Souths Cares and the South Sydney Rabbitohs were presented with a United Nations Association of Australia NSW Division (UNAA) Lifework Award at a ceremony in Sydney last night (Saturday).
Rabbitohs Chairman, Mr Nick Pappas, was on hand to accept the award on behalf of the organisations during a gala event at the Union University and School’s Club.
In the official citation, the honour was awarded to Souths Cares and the Rabbitohs for: maintaining a strong relationship with the Australian community for more than 100 years, for being an inspirational sports icon to the Australian community, for a long history of mentoring, engaging and educating disadvantaged youth, and for helping to fulfil the social needs of the Indigenous communities.
Speaking shortly after hearing news of the nomination, Souths Cares General Manager, Brock Schaefer, said that the award was recognition of the shared values and commitment that Souths Cares and the Rabbitohs have toward the local community and to affecting positive change.
“To be acknowledged by the United Nations Association of Australia NSW is a mark of respect for the work that we do in the community,” he said.
“The Community Award is about recognising the strong relationship an organisation maintains with its community and in our case, the way in which the community, Souths Cares and the Rabbitohs work together to engage, mentor and inspire local students to achieve their dreams.”
Souths Cares is often described as the ‘charity arm’ of the South Sydney Football Club, however it is in fact a registered charity, with its own governance structure as an independent not-for-profit, public benevolent institution.
“Souths Cares has been in operation since 2006 and has done a lot of work across the local community and more recently, in rural and regional NSW,” said Brock.
“Souths Cares had its genesis in the Football Club, however we have our own Board of Directors that is talented, experienced and hardworking, and importantly, they understand our community.”
With positive role modelling from the Rabbitohs’ NRL squad, Souths Cares has been very successful in delivering its five core community programs.
• Teachers’ Aide;
• Indigenous Oral Health Care;
• Healthy and Active Lifestyles;
• Nanga Mai Marri (Dream Big) Indigenous School to Work Transition; and
• Ngalya Banga (Working Together) Indigenous Employment.
Souths Cares’ community programs place an emphasis on the importance of staying healthy, completing school and achieving dreams – whether that is further education or employment.
Brock added that Souths Cares have many community partners who support their work and their students.
“It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the efforts of our students, teachers, corporates and sponsors and all three tiers of government, for their ongoing support and commitment to us,” he said.
“Whether you’re from Redfern, Chifley, La Perouse, Alexandria, Zetland or Maroubra we are all part of the Rabbitohs Family. The community are part of our DNA at the Rabbitohs and we are part of theirs.”