Souths Cares Bigger In 2016

Souths Cares started this year with a new logo and a new chairperson but what has remained the same is their hunger and determination to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged and marginalized youth through education, employment and wellbeing programs.

The not-for-profit institution reached new heights of community engagement this year as they opened two satellite offices in Western Sydney and South Western Sydney, yielding impressive results in finding employment for Aboriginal people through their New Careers for Aboriginal People Program.

Coupling this with their Redfern based team, Souths Cares have also helped thousands of young people through Oral Health initiatives, their Nanga Mai Marri (School to Work) program, the launch of a Juvenile Justice Careers Program in conjunction with NSW Justice to support at risk young people and developing a new KARI Rabbitohs Wellbeing Program.

Souths Cares’ relentless work in supporting community and building a better future for many disadvantaged groups helped cement their position as a leader in Australian Sports for Development. Their influence was acknowledged through a nomination by the Social Impact Measurement Network of Australia (SIMNA) as a finalist in their annual awards - This is the second consecutive year Souths Cares have been nominated.

“2016 was a year of great outcomes for Souths Cares,” said Souths Cares General Manager Brock Schaefer.

“More than 3000 young people went through our Oral Health Program, our Primary School activities, we helped more than 150 people into employment and we now have two offices in western Sydney,

The importance of Souths Cares community involvement isn’t lost on the Rabbitohs playing squad and it’s not uncommon to see many NRL and NYC players present at Souths Cares events. Rabbitohs skipper Greg Inglis is one of the first to fly t flag for Souths Cares community engagement.

 “The way I see it; giving back to community is a very vital and important thing and it reflects on us as a Club and as a group,” said Greg Inglis.

“Being in the heart of Redfern and being the South Sydney Rabbitohs I think it’s important to never forget where you come from and keep your feet grounded,

“To be in the position we’re in we’re fortunate and to go out and put a smile on someone’s face whether they’re kids or whether they’re elderly is really important.

“We always try to get out and do what we can for the community.”

Souths Cares Program Operation Manager Alisha Parker-Elrez explains how Souths Cares is successfully challenging the narrative of people in the community through leading by example when it comes to employment opportunities and direct community engagement.

“One thing I’m extremely proud of; out of our staff we have nine full-time staff who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander which makes me really proud because we’re changing those stereotypes,” said Alisha Parker-Elrez.

“We’re showing the kids that it’s ok and quite normal to go to work every day and not have to live up to those stereotypes. We’re changing those views and educating people.”

To many of the players involving themselves with Souths Cares, the commitment to community is a vital one for the men of the Red & Green. Rabbitohs Forward Sam Burgess says getting out among the people is a rewarding and enjoyable experience – whether that affects many people or just one.

“I think players nowadays enjoy being in and around the community,” said Sam Burgess

“The community do so much for the Club and a lot of players you look at now are role models in community,

“If you can give back a bit of time and affect one person’s life than we’re making a difference and that’s what it’s all about.”

The common ground of Rugby League is, to Rabbitohs centre Aaron Gray, a great way to effectively connect with the youth in community.

“It’s massive, Redfern is a big footy community,” said Aaron Gray.

“We do a lot of work through Souths Cares and all the boys take part in that and enjoy going out and seeing the kids that look up to us,

“We give back to the community because they support us a lot through thick and thin.”

It’s through the help of a number of organizations that Souths Cares are able to achieve so much

Program Partners

Community Partners

KARI

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

NSW Centre for Oral Heath Strategy

Randwick City Council

Colgate

Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Street

Poche Centre for Indigenous Health

Wingap Foundation

NSW Department of Industry

Prince of Wales Hospital

NSW Health

Randwick Children’s Hospital

NSW Department of Justice

 

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

 

With more initiatives and programs continuing for Souths Cares they haven’t drawn the curtains on 2016. However, they’re already looking to make a bigger impact in 2017.

“2016 was great and we want to achieve a lot more next year,” said Schaefer.