found a more permanent location in Sydney's western suburbs.

Since then, ACON has been well established. The broader community understanding has begun to mature slowly as people realise that the most important issue is the person, not the diagnosis.

Be the change you want to see around you

For over 20 years now I have worked in the financial services industry in the specialist area of life insurance and family risk protection. I’ve continued to see some businesses move (at glacial speed) towards greater tolerance and understanding, and then to acceptance and celebration of diversity, inclusion and belonging in our greater community. I have seen many still resistant to the winds of change and compassion.

I'm driven to share my expertise's with our community, not just because I'm part of it, but because the LGBTQIA+ are an underserve community, and I truly believe, secure people live bigger lives.

But there’s still active and passive discrimination in business toward people living with HIV

I've witnessed firsthand the passive discrimination in business towards people who accept and celebrate diversity in others.

  • Advertising departments of FM Radio stations who no longer wished to be associated with a brand that celebrates diversity, inclusion and belonging.
  • Companies who made decisions based on fear and discrimination over facts and transparency.
  • The stigma and fear-based discrimination that so many LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer) people have to deal with daily when discussing their financial position, personal insurance plans and their desire to protect and provide for their own families.
  • Deep-seated social conservatism in some Western suburbs multicultural communities translating into recording the highest 'No' vote at 73.9 percent in the 2017 Australian Government's Marriage Equality Survey.

Tomorrow, history will judge us all on our businesses and our demonstrated commitment towards acceptance, respect and inclusion of all people - regardless of who they love.

But today the consumer will judge us on what we did: and rightly so.

At Unusual Risks Insured, we want to be found on the right side of history

There must always be respectful room for ongoing conversations about the value of diversity, inclusion and belonging, and the safeguarding of human rights. Honest differences in opinions are never a threat, but bigoted intolerance and selective discrimination have no place in civil society or its businesses.

We believe #AdviceEquality is truly a human rights issue

  • Unusual Risks Insured Australia opened its specialty doors for business 1st December 2013
  • In September 2014 we were proud finalists in the Honour Awards and won the Outstanding Financial Product Award for KPI Sydney
  • In May 2016 our parent company Sapience Financial Certified as a B Corporation, the international standard for using business as a force for good, and
  • In May 2017 we were recognised by the inaugural national Australian Businesses of Tomorrow Awards.
  • Today we're doing business with LGBTIQ+ people and our Allies and anyone who believes in a truly Fair Go for all Australians, and a better future for our children.

Human Rights and LGBTQIA+ and D&I cannot be separated

Nobody and no business lives in a vacuum.

Our doors are open for business and we welcome all like-minded people who need high-quality personal insurance and financial and investment services. We don't discriminate.

Why not make us part of your story today and upgrade to a Specialised Financial Adviser in your corner looking out for your best interests?

Where to Now?
Continue your journey…

 

About Us

Unusual Risks Insured provides support to those people who big insurance companies leave behind. We believe in giving every person the power to use life insurance products to protect & provide for their loved ones, their businesses, and their legacy — free from barriers of stigma and discrimination.

We know, as an LGBTQIA+ person (or someone who goes without labels entirely), you probably have specific financial advice, life insurance, and privacy needs.

  • We're committed to serving the LGBTQIA+ Community and its Allies.
  • For us, it's about change leadership and #AdviceEquality.

Why not make us part of your story, so if the unexpected happens to you or whoever is family to you, you'll have a backup plan in place to help you financially recover and life can still get better for somebody you love.

#LoveTakesAction  #AdviceEquality  #PrideInAdvice

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Drew Browne, Senior Advisor

Contact Us

Working Online & serving Australia Wide
from George St Sydney, NSW, Australia.
[ Gadigal Land ] & [ Darug Country ]

Say Hello! unusualrisks.com.au

Phone: 1300 137 403
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