Proud Inglis Praises School to Work Programs

There were plenty of rugby league stars on show at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence at yesterday's 2018 National Rugby League School to Work luncheon, headlined by current South Sydney Rabbitohs' Captain, Greg Inglis.

The event was originally planned as the second annual Bennelong Cup; a touch football tournament which has grown from 80 attendees last year to 240 attendees this year. Due to hazardous weather conditions across Sydney prior to the event, the touch football tournament transitioned into a day of motivational talks, networking and a luncheon. The weather failed to dampen the spirits of the students as words from the likes of Roy Ah-See, Chairman of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, lifted the hopes, visions, and dreams of all in attendance.

After Souths Cares established a the Nanga Mai Marri (Dream Big) School to Work Program in 2011, the NRL adopted a similar concept in 2012. Since it's inception, the School to Work initiative has seen over 900 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students complete their Year 12 studies and transition into further study or full-time employment.

Souths Cares' Nanga Mai Marri (Dream Big) program was well represented on the day with eight students from Alexandria Park Community School attending.
Greg Inglis had nothing but praise for Souths Cares' Nanga Mai Marri (Dream Big) program which currently has over 90 students involved. The program has achieved a 91% success rate for students gaining their HSC

"I know Souths Cares have been doing it for a number of years now." Said Inglis.

"It gives the kids something to look forward to towards a brighter future. We can help them on their pathway of achieving their dreams whether that's becoming a doctor or a politician."

"It makes me proud, to be honest. Makes me proud to see these kids keep up their attendance and succeed at school". He said.

"We were sitting in the boardroom last week and I was given the honour of handing my leadership award to one of the girls, Trinity who's here today."

The day also linked School to Work graduates with employment opportunities, with sponsors Bennelong Energy Services, Hutchison Builders, BGIS and Evolve FM announcing a number of identified traineeships and cadetships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

"We recognised the importance of providing a platform where students could celebrate their success plus be introduced to prospective employers in an informal setting. The formula has been very productive with several jobs eventuating with some of Australia's largest project management and facilities management companies." said event organiser, Gaven Sheehan.

A charity auction was also held where $13,400 was raised for Souths Cares, Cowboy House and Tribal Warrior.

James Patterson, Souths Cares Chairman and Chief Executive of Cushman & Wakefield Australia and New Zealand was also in attendance and full of praise for the programs.

"We're proud to be participating for the second year in a row. Indigenous engagement is a fundamental part of our business. Our Reconciliation Action Plan outlines a number of tangible commitments we have made towards Indigenous employment, engagement and commercial opportunities. Organisations like the NRL School to Work program help us achieve these goals. We look forward to providing opportunities to a number of graduates of the program." He said.

A charity auction was also held where $13,400 was raised for Souths Cares, Cowboy House and Tribal Warrior.

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