What is Souths Cares?
Souths Cares is an independent not-for-profit public benevolent institution, established to support the local community and address social need across the South Sydney region. Its charter is to support disadvantaged, marginalised and indigenous youth and their families with a specific focus on education, training, health and employment.
Souths Cares leverages the Rabbitohs NRL team to engage the community and affect positive social change.
How You Can Play Your Part
The good work done by Souths Cares is made possible by the generosity of the community. To play your part and contribute to the great work done by Souths Cares, you can help by clicking here.
Please note that all donations over $2.00 are tax deductable, and you will be provided with an invoice for you generosity.
Our programs include:
Teachers' Aide program
Our entire NRL Squad are involved in the delivery of the Teacher’s Aide program.
The schools currently involved in the program are: La Perouse Primary School, Alexandria Park Community School, Green Square School and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Waterloo.
All members of the NRL squad are split up into groups and schools are visited weekly, with players attending their designated school on a rolling roster. Each group has a team captain who is responsible for managing the group in coordination with the South’s Cares Programs Coordinator. The captain liaises with players, the Souths Cares Programs Coordinator and with school staff, to ensure that the sessions run smoothly and student engagement is maximised.
An achievement program has been established to recognise and reward positive behaviour and successful learning outcomes for the students. This reward program was initiated by SSFC members and provides students with a “Bunny Buddy” pack which includes a Rabbitohs back pack, poster, cap and a child’s membership to all home games at ANZ Stadium.
The Teachers’ Aide program is assessed on an ongoing basis to ensure relevant outcomes are achieved. Reviews conducted by Regional Directors of the Department of Education and Training have shown strong and positive feedback from school principals, staff, community elders, parents and pupils. There has also been marked improvement in Numeracy and Literacy levels within these schools as displayed by the recent National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results.
The players are happy to build and maintain relationships with their allocated schools and they provide positive feedback for the program, acknowledging their power to engage students and the positive change that can come from this.
Healthy and Active Lifestyle program
Souths Cares partners with Life Education to deliver a holistic program for Years 5 & 6 students in the South Sydney catchment area.
This program combines the NRL initiative, ‘Eat Well, Play Well, Stay Well’ along with a range of Life Education programs, to offer the students a fun educational excursion outside of the school environment. Importantly, this program educates students to make informed decisions about their body and lifestyle choices as they approach their teenage years.
Where possible, South Sydney players will contribute and share their own healthy lifestyle choices with the students. Sessions are held at the Souths Cares Classroom located in the Sydney Corporate Park in Alexandria.
Souths Cares identified a growing need amongst students in the South Sydney corridor after consultation with schools staff. Many schools had discontinued their link with Life Education due to costs. Parents were not able to afford this type of extracurricular activity on top of growing sport and school commitments which placed a strain on family finances.
Souths Cares saw this as a further opportunity to engage with our community while providing students with a unique educational experience that can form the basis of a life long respect for the importance of making informed decisions on their lifestyle choices.
To date, this program has been offered to over 35 primary schools in the South Sydney region. 1,600 students and teachers take part in the program annually, of which approximately 30% came from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background. To complement these visits, teaching staff are given resources to continue the lessons and positive messages back at their respective school.
Indigenous Leadership Program - Schools to Work Transition program
“Nanga Mai Marri” (Dream Big)
This program focuses on Year 11 and 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island pupils and works alongside them to identify and develop their own education and employment outcomes.
The program is underpinned by a greater understanding of culture as a way of building self esteem. Once this cultural base has been established, sessions include employability skills training such as career exploration, resume building, goal setting, interview technique, grooming and etiquette. This leads to either employment or continuing education outcomes through a range of corporate networks or education institutions with which Souths Cares has built strong relationships.
The uniqueness of this program is that it will bring together students, parents, corporate partners, education institutions, community groups and Rabbitohs NRL players in collaboration to support students on their journey.
The primary aim is to encourage and support students to stay at school and complete their HSC. Mentoring and a case management strategy are key components of the program and continue well beyond the school gate.
The Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) support and resource this program. There are currently five high schools in the South Sydney region taking part in the program: Alexandria Park Community School, Matraville Sports High School, Tempe High School, South Sydney High School and JJ Cahill Memorial High School.
Souths Cares Oral Health Program
Souths Cares embarked on an exciting new Oral Health Campaign in 2013. Partnering with the NSW Centre for Oral Health Strategy, Colgate and the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, Souths Cares are delivering a number of initiatives to support and encourage good oral health habits in youth of the South Sydney region and surrounding areas.
The Campaign was kicked off by Rabbitohs players sharing the ‘Bright Smiles, Bright Future’ message with students through the Souths Cares Teachers Aide program. Players, along with Colgate’s Dr Rabbit, visited students in their classrooms to talk about the importance of regular brushing and oral hygiene habits.
Extending now from the Teachers’ Aide program and into the Healthy and Active Lifestyles program and Souths Friendly Schools/Clubs program, Souths Cares is rolling out the Oral Health Campaign into schools across the region, which reached upwards of 600 students within the first phase of this program in 2013.
Souths Cares Health Promotion Coordinator and former Rabbitohs Player, Rhys Wesser is instrumental in taking the message of Oral Health care out into the community through the delivery of practical workshops to the students in local schools of the Sydney region. The key messages will focus on the importance of regular teeth brushing, drinking plenty of tap water and making healthy food choices.
Due to the power of the combined partnerships, the Souths Cares Oral Health initiative was recently able to provide individually moulded mouth guards to five grades of the Souths Juniors club – ranging from Under 6’s to Under 14’s. Members of the Rabbitohs’ first grade squad were also present to assist with the day and meet the junior players; and to launch the new Souths Cares Oral Health Program.
From January 2014, the second phase of the project will be launched with the Program also being offered in five regional towns across New South Wales, reaching an additional 1,200 youth; with a particular focus on Indigenous youth.
Rhys recognises the effect of engaging youth with players and recognisable faces.
"Sports people are role models in our community and we are accountable to deliver positive messages, especially to the younger generation. At the Rabbitohs, we take our responsibility as role models in our community seriously and our Oral Health Promotion will be another way we can support the positive messages out in our community."
Souths Cares thank and acknowledge the support received from the community. It is this support that makes our programs possible and allows us to make a real difference in improving the education, employment and health outcomes of the youth we support.