Early in 2021, Souths Cares Nanga Mai Marri (School to Work) program graduates, former NRL Indigenous players and future employers will participate in the Bennelong Cup (touch football game and luncheon) to celebrate the program’s 2020 achievements and help identify employment opportunities.
Since inception in 2012 over 280 students have participated in the program. Sixteen graduated with their HSC this year. The program is delivered by Souths Cares charity which is closely affiliated with the South Sydney Rabbitohs Football Club.
Alisha Parker-Elrez, General Manager of South Cares is looking forward to the event.
“Like many businesses in Australia, 2020 has been a challenging year, but several new mentoring and workshop sessions were delivered via new platforms including Zoom," said Parker-Elrez.
"This year 16 students graduated with their HSC and we are incredibly proud of their achievements."
2021 will be the third year Souths Cares will be participating in the Bennelong Cup.
“We're here to identify employment opportunities in the facilities management sector for students," said Parker-Elrez.
"This sector is one of the biggest job providers in the country and offer opportunities to engage in rewarding careers which Souths Cares aims to tap into.
“The Bennelong Cup provides a fantastic opportunity for students to network with potential employers in a fun environment.
"The opportunity to play alongside NRL greats is something our students look forward to every year.
"The events are also great for corporate employers to meet with potential apprentices outside the formal job interview context.”
Four prominent facilities companies including BGIS, CBRE, Cushman Wakefield and Evolve FM will again participate in the events as well as smaller contractors such as Bennelong Energy Services.
Gaven Sheehan, Director at Bennelong Energy Services, a contractor business to the facilities management industry has employed several Indigenous students.
“This is the fourth year we will host the Bennelong Cup which aims to help 2020 Nanga Mai Marri (School to Work) program graduates find employment opportunities," said Sheehan.
"By placing business leaders and students together in a relaxed social environment, barriers are broken down.
“Finding opportunities for the next generation of tradespeople for the facilities management industry is an important part of its longevity.
"Our business has employed four Indigenous students which has been mutually beneficial to our 30 plus workforce.
"The ability to mix with students from various tribes has enabled our staff to gain a greater appreciation of our Indigenous heritage.”
The 2021 events will be held on 26 February. A number of former NRL players including Cliff Lyons and Steve Menzies will lead 14 touch football teams at Randwick Barracks (8.30am) vying for the Bennelong Cup, followed by lunch at Souths Juniors main auditorium in Randwick (1pm). Funds will also be raised for Souths Cares.