Life’s challenges led Doug to seek financial advice

6 April 2023

Life’s challenges led Doug – an AustralianSuper member for over 20 years – to seek financial advice.

Originally from a farm near Victoria’s spectacular Otway Ranges, Doug Lang and his wife Cheryl spent years working their way across Queensland and the Northern Territory. Despite Doug’s steady employment, he recalls struggles with alcohol abuse and depression complicating their lives. 

To reconnect with their wider family, Doug and Cheryl returned to their 50-acre property in Colac, a property that had been in Doug’s family since 1897. Inspired by one of his friends, he began an agroforestry project, planting a variety of native species to return the land to something like its original state.

For Doug, the experience provided him with what he came to call his ‘ecotherapy’.

Getting financial advice for retirement - Doug’s story

Doug and Cheryl chose AustralianSuper when it came time to get advice on their finances. Watch the story

Getting financial advice for retirement - Doug’s story

'Financial advice has helped me a lot. It helped mend my relationship with Cheryl and the kids. It’s helped us as a family.'

The Nature of Survival

An unexpected redundancy inspired Doug to start writing a book he’d been thinking about for years, and so ‘The Nature of Survival’ began to take shape. One part memoir, one part self-help book, it details Doug’s love for the land, his lifelong battle with depression, and ultimately, coping with the loss of their daughter Rebecca to a brain tumour. 'That was hard on us all. Very tough… and always will be.'

Having doubts about whether he would cope with the grief, Doug put the book on hold. But it was Cheryl who encouraged him to start writing again.  

'The book was great therapy. And as it turned out, we didn’t realise we’d have the success that we’ve had with it. Looking back, it’s helped with my mental health and it’s helped me through the grief of losing Rebecca.'   

Dealing with the emotional fallout of losing a child got Doug and Cheryl thinking a lot about their future. With retirement approaching, they didn’t want to worry about their finances every day. So they met with Kevin, a financial adviser through AustralianSuper.

“All we had to do was put together a budget. His advice was excellent, he was easy to talk to, comfortable, there was no pressure, just a good bloke,” recalls Doug.

Sharing his story and enjoying retirement

Now Doug shares his story at community events, eager to help others, particularly men from the bush, deal with mental health issues.  

And with a trip to Europe on the cards, Doug and Cheryl are thoroughly enjoying their retirement. 'It’s a lovely thing to be able to do together. We’re fit and healthy, we’ve got the finances to do it, and we’re making every day a winner. It’s what Rebecca would have wanted,' Doug says.


If you or anyone you know needs help contact:

Lifeline: 13 11 14 |
beyondblue: 1300 22 46 36 |



The views expressed are those of the member based on their particular circumstances, reproduced with their continuing consent.

Personal financial product advice is provided under the Australian Financial Services Licence held by a third party and not by AustralianSuper Pty Ltd. Fees may apply

This may include general financial advice which doesn’t take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision consider if the information is right for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, available at or by calling 1300 300 273. A Target Market Determination (TMD) is a document that outlines the target market a product has been designed for. Find the TMDs at AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788, Trustee of AustralianSuper ABN 65 714 394 898.

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