South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club (the 'Rabbitohs') is culturally significant at both State and National level due to the high esteem by which it is regarded by Rugby League supporters throughout New South Wales, Australia and New Zealand. It is one of the founding members and the most successful club in the history of Rugby League in Australia, winning the first premiership game in 1908, and subsequently, winning a total of 20 first-grade premierships* - more than any other club has ever won to date.
The value of the Rabbitohs to the community and their important contribution to the spirit of sport was clearly demonstrated on 12 November 2000, when an estimated 80,000 people marched from Redfern to Sydney Town Hall to protest against their expulsion from the National Rugby League. This rally, ensuing public campaigns and the massive groundswell of support from club supporters and the general public, are unprecedented in Australian sporting history.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have a long standing relationship with the indigenous community, with strong links to their heartland at Redfern. The Rabbitohs' emblem and the red and green colours on the club's jersey are symbolic to the indigenous community and widely recognised throughout Australia.
The year 2008 is the Centenary of not only the game of Rugby League, but also of the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Celebrating their 100th birthday on 17 January 2008, the Rabbitohs serve as a fitting foundation National Trust Community Icon for their historical, sporting, social and cultural significance.
Awarded in Sydney this 3rd day of September 2008 by the National Trust of Australia (NSW).
*Since receiving this award in 2008, the Rabbitohs went on to win their 21st Premiership in season 2014. They are still the club with the most number of Premierships in Australian Rugby League.