Save Sorry Business Coalition welcomes Youpla announcement

L-R: Alex Price-Busch (ICAN); Bettina Cooper, Mark Holden (Mob Strong Debt Help); Daphne Naden (ICAN)

The Albanese Labor Government has announced an enduring resolution for people impacted by the collapse of the insurance provider Youpla Group.

For 30 years, the Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund, trading as Youpla, aggressively sold poor-value funeral plans to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia.

Youpla actively preyed on the culturally significant practice of Sorry Business with many people paying tens of thousands of dollars to the company to ensure their families could afford a dignified and culturally appropriate Sorry Business. Federal/state governments and regulators have been aware of the exploitative practices of Youpla for many years.

First Nations financial counsellors, advocates and policyholders from the Save Sorry Business Coalition have welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of an ‘enduring resolution’ for over 13,000 people harmed by Youpla and regulatory failures.

Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney has briefed advocates that the government scheme will include people who were still making payments to ACBF/Youpla on or after 1 August 2015.

Youpla Support Program begins 1 July

The Youpla Support Program will begin on 1 July 2024, and is expected to help more than 13,000 people recover from financial loss and provide certainty to families. The $97 million program will run for two years, receiving applications until 30 June 2026.

Under the program, eligible recipients will be offered the choice of a resolution payment – assessed at 60 per cent of the premiums paid up to the value of the insurance, or the benefit amount under the policy, whichever is lower. Eligible recipients will receive a low risk prudentially-regulated funeral bond or opt out for a cash payment.

To assist eligible recipients, financial counselling will be offered to help them better understand the options available under the Youpla Support Program.

This is a historic announcement by the Federal Government that both recognises the harm done through targeted exploitation of First Nations people and also provides significant investment in alleviating financial hardship and ensuring Sorry Business can honour people’s lives and culture.

Relief for thousands of families

The Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney said, “Losing loved ones can be one of the most traumatic events, made harder still for those First Nations people affected by the collapse of the Youpla funeral fund.

“As soon as we came into government, we responded quickly with an interim support program. Since then, we’ve ensured the needs of First Nations people, communities and key stakeholders have been front and centre in designing the Youpla Support Program.

“This measure will hopefully bring peace of mind to thousands of families impacted by the collapse of the Youpla Group.”

Assistant Treasurer Minister Stephen Jones, said, “We understand the importance of Sorry Business and the devastating impact of this company’s failures on the community.

“We are pleased to be able to support the varying needs of different First Nations peoples and communities through the Youpla Support Program”

This outcome follows more than two years of advocacy, meetings and engagement with First Nations communities across the country. The Save Sorry Business Coalition has been First Nations-led from the start, with broad community support from over 130 organisations and 20,000 Australians.

Kuku Yalanji Elder and ICAN Director Daphne Naden welcomes the Government’s recent announcement of the investment of $97m for the Youpla Support Program to be rolled out from 1 July 2024.

Ms Naden congratulates the Save Sorry Business campaigners for their commitment and focus and extends special thanks to both Minister Linda and Minister Stephen Jones for their dedication in pursuing this cause.

“I trust that recovery of funds through this program will help alleviate the stress and anxiety for many eligible policy holders and their families”.

While welcoming the decision, advocates acknowledge that the Youpla companies have harmed many more people and that some in the community will be disappointed that it excludes people who held policies but stopped paying before 2015.

Mark Holden, Dunghutti man and Aboriginal Senior Solicitor at Mob Strong Debt Help said, “The exploitation and deception perpetrated by Youpla has caused severe intergenerational harm for individuals, families and communities. It has created financial and cultural crises, worsened health outcomes and deepened poverty.”

“This announcement is the beginning of that process, not the end. But it’s a strong beginning that gives many Youpla payers the ability to choose how they will take care of Sorry Business. We will continue working with them to ensure this announcement translates into a fair and culturally appropriate resolution.”

Bettina Cooper, Boandik woman and Save Sorry Business Coalition Coordinator and Aboriginal Financial Counsellor at Mob Strong Debt Help said, “We welcome this announcement and commend Ministers Linda Burney and Stephen Jones for following through with their commitment to put a scheme in place to address the harm to First Nations people caused by Youpla, Centrepay and regulatory failures over many years.”

“This resolution will relieve immediate financial hardship for many, provide certainty around Sorry Business for others, and enable thousands of families to move on with their lives.”

Editorial note: Youpla refers to the Youpla/ACBF companies and their associated funds

Media enquiries: Daniel Scoullar, 0402 596 297,

Useful Links:

People can register to receive updates and more information about the new Youpla Support Program by visiting or contact the National Indigenous Australians Agency on 1800 079 098.