The NRL congratulated more than 60 graduating NRL School to Work participants at an awards ceremony in Sydney on Monday, following the students’ recent success and completion of the games’ Indigenous education support program.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg joined a host of guests at the awards, including Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Honourable Nigel Scullion, as the students celebrated their studies and transitioned to their future careers.
The NRL’s School to Work program commenced in 2012 and utilises the positive profile of rugby league to support and encourage young Indigenous Australians to complete their schooling studies and move into further education or work.
The program has involved more than 750 students to date and in the last 12 months, has achieved a 99 per cent success rate of graduates transitioning into further education or sustainable employment.
The NRL has received wide-spread acclaim and support over the last year for the School to Work program.
In October 2016, the code was officially recognised on the international stage, winning the ‘Sports' Governing Body of the Year’ for the School to Work program at the prestigious ‘Beyond Sports Awards’ in London.
In addition, the Australian Government confirmed a funding boost of $6.3 million for the program in June 2017, ensuring the continuance and support for hundreds of Indigenous students through to at least 2021.
NRL General Manager of Indigenous Strategy, Mark Deweerd congratulated the 2017 graduates and thanked Minister Scullion and the Government for their significant support.
“There are a lot programs that the NRL delivers with the support of partners and in this case, the Australian Government, that make a genuine difference to the lives of many,” Mr Deweerd said.
“The School to Work program is no exception and one that as a game, we are all very proud to be a part of.
“The graduates today are our leaders of tomorrow and our rugby league community will continue to assist and back these Indigenous students and many more that come through the program, as they forge their own pathways in the world.”
There are currently 10 NRL clubs involved with the School to Work program that provide additional support and guidance to students as they complete their studies.